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, Lalit Garg stands in the spotlight.
Student Name: Lalit Garg
Current Organization: Genus Apparels Ltd
Batch: GCD – August 2019
Total years of experience: 14 years
Malvika: Hi Lalit, before we begin, could you tell us more about your current work profile?
Lalit: I am the Assistant General Manager at Genus Apparels Ltd. I am heading the IT team in the Apparels Industry at my company and am responsible for Business Process Management and all IT operations of our company.
Malvika: Could you walk us through your career journey so far?
Lalit: I have done Mechanical Engineering and since then I have worked in the manufacturing, construction, Finance and Apparels Industry. My techno-commercial profile has enabled me to handle different kinds of problem-solving for different industry verticals. I have a strong business domain understanding for different business processes and IT products like ERP from end to end starting from consulting, designing, development, implementation and monitoring.
Malvika: What got you interested in Data Science & Machine Learning?
Lalit: Since the advent of new technologies in the field of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence like predictive and prescriptive analytics, where machines are performing better than humans and surpassing as well at some or other tasks, this field is altogether interesting and exciting enough. We are living in a world where human tasks can be easily imitated by machines using techniques like Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing, Augmented Reality, Big Data, Internet of things, Blockchain and others.
Malvika: What all tools and packages in Data Science & Machine Learning have you mastered in your Data Science & AI program at INSAID so far?
Lalit: Well, there are many but I would like to highlight only a few like python (Numpy for numerical computations, Pandas for data pre-processing, Scikit learn for Basic Machine Learning, Tensorflow and Keras for deep learning, Machine Learning end to end pipeline. There are other libraries also which I am learning like xgboost, lightgbm, vowpal wabbit which are really nice packages for building modeling prediction and provide good results.
Malvika: What are some of the initial challenges when you got started on your Data Science journey and how did you overcome it?
Lalit: I faced lot of challenges initially like self-confidence whether I would be able to do it or not because of non-coding background and I started Machine Learning course from Coursera for better intuition about what is it all about and fortunately I kept on solving their practice exercises one after another so I got confidence after doing it.
But still there was some direction missing and then I joined INSAID and met Manav and Suchit and now I have overcome all of my challenges and today I am not only confident but very sure that I will definitely do justice to any Data Science project.
Malvika: Who is your favorite faculty at INSAID and what did you learn from him the most?
Lalit: My favorite faculty is Suchit Majumdar because he has magical powers to make someone think like a Data Scientist. He has given his more than 100% and we are lucky to have him as our faculty.
I have learned how to do anything with patience and how to keep on going on a Data Science journey without looking back to it.
Malvika: What is the goal of Data Science?
Lalit: Data Science’s goal is to make better and effective decisions by using a good understanding of the data.
So for that you must have the data in first place. If you have the data, then you can decide what to do with this data and what kind of problems you can solve with it. You have to make sense of the data. Then there are tools and techniques to play with data like cleaning, dealing with missing values, outliers, then visualize and find the relations between dependent and independent variables and then see what better you can predict.
So the ultimate goal is to make efficient use of data to solve a bigger problem. One has to understand how to identify and convert the business problem to data problem then it would become much easier to design and implement the solution as well.
Malvika: In your view, how has Data Science evolved in the last few years?
Lalit: Data Science has been evolving like anything like every second there is a lot of data points generating everywhere but only a few people understand the importance of the data. In Big data and AI executive survey conducted by New vantage partners, 53% of firms don’t treat data as a business asset.
the other side, 47% of companies start looking at data as business assets. Hardly 31% of companies are having data-driven approach to solve their business problems but we can see good trends in upcoming years.
Data Science is changing the life of people altogether. Earlier you cannot think of doing retinopathy diagnosis without a doctor, today with the help of a machine having lots of data points you can literally replace a doctor to predict the same.
In India itself there are 11 doctors per one million people and many people do not get their disease diagnosed properly in due time, so AI is a boon to such people. If not diagnosed at the right time, it can lead to vision impairment and total blindness as well. So Data Science is transforming every industry largely Medical and Healthcare, Retail, Banking and others.
Also, how Deepblue Computer defeated Gary Kasparov in 1997, How Alpha go defeated Lee Seedol in 2016 by 4 by 1, so reinforcement learning is also evolving like anything.
Malvika: What are the current trends in Data Science that you are most excited about?
Lalit: Evolving autonomous driving, smart cars, flying taxis computers are surpassing human expectations. Roborace is one such company which is fastest in autonomous driving and has achieved around 210 KMPH without a driver. I mean that is something to be excited about. How NLP and Computer vision is dynamically changing the whole environment and making people life much easier than anything else.
Tim Shaw, former NFL player how he regained his voice using google Deepmind research team. They use NLP for that and collect samples of the original voice of Tim Shaw and then synthesize the same. So it’s a two-way modelling they have done.
Malvika: What current trends in Data Science & AI do you see becoming very big in coming years?
Lalit: I think the way Data Science and AI is progressing now these days, with the help of computer vision, Natural Language Processing, Satellite technology, there is no wonder we can predict most of the diseases much earlier like genes detection and chances of cancer much before it happens.
Prediction of earthquakes and tsunamis can also be possible. The chances of a flood happening at a particular place can really be possible. Amazon company BlueOrigin and Elon Musk SpaceX are spending their billions in search of life on another planet altogether. Augmented Reality is providing nearly real-time experience to the users so a person sitting at a remote location is learning how to do maintenance on a helicopter by using AR/VR.
Malvika: Which are the top two Data Science & AI influencers you follow?
Lalit: I follow Andrew NG, Dr. Kirk Borne and Dr. Shailesh Aggarwal. They all have done great work in their career in the field of Data Science and AI.
Malvika: Which are some of the blogs that you follow?
Lalit: I follow Medium, Towardsdatascience, Analytics Vidhya and datasciencecentral.
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?
Lalit: Yes, I have built many repositories in GitHub. Starting from python data structures and till Machine Learning projects for linear, logistic regression, SVM Classifier, Spam detection, K-Means algorithms, I have maintained a good GitHub profile.
It will help me to project and showcase my work to the Data Science community and my recruiters as well. I have tried to explain all the projects in layman language to understand by non-technical people as well.
Also, being from a non-technical background, Now I am learning git version control as well and how to sync the local and remote repositories using command-line interface. It will also help me to maintain the right versions of my code each time.
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.
Lalit: I have got a lot of benefits from the Data Science Career Launchpad. Earlier my master resume was having around 6 pages because of my total experience of 15 years and now I have cut it into 2 pages because no one has time to go through 6 pages.
Also, I got to know how to narrate a story in a simplistic way and how to organize your portfolio in a presentable format like your experience, projects, education and certifications and awards.
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?
Lalit: Data Leader is someone who is leading the data-driven decision makings and managing the whole cycle of Data Science and its related activities. Data Scientist is person who is also doing the same but doing the projects individually and Data Leader is above Data Scientist who is managing the whole show.
It’s like Data Leader is orchestrating the show with the help of Data Scientists. And Data Scientists are musicians supporting Data Leader.
Malvika: What are some applications of Data Science & Machine Learning in industries that you are excited about?
Lalit: Image recognition, Natural Language processing, Computer Vision, Facial Recognition are some of the technologies that are making their part in different industry applications.
Like Retinopathy, cancer detection, fraud detection, autonomous driving is some of the applications.
Malvika: What is your advice to anyone wanting to start a career in Data Science?
Lalit: My advice to anyone is, first believe in yourself that nothing is impossible and you can surely do it. Just come out of your comfort zone and find the comfort beyond your comfort.
Secondly, don’t think if you have a technical or non-technical background, once you are into it, you will surely get it.
Third, have patience also as Data Science is a very vast field and anyone can easily get lost in it if they do not have patience well enough.
Last, slowly but surely you will get it one day. Just follow your passion and dream. Good Luck!
Malvika: Thank you for your time, Lalit. All the best for your future!