I really enjoyed the overall atmosphere and constant support of the best Kyivstar team, as well as having the opportunity to study with highly motivated and skilled professionals.

Tetiana Marynych
Big Data School 4.0 graduate


Ukraine: taking data scientists' skills to the next level with Big Data

Thanks to Big Data School 4.0, Tetiana Marynych, an Associate Professor at Sumy State University, is looking forward to sharing a wealth of newly acquired expertise with her postgraduate students.

“This year we opened a new Data Science Masters programme,” explains Tetiana, who is involved in the working group tasked with developing its syllabus. “Kyivstar’s Big Data School was the very solution we needed to better understand big data processing and the skills we should focus on for the programme.”

Tetiana’s story is illustrative of a wider issue for Ukraine’s would-be data scientists: a dearth of homegrown big data experts, resulting in theory-heavy school and university curriculums.

Since 2015, Big Data School, a 10-day intensive programme operated by Kyivstar, VEON’s operating company in Ukraine, has given students and professionals a rare opportunity to “get their hands dirty” through practical machine learning workshops delivered by some of Ukraine’s most experienced data scientists.

One of the priority areas of Kyivstar’s business is to create analytical products for our business clients. This is possible through the introduction of new big data processing technologies. In today’s world the volume of information is rapidly increasing. Therefore, the availability of experts in this field is an important factor for success. Big Data School’s main task is to develop young talents in the field of Data Science and the Ukrainian market as a whole.

Andriy Zheliezniak
Chief of Data Products and Services, Kyivstar

The 2019 programme – renamed “Big Data School 4.0” – was the most practical yet, thanks to the addition of real aggregated and encrypted Kyivstar big data that formed the basis of a final “real-world” business task for the students.

Making this data available has also benefitted Kyivstar, which plans to use results from the student projects to inform its own business development.

Now in its fourth year, Big Data School’s reputation precedes it, with the programme attracting a record number of applicants – 3,000 – in 2019. Of the final 30 participants – who study free of charge – the best will be given the opportunity to join the Kyivstar team. In this way, the programme combines a contribution to UN Sustainable Development Goals 4 (Quality Education) and 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth).

With a personal and professional stake in her community’s learning and employment prospects, Tetiana is excited about Big Data School’s future impact. “Not only did the experience help me and my department to reconsider the content for our Data Science Masters programme,” she concludes, “but this knowledge will help boost the Data Science section of the UPtoIT annual conference held in Sumy and help nurture a young Data Science community in our city.”