June 27, 2024

From an abstract concept to real-world application, FIS VŠE and Dawiso show students how data governance works in practice

Faculty of Informatics and Statistics, at the University of Economics in Prague (FIS VŠE) has been teaching the course "Management of Data and Analytics for Business" to its students of the Data and Business Analytics program for the fourth year in a row. This is the third time the course has been taught in cooperation with the Dawiso platform. The course opens doors for students to the world of data services management and teaches them how to get the most out of data. Companies are increasingly aware that data plays a key role in decision-making and strategic planning, and this knowledge is therefore invaluable for a future career.

The course is a key part of the master's program and allows students to gain deep knowledge and skills in the field of data governance. Thanks to practical workshops and cooperation with Dawiso, students can truly understand the issues involved. The lessons help to clarify why data governance is such an important cornerstone of functional advanced data analytics. With its managerial focus, it differs from previous courses specialized in analytics, data visualization tools and other focuses on technical aspects of data work.

"The course covers the topic of data management as a whole, including how to set up teams, secure resources, etc., and governance is a very important part of that," explains Ing. Martin Potančok, Ph.D., guarantor and one of the course instructors. The principle is to teach students how to apply their previous knowledge to business to effectively support it with systematically managed analytics.

Collaboration with Dawiso

Data governance can be a complex, abstract, and difficult concept for students to understand. The course begins with a strategic section, where representatives from various companies and partners are invited to demonstrate the governance issues they face. Dawiso provides students with access to a metadata management platform that allows them to put data governance principles into practice.

"Dawiso mainly helps students to make the concept tangible and to move out of the virtual realm. In this way, we can give them something they can really get their hands on. And it's not just about talking about they should have a metadata catalog and define what a customer is as a business concept," adds Potančok.

His words are confirmed by the students: "Before my first experience with the Dawiso application, the concept of data governance was abstract for me. However, after the first few minutes of working with the data catalog, business dictionary, or data ownership, I understood the importance of the entire data management process, including the benefits of implementing its principles in an organization," one of them said.

"Collaboration with Dawiso allows students to gain a realistic insight into how data governance is done in practice," says Potančok.

In addition to providing the software, a Dawiso team was invited to one of the course's introductory lectures to share their first-hand experience. They explored the reasons why organizations prioritize data management and why students as analysts should adopt and implement data governance practices in their future careers.

The course is often the first point of contact for students with Dawiso, which is why it is often a popular choice for completing their compulsory internship. "I appreciate the agile environment that an internship at Dawiso offers. I didn't feel like I was just a cog in the huge cogwheel of the large corporation, my work had a real impact," said one of the interns.

Designing data services

One of the key strengths of the Dawiso platform is its high configurability. This makes it an ideal tool even for specific cases that may not be common in practice. As part of the course, students learn to design analytical services. A canvas, developed by  FIS VŠE in cooperation with colleagues at the SCET UC, Berkeley, is used to model these services. The canvas serves as a guide to thinking about service design, whether it's reporting or some other specific use case.

Thanks to its configurability, the canvas can be replicated in the platform's metamodel and modified to meet the needs and feedback of students. This allows for the modeling of even specific services that fall outside of common standards. In the last year, VŠE has made extensive modifications to the Dawiso metamodel to better reflect student requirements and make it easier for them to work with the platform.

Working on projects is beneficial for students. "I liked most of all the opportunity to work with the tool on our school project, and thus better understand the connections and benefits that proper data management can bring to a company. The Dawiso tool thus created clear outlines of what data governance is and that work in this area can also be interesting and fun," said one of the students in the course.

Students choose the topics of their analytical services, and the range is quite broad. Some of the most interesting projects this year include managing and optimizing the inventory of bicycle dealers, predicting and monitoring the occupancy of kindergartens, predicting electricity production based on meteorological data, and reporting on the occupancy of public transport in Prague.

Plans for the future

At the beginning of September, the Data and Analytics for Business program will undergo a major upgrade and become the Applied Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence program. This change will also affect the Management of Data and Analytics for Business course itself, which will be modified and expanded to better reflect the latest trends in the field and its deeper connection to artificial intelligence.

The goal of the course instructors, Martin Potančok and Soňa Karkošková, is to provide students with a solid foundation in data management. The acquired knowledge will make it easier for them to find their way in practice and will simplify and streamline communication with graduates for future employers. Dawiso will continue to be part of the modernized program as part of this vision.

In addition to learning about the ever-evolving field of data management through hands-on demonstrations, students are given the unique opportunity to participate in the development of the Dawiso software itself. Over the years of collaboration, Dawiso has become an increasingly user-friendly tool thanks to the students' feedback. Their input has and will continue to influence the tool, which is used by well-known companies even beyond the Czech Republic.