With over ten years of experience in both managerial and technical roles, Padmapriya Manoharan was intrigued by the technological combo of data science and AI. Wanting to know more about it and become skillful in it, she enrolled for the Global Certificate in Data Science & AI (GCDAI) program at INSAID.
In this interview lets see what she has to say about the evolution of data science and how her learning experience has been at INSAID.
Question 1: Which program & batch are you part of at INSAID & tell us more about your current work profile?
Padmapriya: I am part of the Global Certificate in Data Science & AI (GCDAI) program, January 2020 batch. Currently I am on a career break for a year. I have a work experience of 10.5 years and I worked as a business analyst in the telecom sector. I handled some of the applications like partner management systems, workflow management system, business services notification management system and document management system.
Question 2: Walk us through your career journey & what got you interested in Data Science & Machine Learning?
Padmapriya: I started my career as a Document Manager managing all documents related to project delivery. I was the support team lead for a Tata Sky Project and handled tickets and escalation issues. Post that I went into the development side and worked on Siebel technology. I got to learn about how Siebel configurations work and its services, Siebel product management, Excel Macros and some basics on integration.
After that I joined TCS as a business analyst and handled multiple applications like dealer management system, workflow or workforce management system, business services and notification management system and an exclusive application for document management system.
I have always been fond of analyzing data and getting insights from them. So from my current management role in TCS, I wanted to transition back to a technical role. And I found data science and machine learning clubbed with AI are the next generation technologies which I think everyone, including me should be aware of. So, I went for a formal course in it at INSAID.
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?
Padmapriya: Since I am learning data science and machine learning for the first time, I cannot actually say that I have mastered something. But I can very well say that I am on a learning curve and I am very much aware of some of the basic technologies that every data scientist should be knowing, like Python, some basics of statistics, and tools like Tableau. I found Python pretty interesting as I learned coding a few years back and right now I am confident in it. I worked on Jupyter Notebook recently and tried my hands in Streamlit, Py Carrot.
Question 4: What were some of the initial challenges when you got started on your Data Science journey and how did you overcome it?
Padmapriya: My initial challenge was that I was not able to understand everything right away in the class. I had to go through the study materials more than ones to understand the concept better. But it was time consuming. So I was not able to continue with the flow of the classes and got delayed in completing projects and exercises.
I also faced challenges in understanding what are the variations and different techniques that we have and the different functions in the new libraries. But slowly I worked on it. I went through multiple blogs and articles, and scrolled through some of my friends’ projects just to see how they completed it, etc.
Question 5: Who is your favorite faculty at INSAID and what did you learn from him the Most?
Padmapriya: I feel that everyone has their own unique teaching methodology and knowledge, and every faculty is really good. But I feel the most outstanding teachers at INSAID are Suchit, Deepesh and Lavi. And each of them are unique in their own way.
Suchit explains and makes us think in different angles for the same problem. Deepesh explains very simply with pen and paper and that helps in remembering things after class and stays in your mind even without revising.
Lavi is really very knowledgeable. In the two hours of sessions he intends to offer as much teaching as possible. He told us about the blogs to follow and helped us with steps to tackle a certain problem. He shares a lot of insights which is really helpful. I just wish I had the time to go through all of them as I have a child to take care of as well.
Question 6: What is the goal of Data Science?
Padmapriya: The goal of data science is to extract insights from the given data, understand how information and value flows into a business to identify opportunities and improve business processes.
Question 7: In your view, how has Data Science evolved in the last few years?
Padmapriya: It’s fascinating to think that we are actually dealing with data in our daily lives and we are not even aware of it. Right from using Google Maps to take shorter routes to watching videos and posts on Facebook to shopping on any e-commerce platforms like Flipkart, we are using technologies equipped with data science and AI applications everyday.
And it is amazing how we get recommendations based on the things we buy or view online. So, if we talk about the evolution of data science, then I must say it has evolved a lot. A few years back we couldn’t imagine such experiences in our life, that we will get recommendations and even our data on the minutest of preferences are being stored and analyzed to propel marketing and sales.
Question 8: What are the current trends in Data Science that you are most excited about?
Padmapriya: I am very excited about the recommendation systems used in social media or e-commerce platforms like Facebook and Flipkart. And in one of the videos I also saw a smart projector named Hachi which is a mix of data science and AI technology through which you can turn any flat surface into an Android touchscreen. So these are the latest innovations in data science and AI that I am most thrilled about at present. And I am sure more such innovations are getting developed each day and that’s why I so want to be a part of this journey.
Question 9: Which are some of the blogs that you follow?
Padmapriya: Okay, some blog. So whatever the links that are shared by the INSAID team, I try to go through them apart from that I frequently visit Medium. And if at all I don’t know any concept I look up videos and tutorials on YouTube.
Question 10: What is your advice to anyone wanting to start a career in Data Science?
Padmapriya: Eventually data science is going to become a must knowledge for every professional irrespective of the sector and job role. So I would like to advise everyone to start your data science journey whenever you get time because this is going to be a necessity in the future not just across industries but in our lives.
This was a conversation with one of our GCDAI students – Padmapriya Manoharan.
For more such interesting student interviews, check out INSAID Spotlight.