Meet Prashant Pandey from Wipro I Accredian Spotlight

At Accredian, we create accomplished and empowered Data Leaders. We groom our students to dominate the world of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence 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, Prashant Pandey stands in the spotlight.

Student Name:  Prashant Pandey
Batch: GCD – January 2019
Total years of experience: 13 years
Area of expertise: IT solutions

Malvika: Can you start by telling me something about your professional journey so far?

Prashant: Yeah, I started my career in 2006 as a Test Engineer from CSC India. For  5 years, I was working on the CSC application, which is based on the WebSphere technology and Java. My role included testing of applications, reporting bugs and writing test cases. Then I moved to Aon Hewitt in 2011 as a Senior Test Engineer. I majorly work in the HRMS domain using PeopleSoft application since the last 8 years. Recently this organization was acquired by Wipro. So now I’m a part of that.

Malvika: So how did you get interested in the field of Data Science and machine learning?

Prashant: We’re at that point where we’re all hearing a lot of things about Data Science even though if we don’t know how it is useful to us. My interest was spiking as more and more people started running after data roles.

When I researched myself, I found just how full of potential this field was for me. It’s interesting that whatever we have learned in the past, we are still underutilizing that in this field be it Math, Science, and statistical concepts. It is exciting to know how much we can apply all of that here to benefit ourselves.

Malvika: What are some current trends in this space that get your attention?

Prashant: The most important part of the application of Data Science is how we tap the customer. This field is getting more momentum because of this concept itself. Data science is helping businesses to stop the right customers at the right time. Let me give you an example, consider Practo. Practo is a website which connects you to nearby doctors, you can ask about your problems and in turn, they’ll tell you which nearby doctors are available for you. You can also get reviews from a similar area, and actual former patients can recommend you which doctors are better in your area.

Another aspect is understanding the future problems that may arise and can be solved by interpreting and analyzing data. Many businesses are using these techniques. Names like Flipkart, Amazon and Easemytrip come to mind. It’s true in product space, travel industry, hospitality, healthcare and every area imaginable!

Malvika: Can you talk to me about the evolution of Data Science?

Prashant: Basically Artificial Intelligence as a concept started 50 years ago. It gained momentum from 1991 onwards and now Python as a language has been supporting the growth. In the last 10 years or so the momentum has increased because the application has; a massive amount of data is coming into our system as the usage of computers, mobile laptops, and other IoT concept has increased. Massive amounts of data started coming into the system and with the help of Data Science, we can leverage this knowledge and define actionable items, for our decision-making process.

Malvika: Are there any Data Science or Artificial Intelligence influencers that you follow?

Prashant: I follow a lot of blogs, Malvika. I follow and KDnuggets and Kaggle are also very informative. I also watch a lot of YouTube videos.  

When it comes to Data Science influencers as I entered this field, I didn’t know much about it. After joining Accredian, we had an online interaction with Kirk Borne which was very valuable and impressive. I learned that storytelling is a very standout point that defines Data Science.

Malvika: Prashant, which Python packages and libraries are your favorite?

Prashant: Before joining Accredian, I had no knowledge of Python. I learned it here, starting with the basics of Python; normal program context like loops. After that, we started exploring different packages for EDA like Matplotlib.

I also enjoyed using Scikit Learn for machine learning. There is another package, called WordCloud, which helps us design different texts and graphics. I’m also fond of Seaborn when it comes to graphics.

Malvika: What were some of the initial challenges that you faced when you were starting into Data Science?

Prashant: I don’t have a typical programming background. Basically, what I understood from the classes is that Python is not that much complex than any other language like C, C++ and Java. The complexity level is not that high so you need not worry about that. That said, you do need lots of practice; you need to get your hands dirty.

This is the best piece of advice that nobody can tell you otherwise. First, you always have to aspire, why you want to do something and then obviously all things will fall in place. You should have a driving factor which is not external but comes from within an individual.

Malvika: What do you think is the goal of Data Science?

Prashant: Let’s divide the goal of Data Science into two parts. One is solving the current business problems. The other aspect is future-centric which answers the question of what new thing can we develop? The window here is that of another 5-10 years. Developing such insights using Data Science. Data Science hints at things like weather prediction, and other challenges. These are not day-to-day problems. So the goal of Data Science would be to provide solutions for these two problems.

Malvika: Crafting a strong Data Science resume is critical for getting shortlisted for these roles. How do you think Accredian has helped you improve your resume as a part of the Data Science Career Launchpad?

Prashant: Accredian Career Launchpad has helped me a lot by pointing out some of the key areas of the resume in which I should improve. I think having a balance between creating diversity including whatever we have learned till now and how we can apply all of it before jumping into any other area. The mentor’s coaching given in this respect was a major plus point. Obviously, it will take time but whatever we can do to improve our resumes is what we have discussed in this session.

Malvika: Accredian’s mission is to groom Data Leaders of tomorrow. What do you understand by Data Leader? How do you think a Data Leader is different from a Data Scientist?

Prashant: Data Scientists mostly look at the challenges currently faced by people and they address that but Data Leaders think from a business perspective and devise new solutions to structure the future strategy. Their role is not just understanding math and stats but also to solve the business problems that the business may not already know about.

Malvika: We’re glad to hear that. Thank you for your time, Prashant. All the best for your future!

Prashant: Thanks a lot, Malvika. Bye!!

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