Rendezvous with Balaji from Cognizant Technology Solutions

In this INSAID Spotlight interview, we feature Balaji M, a multidisciplinary Data Scientist with over 23 years of experience currently heading the Data Science division at Flex Technologies. He is passionate about learning and equips himself with Data Science and Machine Learning skills to leverage his work and deliver to the best of his potential. Thus, he enrolled in the Post Graduate Program in Data Science & Artificial Intelligence in November 2020.

Question 1: Which program & batch are you a part of at INSAID & tell us more about your current work profile?

Balaji: I am from PGP Data Science & AI November 2020 cohort. I am currently heading the Data Science domain at Flex Technologies Ltd. I am an enthusiastic Data Scientist cross-skilled in R, Python, Splunk, and Tableau. I am also a specialist in Deep Learning and Neural Networks applications.

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

Balaji: I have played varied roles starting from Team Leader, Project manager, Program Manager, and Delivery leader at present. Working in the life sciences domain is a privilege. I have also successfully played the role of an Operations leader for the largest strategic business unit in life sciences. 

I think as an IT Professional, it’s very important to stay relevant in this field so I decided to take up the program in Data Science & Artificial Intelligence.

Question 3: What tools and packages in Data Science & Machine Learning have you mastered at INSAID so far?

Balaji: I’ve mastered various tools like Python, NumPy, Pandas, and Sci-kit, etc. 

Question 4: What challenges did you face when you started your Data Science journey and how did you overcome it?

Balaji: I faced challenges related to Data handling, preparation, and security.  Identifying and analyzing the business problem and offering the best Insights was a challenge.

My experience in doing Capstone projects at INSAID really helped me in overcoming the problem.

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

Balaji: My favorite faculty is Deepesh Wadhwani. I love his way of teaching and interaction. He has a nice style of imparting knowledge. In fact, I am grateful to all the faculty members for making my learning journey so wonderful.

Question 6: What is the goal of Data Science?

Balaji: The goal of Data Science is to construct the means for extracting the best possible solutions for any business problem and this requires an understanding of how value and information have a huge impact on business.

Question 7: How has Data Science evolved over the last few years?

Balaji: There is definitely a high demand for Data Scientists as the field of Data Science & AI is expanding beyond imagination with leaps and bounds. There is a technological revolution across Industries and domains.

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

Balaji: The current trends in Data Science I am really excited about are Automation, Natural Language Processing, various ML tools, Computer Vision, and newer trends which are coming into the limelight. 

Question 9: Which Data Science blogs do you follow?

Balaji: As there is a plethora of information so I try to master various topics slowly and gradually. I regularly follow Medium, Towards Data Science, KD Nuggets, and Kaggle.

Question 10: What advice would you give to a beginner in Data Science?

Balaji: Well my advice to someone starting a Data Science career would be to prepare and practice well before taking up any Data set jobs. Aim to upskill yourself as and when needed with the change of technology and tools.

Stay relevant by upskilling and remember every expert was once a beginner!

Hope you enjoyed reading this interview. If you want to read more such interesting student stories, check out INSAID Spotlight.

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