Sneha Shakya (Bikas Udhyami)
Leeza Bajracharya is an undergraduate student at KIST College, which is affiliated with Tribhuvan University. She is currently in her 4th semester of Bachelor of Information Management (BIM). BIM course offers integrated knowledge and develops technical skills giving students a unique edge in the IT world.
She had joined Bikas Udhyami as a Data Apprentice in early 2017 and later worked in Nepal In Data (NiD) initiative, an open data and statistics portal developed by Bikas Udhyami for 6 months. While working there, she developed her interest in web designing, programming and data management. Leeza aspires to be a web developer for big companies like Google in the near future. Nepal in Data team sat with her and asked about her reflection on data and statistics from the perspective of a student as well as a professional.
What do you think of the use of data in Nepal? How has been your experience using it as a student?
It is kind of mixed. Sometimes I feel we don’t know the importance of data that’s why the use is declining. I personally prefer using it but the understanding also came very late. Nowadays when I search for data to use, I find it really hard to get the appropriate one. Data are not sufficiently available to specific sector to be used. After working at Nepal in Data, I got my horizon of data awareness getting broader but the path to reach it is not still clear. Only if we had a channel to access all data from a single source, the problem would be solved.
There are only a few teachers who actually search for proper data beforehand to prepare for their upcoming lectures. Meanwhile, other teachers just teach the context contained in the chapter. I hope this situation will improve in the coming days. During our project works, I have observed some of my friends using data. I also do. That I think is a good sign for a classroom environment. This makes me hopeful.
As a student of BIM, what is the importance of data you see in your field of study?
We have to study courses such as Sociology for Business, Principle of Management and others which needs statistical information like census, population, variables and many more. In the study course, data helps to give the real picture, helps in analytical study and also facilitates in detailed study research. As a future generation professional in this field, the data I can obtain while studying helps me furthermore.
For what purpose do you need data most? And how do you look for data?
I use data mostly for my projects works and I search for these data in Google. Mostly it is of the secondary data. Furthermore, searching for data usually depends on what kind of data I need to make my project comprehensive. Apart from the random online searches, I also go for data published by government agencies. Nepal in Data’s resources tab has been really helpful in doing that. Sometimes we also collect primary data from interviews and online surveys.
Are there any challenges that you encounter in searching for data?
I think the biggest challenge that I face is that the data are not easily accessible. And the accessible ones are not in the format that I can directly use. Sometimes I have to do extensive searches and may have to go through tons of different reports for just simple data. This consumes a lot of my time which could have been used on the project work itself.
You have worked at Nepal in Data a few years back. Can you share some of your experiences?
I have known about Nepal in Data portal before I joined BIM, and it has helped me a lot to get the information easier and faster than my other classmates. I used to work there as a Data Apprentice and worked in Bikas Udhyami’s both Udhyami Nepal and Nepal in Data initiative. In Udhyami Nepal, I collected, classified, analyzed and entered the data of technical workers in Nepal. In Nepal in Data, I assisted the Data Officer by updating the data in the portal and also helped in the classification of data according to the province. So as a student, I have already recommended my group members to use Nepal in Data portal to get the data and they have further recommended it to other classmates. I love the infographics it publishes every day on various areas.
Means that have transformed you as a person?
Yes, a lot. It made me follow things that I otherwise won’t be following. I now care for data and infographics related things in social media. I am interested to take part in the programs happening around these topics. That keeps me updated. At least two or three times a week, I follow data related news and updates and share among my friends if there is something interesting happening.