Meet Suraj Murthy From IBM India

A seasoned IT professional, Suraj Murthy wants to transition from data warehousing concepts and business analytics into new generation technologies like AI, Data Science and Machine Learning. With 17 years of experience, he felt this to be the right time for him to upskill in data science and machine learning to lap big opportunities.

In this interview, let’s see what data science trends he is most excited about and how his 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?

Suraj: I am part of the Global Certificate in Data Science (GCD) program, January 2020 batch. I am currently working in IBM India as Delivery Project Executive. 

My core responsibilities include client management, stakeholder/vendor management, and delivery and production team management. I also oversee contractual cost and IBM resources, and support Project Executive in identifying growth opportunities.      

Question 2: Walk us through your career journey & what got you interested in Data Science & Machine Learning?

Suraj: I have 17 Years of experience in the IT Industry. My core skills and competencies are in IT service delivery management, client service management and account delivery management. 

I started my career in Accenture and then moved on to work in companies like E5 Systems India, Infosys Technologies, Mphasis an HP Company. Currently, I am working as a Delivery Project Executive in IBM Cloud (IBM Services for  Managed Applications).  

When I was working in Mphasis I had an opportunity to work on COGNOS, COGNOS Report Studio and Framework Manager for a brief period. However, I could not pursue more on this opportunity and I joined IBM.

From that time onwards I always wanted to keep in touch with Data Warehousing concepts and business analytics. In IBM I had access to a vast knowledge base and I kept myself updated by doing ACCLAIM badges on Cloud, AI, Data Science Foundation, Agile, Hadoop, Big Data, Cognitive & Block chain Essentials.

Technology has changed & evolved from the days of Data Warehousing and now to Cloud, AI, Data Science and Machine Learning. Although I am from a non coding background, I really want to adapt and put my 17 years of experience in the field of Data Science and Machine Learning. 

This is the reason I joined INSAID so that I can learn Data Science and Machine Learning concepts & subjects in a streamlined manner.

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?

Suraj: I am a bit comfortable in Python, Numpy & Pandas, Logistic Regression and Random Forest. However, I have not entirely mastered it. With my current job responsibilities, I am trying my best to revise the subjects as many times as possible. Also, the topics covered are very vast and I feel it will take sometime to sink in.

Question 4: What were some of the initial challenges when you got started on your Data Science journey and how did you overcome it?

Suraj: I assumed before start of the program that coding is going to be a challenging part. However, the teaching approach taken by the instructors at INSAID really fueled my confidence. The major part in Data Science and Machine Learning is going to be understanding Python as a tool and learning Python is easy. 

Also not everyone is going to be an expert in Data Science and Machine Learning as the subject is vast and unlimited. We have to choose and focus on EDA, projects, communication skills, understanding business requirements, etc. and not jump straight to creating models.

Question 5: Who is your favorite faculty at INSAID and what did you learn from him the Most?

Suraj: For the Feb 2020 cohort, all the faculties so far have been excellent. Suchit, Deepesh and Lavi are outstanding teachers. Deepesh has the most impact on me as I really liked his teaching technique. In fact, I started to use the same methodology in my work and also while teaching my kids.

His teaching is simple. And, since he came from a Mechanical Engineering field as well, he made me believe more in myself that a person from a non-coding background can have a successful career in this field. 

Question 6: What is the goal of Data Science?

Suraj: Different companies, entities, organizations have varied objectives and goals. They want to use Data Science for business profits. But the Ultimate goal, as per my view, of Data Science is how this field can help in safeguarding our environment, wildlife, control pollution, for the betterment of all living beings on this earth without being used for negative purposes.

Question 7: In your view, how has Data Science evolved in the last few years?

Suraj: In my view, Data Science has evolved tremendously over the past few years with technological breakthroughs in the field of virtualization, cloud, and mobile technology.

With so much data being generated, it has become even more important for companies to save the data and put it for use. Technology has scaled up so much that real time data analysis can be performed to make business decisions. 

Data Science has made a major impact across industries and in the daily lives of common people. However, the downside of Data Science should be made aware and controlled by bringing in global policies. And similarly, AI Bias needs to be controlled by bringing in proper policies.

Question 8: What are the current trends in Data Science that you are most excited about?

Suraj: The current trend in Data Science I am interested & excited about is how multiple modules and packages have been created in a short period. For example: Rapids , Dask , AutoML , PyCaret , GPT3 etc are all making real time analysis of data possible and bringing in a lot of advancement. 

Question 9: Which are some of the blogs that you follow?

Suraj: I have just started and trying to make it a habit to follow as the subject is vast. I follow Medium and Towards Data Science

Question 10: What is your advice to anyone wanting to start a career in Data Science?

Suraj: My advice would be to keep an open mind and have patience. It will take time and effort to learn DS, ML and AI, especially if you are a non-coder. Practice as much as possible and never hesitate to make mistakes. Instead of studying DS from YouTube, it’s always better to opt for a formal course in a premier institute like INSAID or PG course through a good university. 

This was a conversation with one of our GCD students – Suraj Krishna Murthy. 

For more interesting student interviews, check out INSAID Spotlight.

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