Zindi’s talent search offering fuels data science skills

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 20 Dec 2023
As new markets emerge, there has been a growing demand for data science skills in Africa.
As new markets emerge, there has been a growing demand for data science skills in Africa.

Zindi, the online network of professional data science talent, says it has garnered over 70 000 data practitioners who have registered on the platform since inception.

Zindi was established in 2018, with the aim of making data science and artificial intelligence (AI) skills accessible to companies on the African continent.

The platform helps data practitioners of all levels access tutorials and mentors to build their skills and virtually participate in data science competitions – aimed to help solve the world’s most pressing challenges using machine learning and AI.

Data practitioners registered on the platform include data analysts, developers, AI specialists, machine learning engineers, data scientists, technical product managers, and many other job titles.

In a written interview with ITWeb, Paul Kennedy, chief of staff at Zindi Africa, highlights the milestones achieved by Zindi in 2023, noting the platform has seen huge growth, amid increased demand for data science skills among African enterprises.

This year, the platform introduced the Zindi Talent Search on its website, a recruitment portal, which matches companies and organisations with its global network of data practitioners registered on the platform.

“I can confirm that we've provided access to our Zindi Talent Search product to more than 50 organisations looking for data talent in the last few months.

“We've also spent the second half of the year helping clients and friends of Zindi find the talent they need as we refine the product offering for the African market. Our goal is to be the go-to source for data talent on the African continent, by showcasing the amazing talent already demonstrating practical skills of data practitioners on our platform,” explains Kennedy.

Zindi Talent Search consists of a talent database where recruiters can search for their required talent, whether they need engineers, analysts or product managers.

According to Zindi, over the last few years Africa has witnessed a growing need for data science skills.

This increase is attributed to a growing desire by enterprises to not only seek to better use the data they already have, but also as a means to gather and process new data, as new markets emerge and technology opens the door to new possibilities in the field.

As the demand for data scientists grows globally, a shortage of talent continues to exists in Africa.

According to Nvidia’s “State of AI in financial services: 2023 trends” report, hiring and retaining data scientists is among the top challenges faced by the financial services sector, as companies seek to deploy AI-enabled applications.

The growing talent demand has seen Zindi introduce several platform improvements this year, adds Kennedy.

“We introduced Zindi Verified, to help highlight ‘Zindians’ who are working hard on their profiles and their careers. This was the first step towards getting more data practitioners hired,” he points out.

“We also introduced a wide array of profile changes, intended to better showcase their skills as well their achievements and contributions on the platform. Next year, we will introduce some AI-powered profile assistance, as well as new ways to improve career growth on the platform.”