Chartered Data Scientist™ is the leading designation in the data science profession, which gives strong credibility about the understanding of applied analytics and data science skills. Conducted by ADaSci, CDS™ program is a self-study program that lets you stand out in the data science domain as it is increasingly becoming competitive.
Earning CDS™ proves that your knowledge and skills are up to the latest international standards, and connects you to an elite network of expert data scientists employed by the world’s leading institutions.
Suvadip Chakraborty, a data science professional with over 12 years of experience, is a data science professional to be awarded a CDS™. As a charter holder, he firmly believes that CDS™ will help him in this competitive industry and keep him connected with the best of the data science industry. Analytics India Magazine got in touch with Suvadip to know more about his experience of writing the examination and being a charter holder.
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Could you tell us about your professional and educational background?
I have 12 years of work experience in the field. I did my Masters in Economics from Delhi School of Economics and joined HSBC analytics as a campus recruit, and have been with the organisation since then. However, I have moved across departments and geographies and currently working as Assistant Vice President in Commercial Banking Analytics.
Currently, I lead the analytics team for growth and innovation initiatives of HSBC’s Commercial Banking business, developing end to end strategies. We extensively use advanced analytics, internal and external data sources for the same.
Previously, I have been in the leadership and analytical roles in marketing and campaign analytics in Retail Banking, Wealth Management, Insurance and Digital banking working across geographies spanning US, UK, France, Asia and Middle-East across all asset and liability products.
How did you get into the data science field?
It was much before Harvard rated Data Scientist as the Sexiest Job of the 21st Century. In fact, when I joined analytics in 2008, the term data scientist was not popular, and analysts were known as ‘business problem solvers’ who can do cool things with data and solve amazing business problems which were previously tackled heuristically. This breed of young people who are armed with data and an analytics toolbox and can fix complicated real business problems attracted me to join the cohort.
How did you come to know about the CDS™ examination?
I stumbled upon the examination in one of the data science newsletters. It caught my immediate attention as I found it to be an excellent opportunity to benchmark myself against the latest international standards, especially amid the rapidly changing data science landscape. The opportunity to connect and network with the best professionals around was indeed lucrative.
How did you prepare for the exam? Since when did you begin your preparation for the exam?
My strategy was first to revise the data science topics which I had previously personally worked on. The brushing up helped drastically. On top of it, I identified the gaps when compared with the new developments in the data science world. I had to specifically learn a lot on Computer Vision and Speech related topics, which have seen a lot of progress lately. Given my work experience covered a significant portion of the curriculum, I had to put in two months of additional structured effort for the exam. However, for somebody new in the Data Science world, I would recommend at least six months of structured preparation.
How many hours did you dedicate each day?
The COVID situation helped me save some time on travelling, and I could manage to free up a couple of hours a day for the preparation on weekdays. Weekends were spent more on playing around with R and Python.
What was your approach to crack the exam?
My strategy was to start with the topics which I am most familiar with, like NLP, Supervised and unsupervised learning, deployment and business. I tried to wrap these topics as quickly as possible to gain confidence and to free up time for the ones I need to think, calculate or simulate. This strategy helped with time management.
How do you think CDS will help in your professional journey as a data scientist?
It will definitely keep myself competitive and industry-ready, as well as will help network with the experts in this field.
What would be your advice to fellow data science enthusiasts looking to take the CDS exam?
Well, to be honest, the CDS™ is not an easy exam, as it tests your 360-degree knowledge in the Data Science domain. I would recommend candidates to brush up existing knowledge in the field very well, identify gaps and follow a structured plan to plug all these gaps and prepare for the exam. Wishing you all the best!
How was your overall experience?
It was great! I am looking forward to my free pass for the upcoming global Computer Vision Conference, one of the perks of being a DS Charter holder.
Disclaimer: The views are personal to the interviewee and not representing any organisation.