For Swachhatowa Goswami, data and analytics are not anything overwhelming. It’s an integral part of her daily life and her job. But she wanted to have a deeper understanding of the subject, especially, machine learning. So, without waiting any further, she enrolled for the Global Certificate in Data Science & AI (GCDAI) program at INSAID.
In this interview, let’s see what’s her take on the future of data science and how she plans to apply her learnings at INSAID in her career.
Question 1: Which program & batch are you part of at INSAID & tell us more about your current work profile?
Swachhatowa: I am in the Global Certificate in Data Science & AI (GCDAI) program, November 2019 batch. Currently I’m working with Standard Chartered Research and Technology India Private Limited, in the data and analytics team. Here, my projects include mostly model building and model validation. Also, some of my projects are around providing data insights and visualization. I have worked on reporting as part of my current role as well.
Question 2: Walk us through your career journey & what got you interested in Data Science & Machine Learning?
Swachhatowa: I started my career with Northern Trust in 2011 at IRAs, Investment Risk and Analytical Services. Then in 2016, I moved to the data governance and analytics team in Northern Trust, where I got an exposure to work in data quality and ML projects.
In 2019, I joined Standard Chartered Research and Technology India Private Limited in the data and analytics team. Till now, I have experience in statistical model development, model validation and deployment. Also, I have got exposure working on data quality projects and providing data insights using various visualization tools.
My interest in data science and ML started back in 2014-15, when I was working on projects that involved data. I could totally understand how much power data has and how it can solve various business problems. And, from then onwards, I wanted to be a part of this journey of solving real life problems using data.
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?
Swachhatowa: I had a basic knowledge on Python, but I learnt more about it, like different Python packages and ML models, with the help of INSAID. Although I mostly have experience in finance, I learnt a lot about how ML is beneficial in other industries as well through the various industry specific ML sessions arranged here. And, I feel I can possibly incorporate some of these technologies and ideas in my industry as well. So, that’s something which I found to be really helpful.
Question 4: What were some of the initial challenges when you got started on your Data Science journey and how did you overcome it?
Swachhatowa: My initial challenges were with data infrastructure. Data is very important for building good models. That’s why getting the right data is so crucial. My previous experience in data quality projects helped me understand it.
Also, data processing is an important aspect in data science and the faculties at INSAID helped me get a better grasp of it. The sessions on data processing were very nicely organized and presented.
I have also observed that having an excellent model with no proper deployment structure would as well be a problem with ML models. So, from my current work experience, and from the sessions that I’ve attended at INSAID, I have got a good understanding on the deployment of ML models as well.
Question 5: Who is your favorite faculty at INSAID and what did you learn from him the Most?
Swachhatowa: All the sessions at INSAID were helpful and all faculties have presented the content in a very thorough and organized manner. I would like mentioning however, about Deepesh. He took the ML classes for our batch and I’m really happy with his way of teaching. He describes ML models conceptually, which is something I was looking for while joining INSAID.
Question 6: What is the goal of Data Science?
Swachhatowa: The goal of data science is to solve business problems more efficiently. Also, it helps businesses make better strategic decisions, increasing productivity and efficiency.
Question 7: In your view, how has Data Science evolved in the last few years?
Swachhatowa: Data science has come a long way and it’s not a new concept anymore. In some industries I’ve seen extensive use of machine learning for their businesses. They have set up ML teams and placed proper infrastructure for ML and AI models, deployment, training, etc.
However, if I have to say overall, I think every industry now does agree to the importance and benefits that ML and AI bring to their business. So if some of them have not yet started having their own team, they will soon be venturing into ML and AI solutions to grow their businesses.
Question 8: What are the current trends in Data Science that you are most excited about?
Swachhatowa: Out of the several current trends in data science, the one that excites me is the adaptability of ML models in diverse organizations. And I think its adoption in companies will increase more when they become more explanatory to the stakeholders.
Apart from that I also feel the need for proper infrastructure to train and deploy ML models would also witness an increase in demand so that more compact versions can be created to aid businesses.
Finally, the rising trend of ML model monitoring and maintenance is something I am really interested in. It is because apart from the creation and deployment of ML models, its maintenance is of utmost importance as it slowly degrades over time as the data structure changes.
So proper data or model drift indicators would certainly be the need of the hour and having them in place to really look at the required modifications of the model will be of utmost necessity.
Question 9: Which are some of the blogs that you follow?
Question 10: What is your advice to anyone wanting to start a career in Data Science?
Swachhatowa: My advice would be to get started with the basics first like probability, statistics, linear algebra, etc. and then continue to learn algorithms. Also, it’s important to be regular even though one may be slow at first. The key is to be really clear on the concepts first.
This was a conversation with one of our GCDAI students – Swachhatowa Goswami.
To read more such interesting student stories, go to INSAID Spotlight.