Sumit Puri is an Engineer by qualification and an MBA from IIM Bangalore and has over 23 years of IT Leadership and Management experience. He has worked in leading global organizations like GE Capital, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Prudential and Max where he successfully led and implemented several business dashboards and predictive and cognitive analytics programs for the enterprise. That is how Sumit understood that
‘Data’ truly is the new digital currency of the enterprise world.
How did you get into Data Analytics? What interested you in learning Data Analytics?
Sumit Puri: I was asked to lead implementation of Global Digital Cockpit project for GE Money, India where we had to automate several business and operational measures for enabling measurement of business performance. The fact that we could measure and manage performance with the help of right set of Governance metrics and a data driven structured approach got me interested in learning Data analytics.
What was the first data set you remember working with? What did you do with it?
Sumit Puri: Got my first requirement set of IT metrics on system availability – used monitoring tools to help me deliver the visibility of the same to business.
Was there a specific “aha” moment when you realized the power of data?
Sumit Puri: My First Aha moment was when we were rewarded as the first business in Asia Pacific in GE to have automated the 130 metrics on GE Digital Cockpit.
What is your typical day-in-a-life in your current job. Where do you spend most of your time?
Sumit Puri: Reviewing digital enterprise programs status and further enablement of through user-friendly business and clinical analytics dashboards via Qliksense / Pentaho to help us power our business performance.
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?
Sumit Puri: I am an avid reader of various business journals including Gartner publications, Analytics India magazine, PC Quest, Qliksense reports and also attend various international and national industry seminars and conferences to keep myself abreast of latest trends in the data analytics space.
Share the names of 3 people that you follow in the field of Data Science.
Sumit Puri: Peter Norvig, AndrewNg and Sebastian Thrun
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?
Sumit Puri: I like Qliksense and Tableau for the user friendliness and ease of use. We also use SAS and Pentaho. SAS is primarily being replaced because it is fairly complex with limited skill sets available at high cost.
What are the different roles and skills within your data team?
Sumit Puri: Have a few trained Qliksense analytics, Pentaho skilled resources and SQL database experts in my team besides a large outsourced team of data consultants.Pentaho is used from a data warehouse / Big Data perspective.
Help describe some examples of the kind of problems your team is solving in this year?
Sumit Puri: Leveraging predictive Clinical analytics to improve patient safety by reducing chances of recurring Myrochardial infection and strokes. Also, using operational analytics to enable realtime dashboards for improving patient admission and discharge turn around times to enhance patient convenience.
How do you measure the performance of your team?
Sumit Puri: Through continual user feedback cycles. Measuring TAT for delivery of business solutions and by checking if IT operational metrics particularly are showing an upwards trend.
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?
Sumit Puri: Need to have great patience and customer centric attitude, constant learning orientation and great analytical skills.
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?
Sumit Puri: They need to first get their hands dirty with messy, noisy data…should even try and work on data cleansing projects so that they get a good sense of how “garbage in garbage out” concept works in data analytics.
What is your advice for newbies, Data Science students or practitioners who are looking at building a career in Data Analytics industry?
- Programming and software skills – R, Python, SAS or Excel
- Visualization Tools
- Statistical foundation and applied knowledge
- Machine Learning
Spend more time on mastering R, Python and Machine learning.
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?
Sumit Puri: Constantly keep watching latest trends on artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and machine learning and how this would completely disrupt industries that we see today. Need to keep experimenting with some of the latest trends to keep them updated and relevant in today’s changing times.
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 :).