Welcome back. In this episode of TBT, we have an interesting conversation with Mr Navin Manaswi, Senior Data Scientist from Xchanging PLC, a business processing and technology services provider headquartered at London. Mr Navin is based out of Malaysia. He shares his thoughts about the analytics industry and how Big Data will change how we process information.
Mr Navin is a graduate from IIT, kanpur and has been working in the field of analytics for about 8 years now. He has been involved with a lot of projects in the field of analytics from demand forecasting to twitter sentiment analysis. It was a privilege to discuss the nuances of the data analytics industry. We thank him and wish all the best for his future endeavors. Please find the interview below,
Me: A brief insight into your past and present work – how have you moved from kb to tb of knowledge?
N: It has been an exciting journey so far. In this journey, I have been investing almost 50% time for research in nitty gritty of ML algorithms, mathematical models, integration with big data technologies like Hadoop, Spark, interactive data visualization, integration with various databases and strategy development for solving business problems. Rest of the time was spent in understanding business domains, sourcing data, cleaning data, building and refining predictive models and building ML based intelligent dashboards.
Me: Industry watch – where do you think the leap of faith on big data will come from? (Marketing / Banking / others)
N: Leap of faith has been coming from almost all sectors. Marketing, e-Commerce, Telecom, Healthcare, IT services and supply chain management are apparently more strong than others at present as these sectors have huge customer base and have many competitors. They have been trying anything and everything to delight and retain customers, to maximise revenue by data-driven upsell and cross-sell strategies, to understand trends & patterns and to make the best possible strategies . Every business entity is eventually going to adopt big data analytics to survive and prosper in the market.
Me: Market share – Data Analytics and Malaysia – what is the market expecting from this value adding department?
N: In Big Data Analytics Maturity Scape, Malaysian companies have adopted and moved ahead within the first stage known as Ad-hoc stage (experimental, proofs-of-concept, undefined processes, etc) but they still lag behind the companies from the leading countries like Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong. Although the demand for data scientists, data engineers and architects has been growing exponentially, the supply side may not be adequate.
MDeC, a government sponsored initiative to create a hi-tech business corridor in Malaysia, is quite aggressive on big data analytics and has been doing every bit to make Malaysia the hub of Big Data Analytics in Asia Pacific
Me: Machine Learning – will it override common sense?
N: Machine Learning is more scientific and reliable than the common sense. So, eventually Machine Learning, that is data- driven, is going to override common sense in industry. Machine Learning algorithms is all about pattern recognition, building predictive and prescriptive models and making automated intelligent systems based on mathematical and statistical models. On the other hand, common sense may not be effective in decision making processes due to fast changing world. For example : A strategy made a decade ago worked well. Does it mean that the strategy would always remain as effective as it was ? I think No. In this fast changing world, your customer types, customer behavior and demands have been changing significantly so we need to build a data driven decision making process to sustain and thrive.
Me: Your roles specifically in Ayata, General Mills & Xchanging. The data science career.
N: I started my data science career from Ayata, a Data Analytics firm for Oil & Gas Exploration companies where my role is to build the predictive and prescriptive models. In General Mills, my role was to identify the business problems and relevant data sources, to prepare data so as to build ML based models and to share the result with stakeholders. I also imparted data science training to a dozen of data analysts in India and US. Xchanging offered me the opportunity with clients from various domains ranging from Telecom, insurance to managed services where I designed and implemented end to end data science solutions with a help of IT team.
Me: Back to the future – your vision of big data for the future.
N: Almost everyone is optimistic on big data analytics. Return on investment on data science is very high and perhaps, that is why every business entity and sub-entity want to leverage big data analytics – a combination of data science and big data technologies. Everyone wants to streamline business, minimise the wastage & cost ,maximise the revenue, profit and customer delight in the competitive world. This can happen only when we start automating the process and promote data-driven decision making process.
Me: Ingredients to look out for – your advices to the ventures in big data and analytics.
N: Stay bullish on big data analytics. You are certainly going to dramatically improve the operational and functional guidelines, business processing, automation and decision making processes with help of Big Data Analytics. Please be careful in building data science team and be proactive in helping them understand your business and business problems. Once it is done, be ready for the dramatic improvement in your business.
Mr Navin Manaswi, Senior Data Scientist, Xchanging
LinkedIn Profile: https://my.linkedin.com/in/navin-manaswi-1a708b8