One of GSM London’s undergraduates, Milica Polovina – also known as Mia, has won a major award for students from the British Computing Society (BCS) for her dissertation on open data and the not-for-profit sector.
Mia worked in digital marketing and web design for several years before enrolling at GSM London to focus on her twin enthusiasms of Business and IT.
“Milica always impressed me with her natural curiosity,” says Tara McBride, Head of Digital Innovation and Creative Enterprise. “She came from an industry background so had a good understanding of the importance of both professional skills and achieving good outcomes.”
For the BCS Student Prize, Mia decided to focus on the not-for-profit sector which is often overlooked when talking about applications for open data. These are the large data sets that are produced mainly by governments and similar large bodies such as Transport for London and the Land Registry. This non-personal information is available for anyone to use and Mia’s interest was in how non-profit organisations – such as social enterprises and community and voluntary bodies – can benefit from access to this information and what challenges they might face in using it.
“I wanted to provide insight into the specific opportunities and challenges of using large data for this sector,” says Mia. She interviewed a social enterprise that uses open data to develop GIS-based online community mapping and reporting tools for Housing Associations and used them as her case study. She identified that one of the main challenges faced by such organisations is lack of resource – both inadequate IT systems and the shortage of data scientists who can manage such large quantities of information. “There is not much research in this area and I hope researchers and organisations will find it useful,” says Mia.
“It was a pleasure to assist Mia with her final year research project,” says Keith Brockbank, who supported Mia while she was researching and writing her dissertation. “She navigated her way through a significant piece of research with tenacity and skill, developing insight in the process.”
Mia will receive her certificate from BCS when she graduates from GSM London in November. One of the benefits of the prize is that Mia receives a year’s free membership of BCS and can therefore attend their programme of lectures and presentations. Currently she is studying for a postgraduate Masters in Data Science at City University.
“We are really proud to see Mia’s efforts recognised by an industry leader such as BCS,” says Tara. “She has studied hard and is a great example of what our students can achieve.”
Congratulations Mia! Once again we would like to express how proud we are of your achievements.