An extremely focused and ambitious sales professional, Akriti Roy felt a deep blow when there was a sudden pay cut in her previous organization due to COVID-19. Deciding to upskill and push through the crisis, she enrolled for the Global Certificate in Data Science (GCD) program at INSAID.
In this interview, let’s see how she plans to implement her newly acquired data science skills and how her experience has been at INSAID.
Question 1: Which program & batch are you part of at INSAID & tell us more about your current work profile?
Akriti: I am part of the Global Certificate in Data Science (GCD) program, June 2020 batch. My current work profile is of an inside sales manager at AssureCare. It is a healthcare company in the USA based in Cincinnati, Ohio.
We provide electronic medical record solutions and hospital information management systems for hospitals and clinics all over India, Philippines, Middle East, Malaysia and the USA. Our systems are already implemented in the USA.
At Assure Care, I’m handling a team of two for the past three years. Before being in the healthcare domain, I was in the IT domain for two years and there I generated qualified leads and presented budgets. My basic job was to generate leads and pass it to the sales team.
Question 2: Walk us through your career journey & what got you interested in Data Science & Machine Learning?
Akriti: I started my career with Convergys where I worked as a technical support associate for the Microsoft process. But when the process got shifted to Bangalore from Pune I had to leave the job since I was not looking to move out of my city.
And as it was kind of a BPO, I, too, wanted to shift into a different job role and try something new. So, I joined Ziff Davis, a US based company in Pune.
I was the appointment generation executive there in which I used to generate leads through various healthcare campaigns across the USA, UK, Middle East, etc., and set up appointments between prospect and client. I was also promoted as a mentor in December 2018 but was only there for two months.
After that I wanted to try my hands in something I was interested in. I was looking for a proper nine to six day job and searched for openings in various IT companies. Then I got selected in OHUM Healthcare Solutions.
The company profile is the same as that of my current organization. They provide HRM and EMR in regions of the USA, Middle East, and South East Asia. I loved working at OHUM Healthcare Solutions as the company culture was really good. There, I got the opportunity to interact with more experienced and intellectual professionals.
But when the pandemic struck, there were salary cuts and no incentives were not given anymore. So despite not wanting to switch, I had to and I joined my current organization.
The sudden salary cut and the dire situation we all were in during the pandemic made me take up the data science course to upskill. I was looking to broaden my scope of skills and switch from sales so that I can get better employment options in the future and become the necessity to the company rather than just an option.
Question 3: What all tools and packages in Data Science & Machine Learning have you mastered in your Data Science & AI program at INSAID so far?
Akriti: I have a good command over Excel, Python, and Tableau. I am also confident in statistics. I practiced and revised Python programming a lot. However, I do struggle with Machine Learning algorithms. I am still learning as the program is still going on. But I am not very confident. I have some difficulties in logistic regression.
Question 4: What were some of the initial challenges when you got started on your Data Science journey and how did you overcome it?
Akriti: My initial challenge was my prolonged dilemma of whether to go for it or not as I am from a sales background and have never done programming. I only did a little bit of C++ in my +2 but I didn’t have any expertise in it.
And I thought that if it would be the right thing to do at all given my age. But I needed to do something to bring back the stability I previously had in my life. Then I saw that the GCD course at INSAID is only for six months and if I work hard, I will get a global certification in data science.
So I asked for advice from my friends who are already into data science and machine learning. I spoke to the alumni at INSAID and attended a seminar by Suchit. And, I was impressed that I am able to understand. He said that it will not be easy but if I practice I can make it. As I saw that it constitutes the basic concepts of math and statistics I got some confidence and took the risk.
Right now, I would not say that I am proficient enough to crack an interview because it will take me some time and I still have to improve myself in machine learning.
Question 5: Who is your favorite faculty at INSAID and what did you learn from him the Most?
Akriti: Undoubtedly till now, my favorite faculty is Suchit. We had the most classes with him. His interaction with students is excellent and the way he imparts data science lessons is just awesome. His explanations are quite practical and relatable. I learned from him the most. He inspired us to keep on learning no matter how difficult it is or even after the program ends as data science is ever-evolving.
Question 6: What is the goal of Data Science?
Akriti: Data science is simply the science of data. And right now we have data everywhere. So, from an organization’s point of view, data science is the means to extract effective and valuable information which will help organizations to optimize their overall processes and profitability, and also help in decision making through predictive analytics.
By using data science concepts and applications in sales itself we will not only be able to see the total leads generated and the deals closed in the first quarter but based on historical data will be able to predict our next quarter.
Question 7: In your view, how has Data Science evolved in the last few years?
Akriti: I passed my engineering in 2015. And that time, I was not aware of the term data scientist. We were aware of Java developers, software developers, but not data science or Python.
So in the past one to two years, companies understood that a data scientist can perform the combined tasks of a statistical thinker and a coder. Data science has of course evolved drastically over the years as earlier nobody even knew about it and right now we are learning it to upskill and have better careers.
Currently, we even see various advertisements on data science and machine learning courses through which all of us are getting to know about this field of career. And even these ads are data which are yet again accumulating data in regards to views, clicks, etc. And I feel that is simply amazing. Data science is an evolving field with the potential to pave the way for more innovation in the future.
Question 8: What are the current trends in Data Science that you are most excited about?
Akriti: One of the current trends in Data Science that I am excited about is the combined application of artificial intelligence and machine learning to self-teach machines. Machines, right now, are not just being equipped to perform a certain task on their own but also to rectify and learn from their mistakes. I think that’s a remarkable feat to achieve. Truly, scientific innovations have gone beyond the realms of human imagination.
Question 9: Which are some of the blogs that you follow?
Akriti: I follow only one blogger for data science and that is Krish Naik. He’s from India, Bangalore, and he is a data scientist and machine learning engineer. He has his own YouTube channel.
He explains everything in detail and uploads the latest data science trends. I really enjoy his content. I also follow his other channel that is Krish Naik Vlogs where he uploads interviews and experiences of multiple data scientists from various countries.
Question 10: What is your advice to anyone wanting to start a career in Data Science?
Akriti: I think anybody genuinely interested can pursue a data science career. However, the time and effort each one would require to become an expert depends upon one’s proficiency in math and programming. But in the end and beyond subject matter expertise, what matters the most is one’s diligence, undivided focus, regular practice and the will to achieve and succeed.
This was a conversation with one of our GCD students – Akriti Roy.
For more interesting student interviews, check out INSAID Spotlight.