A pro in chemical engineering, Neha Kaushal has been trying different waters through her extensive and rich freelance expeditions. But when she got to know about data science, she wanted to know about data science from scratch and couldn’t help but enroll in the Global Certificate in Data Science & AI (GCDAI) program at INSAID.
In this interview, let’s see what interests her about data science the most and how she plans to apply her learnings in the future.
Question 1: Which program & batch are you part of at INSAID & tell us more about your current work profile?
Neha: I am part of the Global Certificate in Data Science (GCDAI) program, January 2020 batch. Right now I’m working as a trainer with Vita Junior, which is a freelance job, where I train students online on computer languages from all over the world. I worked as an application development engineer at KLA in my last full time job.
As an application development engineer, I worked on the applications of scanning electron microscopy to find defective chips and the sources of those defects for customers like Intel, Samsung, TSMC, and Micron Technology. I also supported various customer sites in China for more than a year and improved tool performance by optimizing tool usage and troubleshooting tool issues.
Question 2: Walk us through your career journey & what got you interested in Data Science & Machine Learning?
Neha: I first worked at Check Corporation for four months as a freelance subject matter expert in chemical engineering. And then I joined KLA as an application development engineer. I worked there for around three years and visited many customer sites in China to improve businesses by optimizing tools, their utility and troubleshooting tools and customer issues.
In the meantime, I started following data science. After some research, I found INSAID. By learning at INSAID, my interest in data science grew more and I started looking for opportunities within the company I was employed in at that time.
But as there were no such scope available, I left early in September 2020 and started working at Vita Junior as a freelance trainer. Now, I want to learn data science from scratch as I am looking for a full-time opportunity in data science, preferably in full commodity and education tech industries.
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?
Neha: I believe I have mastered Tableau, and Pandas, NumPy and Matplotlib packages in Python for data analysis and visualization. Although I knew Scikit-Learn before joining INSAID, when I started doing more projects, I realized that I still have a lot more to learn to master it completely. So the next thing that I need to learn is Scikit-Learn and some other libraries and tools like Seaborne, Matplotlib, and AI libraries like TensorFlow and Keras.
Question 4: What were some of the initial challenges when you got started on your Data Science journey and how did you overcome it?
Neha: Learning data science from scratch has not been easy. The most challenging thing was to combine stats and programming together. I understood the concepts on statistics and Python commands and libraries individually.
But in terms of their application in real projects, it’s important to understand the particular statistical technique required to solve the problem, and then how to write it in Python.
At one point, I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it. But I overcame it by going through the INSAID’s Starter Kits and Colab Notebook repeatedly, and paid attention to the thought process behind each byte including the notebooks.
Also, I started practicing data science projects, as suggested by the instructors and that helped me develop the thought process needed to overcome these challenges and complete all my projects.
Question 5: Who is your favorite faculty at INSAID and what did you learn from him the Most?
Neha: Suchit is my favorite faculty at INSAID. He patiently resolved all queries and showed relatable examples. I have learned a lot from him like the process of developing algorithms, practicing data structures and Seaborne libraries, data analysis skills and more. He also encouraged me to follow multiple blogs so that I can grasp ideas and concepts better and quicker. The best thing he taught me is to try and fail repeatedly to achieve success.
Question 6: What is the goal of Data Science?
Neha: To me, data science is an exciting field as it is completely based on facts. Data Science is the most essential skill today across all industries. By learning data science, a lot of opportunities might open up for me where I can showcase the skills I have acquired by working on various projects. I also plan to open a food service and use data analysis to understand patterns in demand of the products and improve sales.
Question 7: In your view, how has Data Science evolved in the last few years?
Neha: In 2001, William Cleveland said, “An action plan to enlarge the technical areas of statistics focuses on the data analyst”. And, because the plan is ambitious and implies substantial change, the altered field will be called Data Science. Since then, there has been numerous journals on data science and it has evolved in various fields, mostly in retail, customer service, construction, manufacturing and development.
I have been following the food industry for quite some time now and data analysis comes in the picture right from food cultivation and processing to soil and environmental estimations, and predict the amount and quality of future crop yield. Another interesting area is food product promotion, based on NLP algorithms.
Industries analyze customer sentiments and provide customers what they actually want. By tracking the timeline of order frequency, food industries even focus demand for a particular dish. Food giants like Swiggy and Zomato also work on personalizing customer service and faster delivery with the help of data science.
Question 8: What are the current trends in Data Science that you are most excited about?
Neha: First thing that makes me most excited is the increasing demand for data scientists in the market that gives a required boost to my learning. Coming to actual industrial trends, I’m excited about augmented analytics that is used in almost every field to reduce human errors and bias.
The improvement in product quality on the basis of sentiment analysis and personalized customer experience based on customer behavior data also intrigues me a lot. I also follow any information on the creative dashboard tools coming up in the market and the accurate predictions of demand of certain kinds of products for tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.
Question 9: Which are some of the blogs that you follow?
Neha: I follow Medium, which has articles on multiple topics, starting from basics of Python to upcoming AI applications. Next one is coding.blog. They have discussions on brilliant ways to implement data science ideas to create applications.
To keep myself updated with the latest information on data science and AI, I also follow What’s The Big Data. The Blue Blog is filled with hundreds of dashboards on various topics from all fields. It is a great blog for getting ideas for dashboard creation.
Question 10: What is your advice to anyone wanting to start a career in Data Science?
Neha: All the automations that look like magic are actually made possible by data science. It is as interesting as it sounds. Commitment and practice are the two core ingredients required to start learning data science from scratch to finally have a career in it. Research and choose a well-structured course like INSAID. Start learning basic tools and apply them on the data in your own domain. Practice more on hackathons and showcase your work on GitHub and LinkedIn. Data Science is the sexiest job of the 21st century and there is high demand in the market for talented data scientists.
This was a conversation with one of our GCDAI students – Neha Kaushal.
To discover more such interesting student interviews, go to INSAID Spotlight.