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Distant Analytics, But With the Effect of Presence

Navruz Karimov, a participant of the third CABAR.asia School of Analytics, shares his experience on the knowledge gained and talks about the trainers, participants, and the training program.


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Navruz Karimov, participant of the CABAR.asia School of Analytics 2020

The CABAR.asia School of Analytics in 2020 was held online. However, it will be remembered for how the organizers came close to creating the effect of live university lectures.

Participants

How was it possible to gather fifty completely different people from each other in hobbies, fields of activity and even attitudes towards politics and social networks, and at the same time create a platform for constructive discussion between them? After graduating from the School for Young Analysts, I ask myself this question, looking back at 6 intense days that passed for me in one breath.

In the same room (lectures were held at the Zoom site) there are marketers, political scientists, journalists, Doctor(s) of Science, bloggers, workers of international organizations, agricultural experts, lawyers, linguists, activists, designers and those whom I forgot to mention. However, despite the wide diversity of the participants, each asked question to the coaches with genuine interest and entered into lively discussions. And this was the very first lesson for me in this school – the more diverse the team is, the faster it solves the task. 

Trainers

The competence and professionalism of the coaches did not raise the slightest doubt in me. Due to the tight schedule, sessions started and ended on time. Usually 1 lesson took about one and a half to two hours, and the lecturers enthusiastically used every minute as efficiently as possible. Neither the trainers nor the participants had only one thing – time to fully immerse themselves in the material being studied. However, the lack of time has become a motivation for me to build personal contacts with professors and ask questions that interest me personally. 

For an analyst, among other things, it is important to be online and constantly get acquainted with experts from different fields, and to be in touch with them. 

Networking during such intellectual events often saves the researcher from having to spend time looking for knowledgeable people. By the way, these are the words of one of our lecturers, Lubica Pollakova, deputy director of one of the world’s oldest think tanks Chatham House.

Lectures

The funniest thing about the class is what happened 15 minutes before, during the 10-minute breaks from them, and within 15 after them. So, 15 minutes before the lectures, the participants showed unusual country presentations on Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan (no video inserts from YouTube, thanks to the organizers for this condition). 10-minute breaks between blocks were followed by national music hits and discussions about what these songs were associated with. And after classes, they remembered interesting, important, and funny facts about the already past day in the form of a quiz.

The lectures were divided into 6 thematic days:

Day 1: Introduction to analytics. On this day, I realized that CABAR.asia is much more than just a platform for publishing materials, where analysts have a large, friendly network throughout the CIS.

Day 2: Fundamentals of Analytics. The lecture on the choice of analytical tools turned out to be easy to learn, and when we started talking about the Delphi method, it turned out that working with experts is not so easy. However, most of all I remember the speech of Ivan Zuenko, who had easily explained the complex relationship between China and its own nation and other nations. I would listen to this lecture a few more times.

Day 3: Data collection and processing. No matter how much you do journalism and data, there are always tools that make your life easier at times that you had no idea about. This day reminded me of this again.

Day 4: Visualization of analytical materials. It is the same story with data visualization. There are dozens of tools and, it turns out, thousands of types of data visualization. 

Andrey Dorozhniy spent the whole day with us, explaining how data could tell a story more easily, but I still have a whole list of unasked questions for him on this topic. 

Day 5: Experience and practice of Western countries, international expertise. In fact, these lectures, on the contrary, showed that the best forecasts are made not by those who have endless financial and human resources at their disposal, but by those who choose the right analysis method. 

After practical classes with Roman Vakulchuk, self-confidence rises and, of course, a pessimistic view of probable events has been activated. Because the forecast is based not only on the expectation of the most likely events, but also those that are expected the least. This session definitely opened my eyes.

Day 6: How to write for CABAR? Packaging, promotion channels, personal branding. The closing day can be compared to the onset of ability to act. Ermek Baisalov, editor of analytical materials at CABAR.asia, showed how we should formalize the acquired knowledge into a finished product, and Jamilya Maricheva discussed with us how to promote the written materials on social networks.

In general, the school has set itself the task of equipping young people with the tools and knowledge without which they would be lost in the research world. The acquired knowledge of academic writing, data search and visualization are already being applied in my professional work. I hope that our relationship with CABAR.asia will not end up with the end of the training. On the first day, I realized that I would like to see my research published on the CABAR.asia platform.

Thank you to the incredible people who made the School of Young Analysts possible with undoubtedly hard efforts and the participants who will leave me with positive memories of that week for a long time.

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