It is intriguing when you get to know about the perks and privileges a data science techie gets. But do we know what it takes to become one? In order to know their side of the story, every week we get in touch with some of the top data scientists from the industry and try to take a look at their journey.
For this week’s ‘My Journey In Data Science’ we got in touch with Puneet Gupta who is the Senior VP and Head of Engineering at HomeLane. With more than 18 years of experience, Gupta has established himself as an energetic product and engineering leader in the industry.
Gupta is an electrical and electronics engineering graduate from IIT Delhi, and he has done his Masters from the University of Maryland, College Park. When asked whether he ever faced peer pressure on selecting any stream, he said that it was entirely his decision, “I am not one to buckle to peer pressure.”
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Talking about the instance when he fell in love with data science, Gupta said that he has always been intrigued by how signals are processed by machines – speech, images, videos etc. He even said that this inclination towards data science led him to his B.Tech and M.Tech thesis on subjects such as pattern recognition, computer vision, machine learning and AI. “Data science was a natural extension to that area of interest for me,” said Gupta.
Coming to the education part in the data science domain, Gupta says that learning never stops — there is always something new to learn. When asked how he prepared to enter this domain, he said that he believes that it doesn’t matter whether it’s a paid resource or completely free thing, you should keep reading about the things you want to learn. He also suggests that one should always keep exploring — which is all about getting yourself involved with different aspects of the domain. “Read, Explore, Collaborate, Repeat – that is my way to prepare,” says Gupta.
The Excitement Factor
While Gupta walked us through his data science journey, we also asked what is about the domain that excites him much. He believes that what machines are able to do today without manual intervention is mind-boggling. And he also emphasised that much of it is due to the advancement in the computing capabilities that people have to avail. Technologies like AI and Data Science that looked futuristic a decade back is now at the core of innovations driving these innovations in automation. “What intrigues me is to see how much of the seemingly ‘abstract’ concepts or thoughts are actually structured enough to be modelled by data science,” said Gupta.
His Current Work
Talking about his current work, Gupta at HomeLane is an integral part of the work process of building Unified Data Platform, a centralised cognitive data centre which will help the company to run analytics, generate business reports and derive insights based on data modelling and machine learning.
“The first beta version is already up, and we are developing it further to make it part of HomeLane’s business DNA,” said Gupta.
Furthermore, he is also working on some other significant projects such as the next-generation version of HomeLane’s industry-best 3D interior design platform “SpaceCraft”.
Talking about the toolkits he prefers, he said that more than tools, the true hero of data science is the data itself. “The term data science is wide and all-inclusive and hence the answer cannot be universal and will depend on the application and the purpose of “what you are trying to analyse”. However, his favourite tools include:
Piece Of Advice To Aspiring Data Science Professionals
When asked about any advice he would like to convey to the beginners or the aspirants, Gupta said that data is a source of intelligence, but it is just one source. While we should rely on insights data presents to us, human intuition is still irreplaceable. “Consumer products designed without this intuition, in my opinion, tend to stay dry & transactional. And that is not my idea of a great product,” Gupta said in conclusion.