MS in IS Grad Turned Data Scientist
Hanan Khalid Alsalamah, MS IS’18, came to Northeastern University from Saudi Arabia, her home country, in the fall semester of 2016 having already researched how she wanted to navigate her way through the MS in Information Systems program. This preparation coupled with her hard work in the innovative program led to an amazing opportunity working for the Government of Saudi Arabia following her graduation in the spring of 2018.
“After finishing my bachelor’s degree I started working in BI [business intelligence], data analysis and visualization, and this led me to want to concentrate on data,” said Alsalamah. “The Information Systems program had many courses and concentrations in data, so I took Data Science, Big Data Architecture and Governance, and the Database course.”
Alsalamah was tremendously impressed by the different tracks the program offered but was even more amazed at how up-to-date the courses were.
“The courses were so updated with emerging technologies,” said Alsalamah. “The courses are never the same that they were three years ago. They’re always updated and new, like the blockchain technology courses and the data sciences. Less than six years ago, there were no Data Science courses in the program.”
Alsalamah was also delighted to discover that the program allows students to work on and solve real-world issues.
“In the data science course we worked on a machine learning project determining whether or not Amazon reviews were positive or negative for a specific product,” said Alsalamah. “Learning the different algorithms for this project and throughout the program helped prepare me for my current job in the E-Government of Saudi Arabia.”
Her role in the E-Government is as a Data Scientist were she is responsible for feeding the National Open Data Portal with the various information collected from across numerous government entities. For example, the Ministry of Transportation will provide her with data on car accidents or public transit issues and the Ministry of Health will do the same with health-related issues. She has also expanded this work to machine learning use cases, specifically with the Ministry of Justice.
“I used data related to agricultural land prices and created an algorithm to predict the price in the future, said Alsalamah. “Whether it is two, four, or however many more years in the future, this algorithm will predict the price.”
Alsalamah came back to visit Northeastern in December 2019 and thanked all of her former professors, who were delighted to hear about the career she has embarked on since graduating.