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Interview with Digital Vidyarthi: Ranjan Kumar (Map Analyst, Lionbridge Tech)

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Ranjan Kumar is currently working as Map Analyst for Lionbridge Technologies where he is required to do rating and analysis of map search results originating from India. Data Analytics plays an important role in this job profile as all the search result ratings are further analyzed to improve the search result in terms of Relevance with respect to User Intent and Distance; Name Accuracy with respect to Category, Spelling, Popular Name, Official Name, and Location guidelines; Address Accuracy with respect to official guidelines and Pin Accuracy.

All the search result rating data are collected and analyzed on a daily basis to help our search engine provide a better search result. Ranjan earlier worked as a Business Analyst for a healthcare startup where he was responsible for developing framework for developing a digital healthcare exchange centered around patient with healthcare providers (doctor/clinic/hospital), diagnostic centers (lab/radiology), pharmacy, and ambulance services interconnected to provide centralized services to the patient in addition to providing the patient with personal data vault. The task required a lot of healthcare-related data collection, analysis and developing algorithms to use the data in the most efficient way to provide most relevant information to the user. Before that, he has worked in the US healthcare domain for 17 years doing healthcare documentation and medical report generation.

How and when did you learn Data Analytics? What interested you in learning Data Analytics?

Ranjan Kumar: During my stint as a Business Analyst for healthcare startup, need to learn data analytics became imminent for me to be able to create the most efficient digital exchange for my company. I had to collect a lot of healthcare data and then needed to analyze them and finally build the most efficient model to predict best result for our users. I developed my interest in learning Data Analytics due to this imminent requirement at my last job and started exploring most relevant institutes providing industry-relevant Data Analytics course.

After exploring for about a month, I finally decided to join Digital Vidya to do “Data Analytics using R” course as I found the course to be the most comprehensive one spanning across 4 months starting from Introduction to Data Analytics and Statistics and then going slowly in a stepwise function to learn to use Basic, Intermediate and Advanced R along with Data Visualization, Statistics with R, Inferential Statistics, Regression Analysis, Hypothesis Testing to Supervised Machine Learning Techniques including Linear Regression, Logistic Regression, Decision Tree, Random Forest, SVM, Naïve Bayes and Time Series Analysis in the most detailed fashion with relevant assignments. After learning the intricacies of Supervised Machine Learning, we were taught Unsupervised Machine Learning techniques including Hierarchical Clustering, K-means Clustering and Principal Component Analysis. At the end of the course, we were required to do a detailed 4-week Machine Learning project which included Natural Language Processing, Supervised and Unsupervised Machine Learning techniques to be able to complete the project.  This course really made me learn Data Analytics to the core and I again thank Digital Vidya for designing such a comprehensive Data Analytics course material at the most affordable price.

Why do you think it’s important to learn Data Analytics today?

Ranjan Kumar: Data Analytics is the most important skill for everyone to learn in order to be able to advance one’s career for more than one reasons. Every organization now understands the importance of Data Analytics to identify new market opportunities for their services and products and it has become the top priority of every organization to use Data Analytics in their overall functioning. Learning Data Analytics makes oneself more suitable to bigger job opportunities in the market today. Remuneration also increases after getting oneself equipped with relevant Data Analytics skills. Big Data Analytics is everywhere and no company can grow without using it so it’s highly essential for their employees to learn this skill. Decision-making is now done by taking proper consultation from Data Analyst and hence the employees having Data Analytics skills will be at the core of the decision-making process for their company. There are many other reasons to learn Data Analytics today like higher adoption rates for analytics professional, Data Analytics is taking over the conventional decision-making technique must faster than expected and in order to advance one’s career, learning Data Analytics is a must for everyone.

How would you like to highlight the contribution of Data Analytics in your career growth?

Ranjan Kumar:

  • Shift in organizations & roles after you learnt Data Analytics

Acquiring industry-relevant Data Analytics skills has definitely given me an edge in terms of shifting my career zone from now stale healthcare documentation domain to the ever-growing analytics industry and I have been able to switch my domain in the middle of my career, which I think would not have been possible if I had not learnt Data Analytics.

  • Shift in salary: e.g. 5x growth in salary in y years (without sharing absolute number)

I am quite hopeful of achieving 2x growth in my remuneration in the next 2 years after I have worked specifically in Data Analytics.

  • Other benefits of acquiring Data Analytics skills:

Learning Data Analytics skills has given me added advantage of widening my skillset horizon, as with the passing of each day I am trying to learn a new package and upgrading my skills from Machine Learning to Neural Network to Deep Learning and trying to learn new language like Python. This has rejuvenated myself in re-writing my career goal and trying to achieve newer heights.

Share about the benefits you can foresee about building a career in Data Analytics industry.

Ranjan Kumar: The benefits I can foresee by building a career in Data Analytics industry is limitless. From here on, I am seeing only an upswing trend in my career objective and growth I am foreseeing is exponential if I keep upgrading my Data Analytics skills as per market demands and relevance. Artificial Intelligence usage in the industry is increasing day by day and keeping myself upgraded to the relevant skills in specific domain will benefit me a lot. I think learning Python along with upgrading my R skills will be the best combo for myself keeping relevant to the industry and will be in high demand in coming year.

How do you stay updated on the latest trends in Data Analytics? Which are the Data Analytics resources (i.e. blogs/websites/apps) you visit regularly?

Ranjan Kumar: I have subscribed to R-bloggers to keep me updated on R packages and usage. Analytics Vidya and KDnuggets are another important sites that I keep track of daily. Besides these, I keep following Analytics Talk, Crazy Egg, Google Analytics, Web Analytics World, IBM Big Data Hub, FiveThirtyEight.

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Which are your 3 favorite Data Analytics Tools?

Ranjan Kumar: Currently, I use MySQL, Excel and R as my most used Data Analytics tools. Off late, I have started deep learning and started using h2o and Keras platforms and really find them very interesting and efficient to work with.

Share the names of 3 people you respect when it comes to Data Analytics.

Ranjan Kumar: Andre Ng is the one person I would like to name first as I am following his course on Deep Learning and its amazing simple. Bernard Marr is another one who I follow on both LinkedIn and Twitter and keep reading his works. Third on my list is SriSatish Ambati, founder of h2o, who is really my idol.

What is your advice to newbies who want to build career in Data Analytics?

Ranjan Kumar: I also consider myself a newbie in Data Analytics and hence would like to suggest the approach that I have taken myself. First and foremost, learn statistics to the core. Choose the language that you think yourself comfortable with (R, Python, SAS, MATLAB, etc.) and try to get yourself regularly updated on this language. Keep learning Python (if not your primary language) as this is the one language that is used most widely in Deep Learning. Keep yourself upgraded with MySQL and Excel skills. Subscribe to KDnuggets and Analytics Vidya and keep participating in Kaggle as well Analytics Vidya competitions. Try some hackathons on HackerRank and others. Keep following data analytics blogs and industry research results and surveys. Keep yourself always willing to learn and most importantly start small and then try to mend and find your ways to go up.

What are the challenges a person is likely to face when s/he enters into Data Analytics industry? How can s/he overcome those?

Ranjan Kumar: For any beginners in Data Analytics industry, challenges are too much. First and foremost, Data Analytics is a field without any boundary. So, one must keep himself ready to face anything. It’s a continuous learning process where one needs to keep him/herself relevant to the industry by learning new packages, skills and languages. Bootstrapping process in Data Analytics may be a self-learning process as in smaller companies, you might be the only person knowing Data Analytics and so you will need to learn yourself by going through blogs, articles, hackathons, Kaggle competitions and following Data Analytics experts. Entry package also might not be very lucrative for a newbie in Data Analytics so he needs to prepare himself to accept that.

For someone who’s looking at full time or part time job or an internship in Data Analytics, what approach would you advice?

Ranjan Kumar: First, get yourself certified from a leading Data Analytics course provider. Do the project diligently and timely. Start taking part in Kaggle competitions. Start your own kernel. Be in constant touch with your course provider for any internship opportunities that they can provide. Get yourself enrolled at leading recruitment sites. Keep in constant touch with startups through your own network. Start building your network on LinkedIn. Connect with Data Science profiles and companies on LinkedIn and keep re-inventing yourself.

If you were given a chance to rebuild your career, what changes you would have made to have even better growth and fulfillment?

Ranjan Kumar: At the moment, I would like to focus on Data Analytics industry as this is one industry where anyone with a deep interest to learn continuously and learn newer things continuously can go. For rebuilding my career, I will choose an institute providing most industry-relevant data analytics course with placement facility. Along with that I will keep myself learning relevant skills through websites, internships, hackathons and data analytics competition. Rebuilding your career at the latter stage of your career cycle can be a difficult choice, but if one keeps himself committed to his objective, he will always come out to be a winner. I, myself, particularly will keep upgrading my Machine Learning skills and learning Deep Learning skills to further advance my career.

How do you see Data Analytics industry evolving in future?

Ranjan Kumar: Data Analytics industry is the future and will evolve at much faster rate in the near future. The Data Analytics horizon will widen to more nonconventional industry like manufacturing, realty, infrastructure, healthcare and household items in the near future and the growth rate will be exponential in the next five years.

Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya in educating others about Data Analytics?

Ranjan Kumar: 

I would like to sincerely offer my thanks and gratitude to Digital Vidya for providing my the most efficient and relevant mentors and course materials to learn Data Analytic and R. I would specifically like to mention weekly assignments during my course tenure to learn R the best way one can. The friendly mentors Nitika and Shantanu helped me learn Analytics comfortably during weekend interactive classes and efficiently coordination of the course by Deepak is something I would specifically like to mention.

My sincere thanks to entire Digital Vidya team for helping me learn Data Analytics easier than I thought I would. Once again, thank you Digital Vidya for helping me learn with you.

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