In talks with Sidharth Panda From IBM India I Accredian Spotlight

While working in the IT industry, Sidharth Panda witnessed that although there’s a huge influx of data in the organization, they were not properly utilized to optimize the business. And this is what grew his interest towards data science and machine learning. So, without waiting any further, he enrolled for the Global Certificate in Data Science & AI (GCDAI) program at Accredian

In this interview, let’s see what he thinks of the evolution of data science and how his experience has been at Accredian.  

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

Sidharth: I am part of the Global Certificate in Data Science & AI (GCDAI) program, June 2019 batch. I am employed in IBM and have worked for various roles. Currently I am responsible for managing and monitoring the devices in the storage area network environment. I am also working on the aspects of incidents, tickets and alerts. 

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

Sidharth: I started my career as a teacher while I was completing my graduation. When I interacted with students in a batch of 14 members, I realized there is an exchange of a lot of data through communication, may that be in writing or verbally. 

For example, while correcting papers or calculating the average of annual marks of each student, etc. we face a lot of variation because in the school environment there are various patterns of examination. And, each offers different sets of data. And by analyzing them we understand where a student is lacking or progressing.  

However, when I moved to the IT environment, I realized that the generated data was neither properly monitored nor monetized. If tried then through the huge volumes of data being produced we can not only form significant amounts of information but productive structures.           

So this lack of data analysis moved me towards the field of data science and machine learning because as an IT enthusiast, I used to read a lot of online books and learned multiple programs so that I can try and do the coding required for a proper data analysis. 

But it is through Accredian that I learned how data actually works, how data structures are formed and how it has to be cleaned, etc. because I feel there is a story behind every data element. This inspired me to join the data science and machine learning domain.

Question 3: What all tools and packages in Data Science & Machine Learning have you mastered in your Data Science & AI program at Accredian so far?

Sidharth: I have mastered visualization and Pandas library. The visualization tool is the easiest and yet the most crucial to understand. It offers the fish storytelling narrative. And I love Pandas more than Numpy because they are faster than the latter, offer much more information and the flexibility to do multiple things. 

From ML Basic I got a good grasp on decision trees and random forest although I am facing a lot of difficulty to understand linear regression. I love working on decision trees because of the knot structure. By connecting the knots I can understand whether it is working or not as it is based on a flowchart.     

For programming and understanding it, most of the time, I use Anaconda or Google Collab Notebook. And, I have absolutely loved working on Visual Studio. It is easy, offers a lot of inputs and I can write codes faster there without breaking it into separate sections.      

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

Sidharth: The most challenging part while starting this journey was to comprehend the elements that will be there in the course and how to go about it. I had no clear understanding of how things were going to start, the process of collecting or finding a dataset, etc. Along with it the thought process required to analyze data and read them, especially using so many different libraries was particularly tough.  

To overcome this challenge I made sure I had 30 to 60 minutes allotted every day for studying and practicing what was taught in class. But managing time was difficult too as I have an active job. So, I used to study in my free times during the weekends. I also read multiple blogs on Stack Overflow and watched tutorials to understand how working with data is done.   

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

Sidharth: So far I have interacted with only two faculties at AccredianSuchit and Neelmani. Both hold equal expertise in their domains and are equally excellent in the art of imparting knowledge to us. 

Suchit has an interactive way of teaching, whereas Neelmani is more practical. He believes in getting the concepts right first and often provides rich information beyond the classroom curriculum. 

I also had an introductory session with Deepesh. He is really patient, interactive and maintains a stable pace of teaching in class.    

Question 6: What is the goal of Data Science?

Sidharth: The goal of data science is to understand the insights extracted from the available data and comprehend how value and information together can flow in a business environment and can provide the various business opportunities to a particular organization. 

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

Sidharth: Data science has grown exponentially in the last few years. Companies like Google, Amazon and many other companies have been using this. Like for example, mobile companies are using this data to understand the use pattern of their customers to recommend better plans. 

Nowadays, most professionals are upskilling in data science which was unthinkable five to ten years ago. Right now, everyone wants to become data scientists and machine learning engineers because people understand the power of this technology that can revolutionize not just how businesses function but all sectors like research, education, agriculture, etc. 

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

Sidharth: I am most excited about the humongous data volumes produced every second and the way it is used by different businesses across industries. Apart from that I am also excited about the advancement of the machine learning algorithm of decision trees and how it is going to impact the current perspective that we hold while working with decision trees.  

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

Sidharth: I do not follow articles and blogs per say but I do follow two Youtubers, Ken Jee and StatQuest the most. Ken Jee himself is a data scientist. He is a sports analyst in a company and he also has a GitHub repository. 

And StatQuest offers excellent, detailed and very graphic insights and information on data science applications, machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, etc. Apart from that I follow Accredian’s blog and I am currently writing for my own blog as well.    

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

Sidharth: To anyone who aspires to start their data science career, I will say, don’t worry. It doesn’t matter whether you are from a coding background or a non-coding background. Just start now, take small steps and have faith in yourself. Be excited that you are going to learn something new, that you are going to learn from the perspective of a data scientist. Find an excellent institution like Accredian for a formal and full-fledged data science course.    

This was a conversation with one of our GCDAI students – Sidharth Panda. 

For more interesting student interviews, check out Accredian Spotlight

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