Building a data driven business

MEST, Wednesday October 10th 2018

This post was contributed by MEST alumna Gathigia Njiiri.

They say team work makes the dream work and that is why we love communities. In the same spirit, Nairobi Data Science for Business meetup was created! After a keen look at the industry and existing communities, the application element of knowledge imparted was missing. There was a lot said technically when it comes to data science, and a lot said in business but the merge of the two was missing. This interesting intersection is what drives innovation in businesses and problem solving for our users, therefore dedicated effort towards the cause deemed worthy.

The first meetup was themed ‘Application of enterprise data for business growth’ and we were lucky to have a data science expert as the keynote speaker, Miles Obare.

Obare is the head of data science at Betika and a data scientist at Loanbee. His main area of research is credit scoring and fraud detection using machine learning. An electrical engineer by training, Obare has over 5 years experience, first as a software engineer and now as a data scientist. He has deployed machine learning systems used by over 100,000 users and presented his research in major machine learning conferences locally and internationally.

Miles gave a very informative well-thought presentation and here’s a link to his slides. The precision he approached the topic made his experience in the game quite evident. He also happens to be friendly and comical, so no you don’t get boring slides and the audience stays engaged.

Our main take-away from Miles would be one of the questions he posed to the audience to think about when building a data-driven business.

What do you want from the data?

Is it to find out how your users are using the product? Or is it which part of the product do they drop-off? Why are you not having enough repeat customers? And do you need to incentive your users?

These questions are closely related to UX Metrics in the product world. How to measure user experience is by use of standards of measurement assessing the product’s efficiency, performance, progress and quality.

There was so much to learn beyond the main reason for the meetup and the networking was great. The crowd was intimate, engaging and excited, and cocktails made the moment light. We had presence from notable firms like Cytonn & ALU as well as across borders from Tanzania.

As we look forward to the next one, we’re grateful to the parties that made this a success:


  • Nestmetric: An AI company for enterprise, that does automated machine learning for businesses. With one use-case being helping insurance companies detect fraudulent claims, and maximize customer retention by predicting churn .


Twitter: @nestmetric

Blog: Medium

  • MEST: A Pan-African software entrepreneurship training and incubation program, that just launched its Nairobi incubator, that served as our meeting space.


Twitter: @MESTAfrica

Blog: Medium

  • Keynote Speaker:Miles Obare

Head of data science at Betika, data scientist at Loanbee.

Twitter: @bdhobare

Blog: bdhobare