Developing and Spearheading Digital Solutions

12 Apr 2022

Peh Jing Yuan

Name: Peh Jing Yuan
Degree: Bachelor of Science (Information Systems); with a second major in Analytics, Magna Cum Laude, 2019
Role: Senior Data Scientist (Enterprise IT)

My role

I leverage data analytics to improve training processes for the SAF. This includes analysing data, and presenting them as intuitive dashboards to enable more informed decision-making. I also develop machine learning models to analyse soldier performance, and harness data visualisation to help users better transform insights into improved training.

As one of my key challenges is translating user requirements into technical solutions effectively, I make sure to remain in constant communication with my users to ensure that we always meet requirements. I also co-lead DSTA’s Data Analytics (DA) training programme, which aims to upskill our staff’s digital competencies. This involves evaluating and advising participants on their progress, as well as looking out for new DA courses. A good understanding of DA will help our engineers and data scientists collaborate more effectively to deliver advanced defence solutions. This spirit of teamwork makes my work enjoyable, and is key to innovating smarter, more efficient digital solutions.

How I got my job

It is important for me to be able to contribute to society directly, so DSTA’s mission of leveraging technology to improve our country’s defence drew me in when I visited their booth at a Singapore Management University career fair. After researching about DSTA’s digital solutions, I shared my aspirations and strong desire to grow together with a tech-savvy team during my interview.

The highs and lows

What keeps me going is being able to use data creatively to craft solutions for new possibilities. I am given free rein to research, evaluate, and adapt state-of-the art machine learning algorithms to develop data analytics solutions. There are also many opportunities to attend specialised training to enhance my professional growth and upgrade my skill sets in areas such as recommender systems and big data engineering.

My happiest moment at work

I was part of a taskforce that designed and developed solutions with the Health Promotion Board in Singapore’s fight against COVID-19. When the pandemic started, we urgently needed a system to optimise and track swabbing and testing resources, since daily swab numbers were very high. I proposed and developed the system’s visualisation capability within three months. This helped users to manage test operations at a national level which varied from thousands to over 100,000 tests weekly. This project was particularly meaningful because it was done during difficult times, and contributed directly to the fight against COVID-19.

Some advice

Get as much hands-on experience as possible. Take up internships, workshops and camps organised by DSTA, and gain first-hand experience in working as a data scientist in the interesting field of defence technology.

This article was first published in SMU Career Guide 2022. Read the full publication here.