Hello, Caleb!

Caleb is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Eskwelabs. He has previously worked as data journalist for the NZ Herald, breaking data-driven stories on political donations, controversial investments, and disparity in educational achievement. Caleb was awarded media industry prizes for Innovation in Storytelling and runner-up Business Journalist of the Year.

As the first Data Science hire at Westpac New Zealand, Caleb developed the bank’s data science capabilities by adopting and evangelising new technologies, leading training and productionising real-world predictive models. Prior to Eskwelabs, Caleb founded an AI construction-tech start-up in Singapore, with projects across Guangzhou, Shanghai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and London.

Q&A Time!

What will you be building at Eskwelabs and what are you the most excited about that Eskwelabs could achieve?

We want to use technology to support all of our students’ learning journeys. We’ve already launched a new Learning Management System for the Data Science Cohort IV and are now rolling this out to students in our Aral-Aral and BI Skills courses. These foundations let us apply the science we teach – to measure, iterate and learn – to the way we teach.

Eskwelabs is working towards developing tools which intelligently adapt to support different learning experiences and offer up a multi-modal buffet of educational resources.

Tell us about your previous experience being a Machine Learning Instructor for Eskwelabs? What memories stood out for you?

I thoroughly enjoyed teaching ML to Cohort I. It was a definite privilege seeing fellows master concepts for the first time in the Warehouse Eight, and still have the barong kindly gifted to me! It’s great to see familiar faces in the broader Eskwelabs community – please keep in touch!

Technology has a big role to play in supporting teaching and learning, and the current Covid-19 pandemic has put online learning in the spotlight again. To what extent do you think technology can “change the game” for learning?

Technology has the ability to measure and personalise learning experiences. We can help provide extension resources for the topics in which students excel and support where some topics may be a little more difficult. With the right platform and analytical tools in place, we can personalise learning playlists to best suit a student’s needs.

As not all students learn the same way and technology can be used to deliver more dynamic content – catering to different learning styles. This may be interactive visualisations, panel discussions, or creation-based exercises to supplement instructor-led classes. We can measure and adapt to learning preferences helping students learn in the best way that suits them.

Caleb, you previously built a startup with Entrepreneur First and you were a data scientist before that. Any tips for aspiring data scientists who want to become entrepreneurs?

There are still many areas ripe for disruption. My previous startup utilised Natural Language Processing to analyse and prioritise construction project defect reports across Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Kuala Lumpur and London – data which was previously untapped.

There are many data sources with hidden insights for enterprising data scientists to unlock.

Exploratory Data Analysis is an essential skill to interrogate data – and asking interesting questions of your data could well lead you to the next billion dollar idea.