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Spotlight on Ethel Mensah: Making an Impact in Data Science

For this impact spotlight, we talked to data scientist Ethel Mensah from Ghana about her work as a data scientist, her experiences in the field, and the impact of her work at Ishango.

Can you share a bit about your background and how you first became interested in data science?

I graduated from Wesley Girls’ High School in Cape Coast, Ghana, and then pursued economics, mathematics, and statistics at the University of Ghana. I eventually graduated with degrees in economics and statistics. After my national service, I went to the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Rwanda, where I pursued a Master’s degree in Mathematical Sciences with a focus on data science. My interest in data science started during my Master’s programme, when I took courses on machine learning and data analysis.

What is your current role, and how does it add value to your client organisation?

I currently work with on the data science team for our client, Elder Research. My role involves building machine learning models and ensuring the quality of the data before creating a model. By doing so, I add value to the client organization by ensuring that the models are accurate and efficient, which ultimately helps them in their decision-making process.

What are some of the challenges of building a career in data science? What is your advice for overcoming these challenges?

One of the challenges I have faced is the ever-expanding definition of “data science.” Data scientists are expected to have a lot of skills, ranging from mathematics to statistics to knowledge of various software. In addition, different companies have different definitions of what a “data scientist” is. To overcome this challenge, data scientists should identify their strengths, develop expertise in a specific area, and stay current with emerging trends through continuous learning and networking. By doing so, they can  establish themselves as experts in their field and stand out among the growing competition.


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