Gayatri Kanthimathi Sukumar

Technical Manager

“Every month, we interact with thousands of IT professionals looking to make a switch to analytics. They find the role of a business analyst or data scientist as fascinating, know that they can make money and that their career path will be rewarding.”

But still, many of them are a touch hesitant to make that bold move. After all, it is a big career shift and lets face it, all of us are apprehensive when it comes to change.

In all this, what is needed is confidence and the best way to gain that confidence is to see others making a successful transition.

Read on to know more about IT to ANALYTICS career switch experience of our Alumnus Gayatri.

Q1. Tell us a little about your background

Well, I would like to begin by saying that, I am a post graduate in analytics from Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai.

Prior to this, I bring with me a vast experience in closely working with customers, product management and program management in driving, delivering, integrating software products in the roles of engineering manager, architect and engineer.

Additionally, my last corporate stint being a Manager at Cisco Systems gave me a wide variety of experiences in analytics product development, embedded product development, project management and customer business engagement.

Q2. So what made you contemplate switching careers?

I always had a keen interest in deriving business value from the myriad opportunities of innovation in the integrated space of software product development and data science.

Then, a strong desire to set-up a career path of my own and dream to take on something big wherein I can contribute in shaping businesses inspired me to switch careers from IT to Analytics.

Q3. When you were thinking of switching, why did you choose Analytics as your area of interest?

The primary reason for choosing Analytics was that problem solving is very close to my heart and analytics is all about problem solving with numbers.

With businesses, either big or small collecting day-to-day data, there is a very wide scope to help them improve both bottom line and top line.

With the low cost, high tech sensors hitting the market data science for IOT are much closer and more tangible than before.

Q4. What made you choose Great Lakes Program?

The experience that the faculty brings, the course curriculum which is business oriented (not many schools tie their analytics program to business which is the most important, but Great Lakes does) and the peer group were few main reasons to choose the Great Lakes PGPBA Program.

Q5. How did the PGPBA program assist you in this transition?

GL supports students with exposure to real time analytics projects and career connects, that can give students a jump start in their analytics journey.

The course was interesting and I especially appreciate the experienced faculty who shared their industry experiences with the students. I was able to develop a really solid understanding of analytics and the industry exposure was helpful as well because we got to work on real life data sets.

The relationships with the institute are a lifetime and they are always there when hurdles have to be crossed.

Q6. Once you decided to switch careers, how did you go about picking up some analytics skills?

Plenty of complex and real data is available for free on the internet. Also several books on analytical problem solving and programming for analytics are also available. Though these definitely helped me build my skills, however, the urge to learn from the experts was always there. Additionally, in order to survive and lead in the long run, I felt the necessity of undertaking a proper course in Analytics and hence, enrolled for Great Lakes PGPBA.

Q7. A job in data analytics- how did you make it happen?

Well, upon graduation, I took the courage to start my own analytics consulting firm. We are already working on some very exciting and engaging assignments across clients.

Q8.What do you like about your new role?

Each customer is different and so is their data. It is always (with every dataset) quite refreshing to make business insights or build business models after spending days together wading through the data.

Q9. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

I intend to grow my consulting firm in terms of revenue and employees. We also look forward to giving back to the society with a significant percentage of our profits.

Q10. Words of advice for others contemplating a similar shift

Set goals, take them seriously, act on them.

Once you have decided to make a shift into data analytics, believe in yourself and have confidence in your decision. You have to be patient and optimistic. The fact is that the industry is looking for people with data analytics skills. Your analytics skills are in demand and in time you will get picked up.

Gayatri Sukumar Kanthimathi, an alumnus of Great Lakes PGPBA program is also a Founder of Latitude Analytics LLP, an analytics consulting services You can reach her at

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