Madhu Vadlamani is a graduate by qualification with 8 years’ experience in IT mainly in Analytics. He has worked in leading global organizations like Google, eclerx, Dell and now with Kony Inc., where he successfully leads and implements several business dashboards and predictive and cognitive analytics programs for the enterprise.
Business Analysis in terms of web and recommendations + reporting = Madhu’s experience.
How did you get into Data Analytics? What interested you in learning Data Analytics?
Madhu Vadlamani: Analysing data is a core part of my life but not documented. I used to collect data but unaware of the reporting data. So, it was in 2008 when I was in the early step of my job – I attended a seminar in a leading firm where I met Mr. Surya Puthchala. His words created a huge impact and thinking about the term called ANALYTICS. I can say that he is the ACHARYA for my life towards DATA ANALYTICS. Fun fact, now I have a baby girl and I named her as Anshika but I still call her as ANALYTICA – This shows my love towards this subject.
What was the first data set you remember working with? What did you do with it?
Madhu Vadlamani: I used work with Google affiliate network team and I know that there is a lot of data in it which can sense a lot. Understanding affiliate networks – means you have to understand the whole digital marketing strategy. So – My work + my interest in learning whats there in data – led me to run in the field of analytics.
Was there a specific “aha” moment when you realized the power of data?
Madhu Vadlamani: Getting recognized as a Data Scientist and awarded as a leader recently is really good. But, I remember being recognized by the team and awareded as the best performer twice in a year in Google. This is a big “aha” moment – 1st is always best and Kudos to my team leaders “Dan Filowtz”, “Kousik Pillamarri”, “Seelam Prasad”.
What is your typical day-in-a-life in your current job. Where do you spend most of your time?
Madhu Vadlamani: At Kony, it’s reviewing digital activity status and further enablement through user-friendly business and analytics dashboards via Google Analytics, Crazyegg, Moz/SF. The beauty and challenge is – no dashboard is an outcome of 1 tool – we combine data sets and make 1 dashboard and as said every dashboard speaks. So, I recommend do’s/dont’s for the entire Kony web property.
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?
Madhu Vadlamani: I’m a Digital Marketer by profession and by person. So, I stay with new things happening around and some best website I follow:
1.) For analytics trends: www.datasciencecentral.com
2.) For best digital practices: https://www.digitaldoughnut.com/ , Digital Vidya and Neil Patel articles.
Besides, I do read a lot of business journals including Gartner Publications and I do attend various international and national industry seminars and conferences to keep myself abreast of latest trends in the Data Analytics space. Apart from this I do speak/train students whenever I get some time – respecting my office duties.
Share the names of 3 people that you follow in the field of Data Science.
Madhu Vadlamani: Surya Putchala, Julian Hillebrand and Dakshinamurthy V Kolluru.
Team, Skills and Tools
Which are your favourite Data Analytics Tools that you use to perform in your job, and what are the other tools used widely in your team?
Madhu Vadlamani: As the availability of high quality data continues to grow, the most successful organizations will be those that can draw value from it. Here firms need more data to understand more and more path-breaking points about user need. This requires powerful analysis tools that can transform data into useful results. R is one of those where we are in a process of using it in more effective manner.
What are the different roles and skills within your data team?
Madhu Vadlamani: I work for the Marketing team. In specific, Marketing Analytics team and as whole vertical there are people who prepare strategies to drive business and do the best in web and offline. In other words, the team has 7 sub-teams where marketing/digital/technical and many people are involved.
Help describe some examples of the kind of problems your team is solving in this year?
Madhu Vadlamani: Understanding user journey is always a challenge and infact most of the firms run with the term CONVERSIONS. Various set of tools used for different purposes for tracking web hits, tracking leads, like Google Analytics, Crazyegg, Marketo and some more.
How do you measure the performance of your team?
Madhu Vadlamani: Visitor journey and path level understanding + other patterns help us measure what can be done – TAT at times plays a good role here.
Advice to Aspiring Data Scientists
According to you, what are the top skills, both technical and soft-skills that are needed for Data Analysts and Data Scientists?
Madhu Vadlamani: Need to have good analysis mindset and customer centric attitude. Eg: If someone asks – what is the best biryani in your city. The answer should be analyzed before delivering. So here – you have to know about the person and his idea on city & check his current location and deliver the best place which can suit him. This also depends on the timing. You cannot suggest – for someone who is hungry at 7PM to a hotel where he/she has to travel 10kms and above.
Also be a technology ready person – especially with the trends in analytics.
How much focus should aspiring data practitioners do in working with messy, noisy data? What are the other areas that they must build their expertise in?
Madhu Vadlamani: If you ask me – what is the best big data tool ever – I would say – My brain is the best big ‘lldata tool. It stores everything – never deletes but might forget at times due to inaccurate query. So follow this principle – collect as much as data and follow the same and try to find some insights with data where the others feel – its of no use. Major conclusions come from simple information.
What is your advice for newbies, Data Science students or practitioners who are looking at building a career in Data Analytics industry?
- Be a good Mathematician/Statistician – this lets you to LIVE with technology
- Rely on concept not on tool – tools are always many. They come and go over sometime.
- However – Programming and software skills – R, Python, SAS or Excel
- Visualization Tools – Tableau
- Have an eye on JULIA – its trending
- Machine Learning/AI/NLP
What are the changing trends that you foresee in the field of Data Science and what do you recommend the current crop of data analysts do to keep pace?
Madhu Vadlamani: Constantly keep watching latest trends on artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and machine learning and how this would completely disrupt industries that we see today. Trends says that the future is perspective analytics – Think about it.
Finally – Never wait for any case study – Case studies have to be created/worked and has to analysed by you. Think about small case study where you can research. This is good enough to gain ample knowledge and train the place with good content. Give a value to experience is good but at times you will see good trainers with less experience but expertise. Try to get as much as information by network.
Don’t change technology for job but change technology for passion and salary increases by passion. Rely on concept – not on tool.
Would you like to share few words about the work we are doing at Digital Vidya in building Big Data & Analytics Talent?
Digital Vidya as the name says… its a complete platform for all digital based education. I can see good course structure and well-designed syllabus for those who are passionate enough to enter into analytics world These platforms helps people grow professionally and in very less time. This platform is a choice to learn as you like it … at your place/at your flexible time. I would be happy to recommend Digital Vidya for Digital Marketing and major analytics practices.
Are you inspired by the opportunity of Data Analytics? Start your journey by attending our upcoming orientation session on Data Analytics for Career & Business Growth. It’s online and Free :).