As a quality assurance team lead, Avinash Kumar has been working with automation for a significant period of time. The predictive power of automation along with the efficiency of recommendation systems in day-to-day applications augmented his interest for data science and machine learning. Wanting to know more about it, he looked up data science in India and quickly enrolled for the Global Certificate in Data Science (GCD) program at INSAID.
In this interview let’s see his take on the evolution and impact of data science and how his data science has been at INSAID.
Question 1: Which program & batch are you part of at INSAID & tell us more about your current work profile?
Avinash: I am part of the Global Certificate in Data Science (GCD), January 2020 batch. Currently, I am working as a quality assurance team lead in the investment banking domain in TCS. We have all testing activities in the automation space. My job is to deliver quality products to end users, manage the automation team of 60 members and oversee all the testing activities.
Question 2: Walk us through your career journey & what got you interested in Data Science & Machine Learning?
Avinash: My career started in 2011 as a tester in retail banking. And since then I am part of the quality assurance team in various banking domains. Then I scaled to become a test analyst and automation test engineer. And, right now, I am a quality assurance lead.
I remember two to three years after starting my career, I started doing estimations as to how much time a testing will take or what can be the use case of an existing test case. But we used completely data driven models to draw those estimations. And that got me interested in data science.
Other than that, we have also seen the Midas touch of data science in various scenarios across diverse industries. For example the simple prediction of prices on Ola or Uber, then we also have recommendation systems used in almost all OTT platforms and social media. And, these things constantly made me wonder, I got more drawn to data science and finally decided to take up a formal course on data science in India.
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?
Avinash: I am still learning but I am just loving working on Python and its various libraries like Numpy and Pandas. You can do so many things on your data using these libraries. I just really love these two packages.
And of course, we have Pandas Profiling, which is very helpful in EDA; for the analysis of data and seeing what is wrong with it. By using the package, you can just preprocess the data and get a full stack view where you can create graphs and visualize every part of it.
I have also learnt Scikit-Learn which is again an excellent package for the ML modeling. It really helps you to run almost any model and I just love it. Apart from that, I have tried my hands on Streamlit where you can just bring your model to the users, build an interactive dashboard allowing the user to select from the choices and observe how the data is collected, processed and analyzed.
So these are the tools that I learned so far in my training in data science in India and I am really happy although I have to learn a lot more.
Question 4: What were some of the initial challenges when you got started on your Data Science journey and how did you overcome it?
Avinash: Coding has always been challenging for me in my formal course in data science in India. It is because I come from a non-programming background. But as we started gradually, with Python, I started feeling confident. And now at least I feel good about coding.
I still have to go a long way with Python. But it’s a great language to learn because it is comparatively easier than the programming languages like Java, etc. Python is easy to understand and write code in. So, gradually, I am feeling confident about it.
Question 5: Who is your favorite faculty at INSAID and what did you learn from him the Most?
Avinash: My favorite faculties at INSAID are Lavi Nigam and Deepesh Wadhwani. Both of them have a lot of patience, explain really well, and answer all our doubts. They do not hurry while teaching us and explain everything at a pace that we can understand and grasp.
Question 6: What is the goal of Data Science?
Avinash: The scope of data science in India is no less than an ocean. The goal of data science is to analyze data to understand business problems and provide insights and also build models to offer solutions.
Question 7: What are the current trends in Data Science that you are most excited about?
Avinash: Among the current trends in data science in India, I am most excited about the huge volumes of data produced right now. In fact in a recent survey it has been pointed out that more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are getting produced every moment.
Maybe in the near future, 1.7 megabytes of data will get produced every second for every person on this planet. And this enormous data production is beneficial as it brings a lot of opportunities to be used by businesses or for research.
The second thing that I am most excited about is the advancement of Python. In the last few years, Python has developed really well to be used in the design space and is still in number one position. It’s really moving fast and it will prove to be an even greater advantage for data science and even Bid Data in the future.
And since in data science we deal with a lot of structured and unstructured data, it will save a lot of processing time.
The advancement of cloud computing is also something that I am looking forward to amongst the latest trends in data science in India. It allows data centers to virtually access any data from anywhere around the world without limiting processing power and storage capacity.
So, I think it’s pretty beneficial for data science as in DS we have to deal with large volumes of data and it’s not easy provided we also have different sources of datasets. Companies like Microsoft and Google are going far and beyond in this technology right now.
And of course there are a plethora of other developments going on in the field of data science that we could not have even imagined a few years back. I am eagerly waiting for all of them to unravel.
Question 8: Which are some of the blogs that you follow?
Question 9: What is your advice to anyone wanting to start a career in Data Science?
Avinash: I would say that it is one of the most interesting and promising field of careers. Data science in India directly impacts business decisions. There’s a lot of scope in this field. Most companies are now focusing on hiring data scientists or data science specialists as there’s already a lot of data available. So, start your data science journey as soon as possible.
This was a conversation with one of our GCD students – Avinash Kumar.
For more interesting student interviews, visit INSAID Spotlight.