All Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) personnel have to take part in a yearly survey to assess their psychological readiness.
Miss Lin Liqin, 23, who has been under the psychology branch in the RSAF under the Air Power Generation Command for a year as a research assistant, felt there was a need to update the online and paper survey system.
So she suggested conducting the survey through a mobile app, which is now under trial.
Miss Lin got her start in identifying new opportunities with data at Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP), where she was enrolled in the business intelligence and analytics course.
The course, misconceived by many to be about business, focuses on information technology (IT).
Students are equipped with data analytic and visualisation skills that can help businesses solve problems and generate insights.
Miss Lin said: "In the business analytics and visualisation project module in Year 2, I learnt how to identify trends in car accidents from 2013 to 2014.
"The data records of the individual accidents were in an Excel sheet, and I placed them into different charts."
Results showed that black cars and white cars were more commonly involved in car accidents, and that there was a higher incidence of fatal accidents involving heavy vehicles.
The data can be used to help reduce such accidents, said Miss Lin.
Suggesting having an RSAF app was not the first time she applied what she had learnt in school to a real-life situation.
During her three-month internship with StarHub in 2014, she made a suggestion to her supervisor to use data available online to get feedback for the programmes StarHub provides.
Using the programming language Java, she extracted feedback from movie review websites to compare it with StarHub's own consumer data to better cater to their viewers' preferences.
NYP also trained Miss Lin in data processing programmes such as SAS, Microsoft Excel, SPSS and SAP Lumira.
These programmes are widely used in the industry, and they help to turn large amounts of data into clear and accessible visual forms.
Noting that the IT industry is constantly changing, Miss Lin said she has to be always ready to upgrade herself.
"Technology is changing rapidly, so we are encouraged to go on courses to keep our skill set relevant," she said.
"Some examples of courses include basic and advanced Excel. This is part of the training and development fund that Ministry of Defence personnel can tap on to upgrade ourselves every year."
This article was first published on Feb 15, 2017.
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