Co-development of Data Analytics Curriculum with Microsoft Learn

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Teo Miow Ting.JPG


Hi everyone, thank you for reading the blog. I am Miow Ting, a passionate and experienced educator who specialises in data visualisation, data analytics, Fintech solutioning, and software development. I am the Course Manager of the Diploma in Business Intelligence & Analytics (DBA) in Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore. Currently, I am leading the DBA curriculum team in restructuring the existing subject-based curriculum into a competency-based curriculum in partnership with technology leaders.


The Innovative Polytechnic – Nanyang Polytechnic

Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) was established as an institution of higher learning in 1992. The 6 schools in NYP offer quality education and training through more than 35 full-time diploma courses and common entry programmes. NYP also has a full suite of continuing education and training options for lifelong learning, ranging from specialist and advanced diplomas, to Skills Future modules and courses.



In 2020, NYP launched the NYP Professional Competency Model (NYP-PCM). This new teaching model fundamentally reimagined and transformed poly education. It is an agile model for holistic education and training structured around workplace competencies, instead of teaching based on subjects. 

Co-created with industry leaders, the NYP-PCM is the first-of-its-kind in Singapore. It was first introduced in NYP's Diploma in Business Intelligence & Analytics (DBA) for the Academic Year (AY) 2021. From AY 2022, the various NYP diplomas will progressively adopt the NYP-PCM. The NYP-PCM is an agile model that can respond quickly to industry’s dynamic needs and enables our students to develop competencies for work and life more effectively. 


What's Unique About Professional Competency Model?

Integrated Learning

Agile Response

Industry Co-development

Professional Accreditation

The new teaching model enables multiple disciplines needed for a competency to be taught in a seamless and integrated manner in what we call as a  “Competency Unit” (CmU) so that learning is more effective. This model is agile as new CmUs can be added in response to technological advancements and industry needs. When industry needs change, the CmUs can also be updated quickly. A key differentiator of the PCM is that curriculum and courseware from top companies can be incorporated directly via CmUs into our programmes. This enables students to acquire industry competencies while enhancing opportunities for industry practitioners to co-teach some of the CmUs alongside NYP’s lecturers. Students under this model will graduate with additional industry certifications, as an integral part of their diploma curriculum, that can help kickstart their career. This will ensure that our graduates will be able to stay abreast of new changes and be ahead of the curve.


Course Structure of Diploma in Business Intelligence & Analytics (DBA)

The DBA programme consists of:

  • 33 Competency Units – Within each transdisciplinary Competency Unit, skills and knowledge from different disciplines are integrated and taught holistically.  This enables the students to acquire competency for specific work-tasks.
  • Four Competency Canvases – A Canvas help students to synthesized competencies gained from related CmUs together with a Work-Integration-Unit which is a workplace contextualized project so that the students develop competencies to a higher level to execute complex task. Students select four Competency Canvases as part of the programme requirement.
  • One Final Year Project (FYP)
  • One Internship Placement (ITP)
  • 10 General Studies Modules (GSMs) – these modules give you exposure to other areas of interest and allow you to go beyond your chosen area of specialisation.

On completion of the programme, the various competencies that the student developed will constitute the nine course competencies that will place graduates in good stead for work and life.


Integration of Microsoft Learn and DBA Curriculum

Both Microsoft and NYP agreed to co-certify students for the Visual Analytics Canvas in DBA. The Visual Analytics Canvas comprised 4 Competency Units (CmUs) and 1 Work-Integration-Unit (WIU). Microsoft Learn curriculum content will be incorporated into the CmU on Data Visualisation and the WIU on Visual Analytics Project, leading to the Microsoft certification in Data Analyst Associate. Students will synthesize their skills and knowledge they have learnt from the various CmUs in the Visual Analytics Project. All students are required to take Microsoft Exam DA-100: Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI as one of their assessment for the DBA programme.



Upon completion of the Visual Analytics canvas and passing of Exam DA-100, students will be awarded with the co-certification (Certificate in Visual Analytics) and e-badge of Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate. The students will have the competencies in performing data preparation, aggregation and mining to generate insights from raw business data. They will also be competent in presenting insights through real‐time dashboards for visualisation that address business imperatives and needs to support decision making for business purpose.


Another partnership with Microsoft that I am happy to share is the introduction of Microsoft’s Azure Fundamentals curriculum to all students in NYP School of Information Technology (SIT). This programme enabled my students to develop fundamental skills in cloud computing and in the process, enhanced their competencies in cloud platform services. This enhanced the students’ knowledge of cloud services, which is vital to today’s IT professionals.  SIT students and staff had signed up and were awarded the certification that is widely recognised by the IT industry.


Moving Forward

Partnership between NYP and technology and industry leaders are crucial to the holistic development of students that will prepare them well to meet industry expectations and needs. Driven by my strong desire to bring real-life challenges to the classroom, I continually seek out opportunities for collaboration and co-development of my students with technology and industry leaders. I am grateful that Microsoft recognised my zeal in developing today’s students into tomorrow’s IT professionals. Microsoft have been extremely supportive of my efforts.


I am very grateful for the support and trust given by Microsoft and especially their substantial contributions, such as curriculum and courseware, to the development of DBA curriculum. Microsoft involvement and contribution to the curriculum further assured our students that they would develop in-trend skills and become valued professionals in the dynamic IT industry.


I hope to further deepen collaborations with Microsoft and enlarge opportunities in curriculum integration, co-development, co-teaching, co-mentoring and co-certification in the future, not just for DBA but also other diplomas.

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