Yayasan Mendaki to collaborate with SUSS on data analytics

(From left) Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim, Yayasan Mendaki chief executive officer Rahayu Buang, SUSS president Cheong Hee Kiat, and SUSS board of trustees chairman Richard Eu at the agreement signing, on Jan 13, 2018. PHOTO: YAYASAN MENDAKI
Yayasan Mendaki chief executive officer Rahayu Buang and Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim interact with students under the Mendaki Tuition Scheme at at Northland Primary School. PHOTO: YAYASAN MENDAKI

SINGAPORE - As part of its efforts to leverage technology, Yayasan Mendaki has partnered with the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) to collaborate in the areas of research and data analytics.

Through this collaboration, the self-help group hopes to enhance its academic programmes aimed at Malay/Muslim students and their families.

An agreement between Yayasan Mendaki and SUSS was signed on Saturday (Jan 13) at Northland Primary School, at an event that also marked the beginning of the Mendaki Tuition Scheme programme for the year.

Attending the event was Communications and Information Minister Yaacob Ibrahim, who also serves as the chairman of Yayasan Mendaki.

The newly signed agreement is in line with the self-help group's own efforts to be part of Singapore's smart nation drive, he said, adding that Yayasan Mendaki had set up a digital transformation unit last year to look into how to incorporate technology into its processes and services.

One possible use of data analytics could be for predictive analysis purposes, that would allow deeper insight into Yayasan Mendaki's programmes, to better allocate resources for students under its programmes.

"For example, students who are better in mathematics may require less attention in the subject. Thus, data analytics would allow us to allocate resources to those who need more help in that area, " said Dr Yaacob, who is also the Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs.

"In six months, we hope to have a better picture of what can be achieved with this collaboration, and what can be done with the data," he added, noting that the collaboration between Yayasan Mendaki and SUSS will be carried out in three phases over three years.

SUSS president Cheong Hee Kiat said the university has been building up its own capabilities in the field of data analytics since 2007, when it first started its degree programme in business analytics.

This expertise has already been used to analyse the data of the university's students for pedagogical purposes, he noted.

"We thought, why not work with others to share this expertise?" said Professor Cheong.

He added the collaboration would not only allow Yayasan Mendaki to tap SUSS's knowledge in data analytics, but also build up the self-help group's own capabilities to be able to carry out such work in the future.

Prof Cheong said SUSS hopes to share this "thirst for data analytics" with other organisations in the future.

"Hopefully, more self-help groups will adopt this methodology to improve their way of working."

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