At INSAID, we create accomplished and empowered Data Leaders. We groom our students to dominate the world of Data Science and AI and reshape their future. We value what our students bring to the table. We share their vision and support them during their journey and ensure that they carve a niche for themselves.
We’re proud to have tutored exceptional students all across India. Today, one such exceptional student, Jigna Thacker stands in the spotlight.
Student Name: Jigna Thacker
Current Organization: Kantar Worldpanel Division
Batch: GCD – April 2019
Total years of experience: 18 years
Malvika: Hi Jigna, before we begin, could you tell us more about your current work profile and your career trajectory so far?
Jigna: I’m currently associated with a leading market research company Kantar, which is jointly owned by Bain Capital & WPP.
As a company, we are dealing with various databases including structured and unstructured data, putting effort into data, identifying patterns related to what is data and insights are part of our responsibilities.
And then we help our clients in various areas like market trends, geographic and demographic understanding, backgrounds, promotion, performance, etc.
We have various MNCs and national clients like Unilever, P&G, Colgate and so on. My current role is Group Director Analysis for the World Panel division at Kantar.
My division offers marketers and consumer insights in the FMCG space and I lead currently the team of the Data Analysis and looking after the analysis needs on new strategies and initiatives of the company.
And I’m also nominated as India’s Ambassador for Global Consumer Dashboard. My job profile involves dealing with the balancing of project management and people management.
As a success, I completed the three-year Global Leadership Program of Kantar which is called Rising Leaders and it was basically an Asia based program that I finished in 2019.
Malvika: What got you interested in Data Science & Machine Learning?
Jigna: When I got the admission in statistics (I have a Double Masters – Masters in statistics and Masters in Population Science) I was very keen on it.
My first job was that of an Analyst and I started doing the deep dive of the data and figuring out the insights from the data.
10 years ago. I heard about ML as a very new subject not recognized in India at that point of time. Then, 3-4 years back I started attending some webinars but because of my global training and traveling along with the work pressure, I was a little pre-occupied.
Malvika: What are some of the initial challenges you faced when you got started on your Data Science journey and how did you overcome it?
Jigna: See, according to me, Data Science is more encouraging than challenging.
If you really want to understand the challenge for me the challenge was to be on the right pace and right guidance.
I was fortunate enough to come across INSAID with its detailed curriculum, faculties, experts and especially Career Launchpad. It’s a really awesome program and very important to get to know how to position yourself as a Data Scientist. I wasn’t at all aware about GitHub or Kaggle and this platform really helped me.
In terms of data, logic or statistics I faced no challenge at all.
Malvika: Crafting a great Data Science resume is a critical part of getting shortlisted for Data Science roles. Tell us some ways in which you have improved your resume as part of Data Science Career Launchpad.
Jigna: The Data Science Career Launchpad is an amazing program and it was very systematic and all small points are covered in the program.
So personally, it was very helpful for me to shape my LinkedIn profile and resume so far I’m still working on my Kaggle and GitHub because this is something where I have to put my actual projects.
And according to my company’s policy, I cannot share all my projects. But if you ask me, the conceptualization of the Launchpad is really great and it’s really giving us better insight to learn how to showcase our work, how to mirror what we are doing, and we don’t have to say anything about us; all our work will talk.
Malvika: At INSAID, students are encouraged to build high-quality GitHub profiles. Have you built a GitHub portfolio and how do you think this will help you?
Jigna: So far I just have my EDA project on my GitHub profile.
I cannot say that my GitHub profile is well-shaped up. I have a huge experience in data analysis but I don’t have that right to put it into a public forum. With a bit of time, I might be able to put more but that being said, the session was very structured for anyone willing to start with Kaggle and GitHub.
Malvika: What is the goal of Data Science? In your view, how has Data Science evolved in the last few years?
Jigna: According to my understanding, Data Science can help businesses to scale in the right direction.
The goal will also be to ensure the correct way of using available information which will benefit businesses to grow in all possible ways.
The evolution of this field started with statistics. And it’ evolved to include different areas like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and more and more internet platforms. So now the volume of data is increasing exponentially nowadays.
Malvika: What are the current trends in Data Science that you are most excited about?
Jigna: Let’s see. We all are talking about how the future is automation across domains.
So firstly I’m very keen to look towards the possibility of evolution of Home Help- Robotics/domestic help. I’m really excited about what is happening in the future; other than that all these trends like Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning ensuring that machines learn the way humans want them to is actually very engaging.
Malvika: Which are some of the blogs that you read? Which are the top two Data Science & AI influencers you follow?
Jigna: I really read quite a few blogs like Medium, Quora, Analytics Vidhya, and even the INSAID blog and I also follow your YouTube channel.
Then towardsdatascience and KDNuggets are also great platforms to gain knowledge.
Malvika: INSAID’s mission is to Groom Data Leaders of tomorrow. What do you understand by a Data Leader? And how is a Data Leader different from a Data Scientist?
Jigna: Data Scientists focus on reading the data and identifying what is the information and what can be done with it.
Whereas a Data Leader will tell you what to do, how to do it and the most important why are we doing something.
So if some Data Scientist having a deep understanding of the meaning of data, and can identify the insights from the data and later can convert it into a story; he is on the path to becoming a Data Leader.
Malvika: How has your journey with INSAID been so far? Do you have any comments on how the curriculum has been structured, the faculty and the support team?
Jigna: I want to honestly praise both the INSAID curriculum and the way the classes are conducted.
The Academics Team provides prompt support both on emails and texts.
We get additional benefits like Fireside chat and Career Launchpad which is something unique that I don’t think other institutes are doing. And last but not least, I want to sincerely thank Suchit and Deepesh for making all the effort to get bolster my career as a Data Scientist.
Malvika: Thank you for your time, Jigna. All the best for your future!