- Your next career choice ….
Data analytics is key to the success of a modern enterprise. Making decisions based on data opens up more opportunities and drives business outcomes. Hence, hiring an efficient analytics team is one of the most critical tasks for forward-thinking companies looking to scale.
US-based bluCognition, with the India HQ in Pune, is an AI/ML-based analytics startup that focuses on enhancing organisations’ analytical capabilities by leveraging alternative data sources and offering analytics consulting. Founded in 2017 by Sangarsh Nigam, the President & CEO, the management team boasts over two decades of analytics experience in leadership roles in the global payments industry.
The company believes the key to success is to build a high performing analytics team and ensure the availability of vast clean, and accurate data.
Analytics India Magazine spoke with one of the key members of bluCognition’s management team — Mukesh Chamedia, the Managing Director, to learn more about its services and client partnerships.
“Despite the advancement in AI/ML, the outcome was only as good as the data, and hence our key focus is on data augmentation by digitising and leveraging non-traditional data sources in providing meaningful and actionable insights to our clients,” says Mukesh.
Paving the way for the BFSI industry
As businesses enhance their data capabilities to sustain these turbulent times, data analytics jobs are rising, especially for the banking and financial sector. Being the biggest influencer in the analytics job market, the BFSI sector continued its investment in analytics capability, personnel, and technology, despite the pandemic.
bluCognition runs two key verticals — products and consulting. On the product front, the company has two platforms, XTract and XScrape focusing on digitisation and augmentation of data. XTract is a fully automated platform for digitising financial data, including bank statements, financial documents and tax statements, and providing intelligence. XScrape, on the other hand, is a data augmentation platform to scrape publicly available data about businesses. The company counts American Express as one of their key clients in the long list of clients they work with globally, covering all the major markets like the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Mexico, etc.
Under the consulting vertical, bluCognition provides analytics consulting to their clients in the BFSI sector. Some of the known names they work with are CreditJusto — a major fintech company in Mexico, and Zip Co.— a global player in the ‘Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL)’ space.
Zip Co. commissioned bluCognition to build its analytics team from the ground up. Mukesh says, “We have a global mandate from Zip Co to set up their analytics team across credit and fraud analytics, marketing analytics, data science, merchant risk and collection analytics, across all the markets it operates in.”
“With fintech being the next big thing, the work we do in analytics is extremely exciting. It provides all our employees with an opportunity to stretch their imagination on how they can develop world-class analytical capabilities to optimise the analytical decisions,” says Mukesh. “We encourage them to think broadly not just about how they can leverage the latest and best in class AI/ML capabilities, but also how to effectively bring together all the traditional and alternative data sources – like digital, mobile, social media and partner data.”
Talent building at bluCognition
Over the last 12 months, bluCognition has onboarded 25+ analytics professionals and are looking at further scaling up Zip Co.’s team significantly in the next 2-3 months.
The hiring process at this analytics startup is a 3-4 step approach. It starts with a fitment interview to evaluate candidates’ soft skills before moving to technical and business interviews. For data science roles, a technical interview is mandatory. Key qualities they look for in a candidate are good analytical and communication skills, curiosity and an attitude to learn.
bluCognition firmly believes in creating a two-way conversation with the candidates — a lot different from traditional hiring approaches. The company encourages candidates to ask thought-provoking questions that help the company gauge how serious and excited the candidate is about the role.
The current team sees talent from various companies, such as Kabbage, Amazon, American Express, EXL, Genpact, Kotak, Paytm, to name a few. The company’s inclusive work culture ensures equal opportunity for all. It provides a level playing field for employees within the organisation despite gender, age or origin, and creates a diverse leadership team. “In fact, most of the leadership roles at bluCognition are held by women, something to be proud of,” says Mukesh.
According to Mukesh, the company is also making way for women to get back to corporate life after a career break. “Remote working is thus proving to be a boon for the organisation,” says Mukesh.
Long road ahead
bluCognition is looking at a remote working model. “The pandemic made all of us realise that remote working, if properly managed, can be equally effective. It helps all our employees maintain a healthy work and personal life balance. And now we are seriously evaluating a much longer-term remote working model,” says Mukesh.
In terms of revenue, the company saw 10x growth in the last 18 months and grew by 5x in terms of employee strength. To support that growth, the company plans to open an office in Bangalore and a few international locations to operate closer to its clients and provide the services more effectively.
With businesses around the globe looking to strengthen their data capabilities for intelligent decision making, bluCognition facilitates this transformation by roping in the best talents in the industry and building an analytics ecosystem from scratch.