Weekly Data Science Round-Up – March 13, 2019

Here’s our weekly round-up of the most essential reads on Data Science from across the Internet:

8 mistakes to avoid in Data Science interviews: Candidates must avoid common mistakes such as just having theoretical knowledge, forsaking domain knowledge, not paying attention to communication skills and more.

Data Science in Retail: Data Science provides the foundation for a company to integrate their key business functions to deliver the best outcomes for themselves and their customers.

97,000 Data Science jobs vacant in India: Data Science jobs have increased at over 45% compared to last year with more companies adopting data-driven decision making.

5 Data Science jobs at Target India: 5 Data Science Job Openings for Data Scientist, Item Data Analyst, Data Engineer At Target India that you can apply for right away.

Why Data Science is a great career option for freshers: Data science will be a rewarding career option because of the higher potential for growth in the future and better pay, along with the huge amount of demand for qualified data scientists right now.  

2019 Report – Career Opportunities in India for Analytics and Data Science: This report explores the types of career opportunities that are available for data scientists across experience levels, geographies, skill sets and more throughout India.

Weekly Artificial Intelligence Round-Up – March 13, 2019

Here’s our weekly round-up of the most essential reads on Artificial Intelligence from across the Internet:

1. Top 5 Successful Startups led by women: A list of startups in India that are led by women, featuring pioneering startups such as Rivigo, Zestmoney, Bash.ai and more.

2. Google uses Machine Learning to predict floods in India: Google’s Flood forecasting project helps to predict floods in Patna, using machine learning to predict likelihood of flooding.

3. Candidates take recruitment test powered by AI: 534 candidates have received job offers from companies, after taking a recruitment test that was unsupervised by humans, called an Auto-Proctoring test.

4. AI powered ‘Bolo’ improves reading skills by 64% in UP: Google launches Bolo, which helps children improve their reading skills by encouraging them to read aloud, and verify it through a speech-recognition feature.

5. 5 must-haves on your Artificial Intelligence Resume: To land an AI job, you’ll need to know these programming languages, concepts of machine learning, and some engineering science.

6. 3 Machine Learning models used by Spotify to recommend music : Spotify uses Convolutional Neural Networks, Natural Language Processing and collaborative filtering to power their flagship recommendation feature.

6 Common Interview questions for Cloud Architects

A cloud computing architect is responsible for the structure of an organisation’s cloud infrastructure. The architect builds the foundation on which the front-end and back-end platforms communicate with each other working in tandem with cloud-based delivery systems and the cloud network, all of which comprise cloud architecture. Since the role is critical to the functioning and success of cloud services, the role comes with a high level of responsibility, as well as reward.

Professionals usually transition to a cloud architect position after a few years of working as a cloud engineer or a software engineer, or by doing a comprehensive program in cloud computing. Here is a list of common questions they might face in their cloud architect interview:  

1. How do you connect on-premise applications to cloud services?

You can connect on-premise applications to cloud services through Hybrid integration. Traditionally this has been done with VPNs or FTP for loading data, but they’re not very efficient for integration.

You can choose a good cloud provider like AWS/Azure/GCloud so that you have more control over it, compared to a public cloud set up. You will then have to set up an encrypted channel so that your on-premise apps can communicate with your private cloud platform.  

2. What should be the strategy for application migration to the cloud?

There is no single right answer for this question as there are multiple answers depending on the circumstances. Here are the different strategies:

Re-hosting: This can be done by redeploying applications to a cloud-based hardware setup while configuring the application host accordingly. This is quick and easy while sacrificing scalability.

Re-platforming: You can choose to run the application directly on the cloud vendor’s platform. This can be done without changing the app’s core architecture. While it has the advantage of backward compatibility, the underdeveloped PaaS infrastructure means that common capabilities are sometimes excluded.

Repurchasing: This might come at a high cost and cause lock-in with the new vendor, but one option is to junk the old application and purchase a compatible SaaS platform.

Refactoring: This can be a resource-intensive exercise because it involves overhauling how an application is architected. This is usually treated as a last resort when new features need to be added, or if the services need to be scaled or to improve the overall performance.

3. What is Serverless (AWS Lambda)?

AWS Lambda lets users run code without having to manage servers, so it’s called a serverless service. It executes code only when needed and scales automatically, from a few requests per day to thousands per second. This allows users to pay only for the compute time consumed – Users can run code for different application types without any administration.

4. What is the problem in Lambda (Serverless) implementation?

Vendor lock-in:  When the application is hosted on a serverless platform, porting it to another platform is cumbersome due to compatibility issues in terms of supported programming languages. It also means that the user will have to cede control of their hosted application to the vendor.

Long-term challenges: Since Lamba is a Function-as-a-Service, it calls multiple functions if it takes too long to execute a task, which is resource intensive and ineffective.    

5. What is the use of API Gateway?

The API gateway is the entry point for an API for a group of microservices. It handles protocol translations which makes it suitable for microservices that make use of multiple APIs. They allow devs to design the application structure depending on the use case. The API gateway can be used for:

  • – Authentication
  • – Security enforcement
  • – Cache management
  • – Load balancing

 

6. Where to use NoSQL databases as compared to traditional relational databases?

You should use NoSQL database if:

  • Need to handle a large volume of data that is structured/unstructured
  • If your business requirements make you follow development practices such as agile sprints, quick iterations, and frequent code pushes
  • Prefer object-oriented programming that is easy to use and flexible
  • Want to leverage efficient, scale-out architecture instead of expensive, monolithic architecture

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These are some common questions that are asked in interviews, but this is not an exhaustive list. Your interviewer might ask you questions that are specific to the company or the role and you need to be prepared for that too. To give yourself an advantage over others, you can choose to pursue a cloud program that offers you comprehensive and industry relevant skills.

I received excellent support from the program manager: Sujay Kumar, BACP Alumnus

I pursued the BACP (Business Analytics Certificate Program) to get a headstart in my organization’s analytics team.

I am from a manufacturing background. When I got a strategic project management role in my organization Nalco, I knew that I needed to upskill to analytics quickly. They were setting up an analytics unit in Pune and hiring across a wide experience range, so I needed to learn analytics to become a part of the team. A program like BACP has immense brand value and I knew that it would help me a lot to substantiate my analytics knowledge to my company.

My current role demands that I spend more time in the office so an online format was perfect for me.

My current role is at an upper middle management level which comes with its set of challenges and travel time. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to allocate enough time to studies in a full-time program, so I opted for an online format. As per inputs and reviews from other BACP participants, I was convinced that BACP was going to be quite a different experience with its micro-classes (study sessions in small groups of 5). I also realized that at the end of the day, whichever program format you opt for- blended, online, full-time, you will be driven by your interest and intent to learn. Self-study is an extremely critical component in any program.

Is BACP the right program for me?

I must have asked this question to myself at least a 100 times before enrolling as I was hard-pressed on time. Honestly, I did my market research, but most of the courses or programs required me to have prior statistical knowledge or programming experience, etc. Due to my background in the manufacturing industry, I had some statistical know-how in my arsenal, but I was averse to coding and programming. Feedback and reviews from alumni actually convinced me the most to go ahead with BACP. Post completion, I have started working on analytics projects but our projects are very basic unlike the sophisticated models built in other companies. It’s a manufacturing company predominantly driven by sales. I mostly use linear and logistic regression in my current project.

My biggest challenge during the program was managing my study time.

The success of any course does not depend on the course curriculum, the faculty, or any other components. It mostly depends on your dedication and hard work. After a 12-hour day at the office, spending an additional 3 hours even on the weekends seemed like an uphill task. Stretching oneself has its limitations but I knew that in order to do justice to the time and money I had invested in the program, I will have to get over these time constraints and establish a studying rhythm that would last for the entire duration of the program. I received excellent support from the program manager who kept my spirit high even during the low days when I just wanted to give up. Dipayan Sarkar, my mentor was very helpful and encouraging. And even today, I am in touch with him.


Lifelong Learning as a mantra is embedded deep in my system.

After my graduation, I was sure of one thing that I would always keep myself updated and upskill from time to time. Over the past 10 years, I have pursued several programs, at least one program every two years. While others may disagree, but the days of learning once and applying the learning forever are behind us. Learning new things gives me the confidence to catapult both my personal and professional growth.

My advice to aspirants wanting to pursue this course is to be serious about it.

I somehow feel that doing a course just for the sake of a career transition will not be successful all the time. The candidate should be really serious about learning something new. From a learning perspective, it should be more about the process rather than the result. One more thing to be clear about is the projects you will be working on once the program is completed. Analytics is not just about building fancy models from day one. It will take a long time (even 4 to 5 years) to become a proficient data scientist for anyone entering the field without experience.

Is an AWS Certification enough to launch a cloud computing career?

Cloud Computing is a fast-growing domain in our digital economy because it has upended how organizations store and retrieve their data and digital services. AWS was an early entrant into this field, as a cloud computing platform that offered a scalable tool that addressed the infrastructure requirements through on-demand cloud computing platforms to individuals, companies and governments, on a subscription basis.

To improve operational and delivery efficiencies, companies turn to AWS to host their applications. AWS has firmly established itself in the existing market as a top-rated cloud computing service. That’s why being certified in AWS would be a valuable asset if you are trying to build a well-rounded cloud computing resume.

The AWS certification course is designed to ensure that you gain an in-depth understanding of the Amazon Web Services’ objectives and principles. The most common objective of taking this course is to learn to design and scale AWS cloud implementations. Having to be recertified every 2 years also ensures that the skills of the participants are always relevant and up to date.

Top 3 reasons to choose an AWS Certification

1. Being certified as an AWS professional demonstrates to potential recruiters the
depth of information and your commitment to learning cloud computing.
2. AWS certified professionals are consistently listed among the top paying
info-tech certifications worldwide.
3. Over 68% of enterprise respondents reported using AWS to run their cloud applications. There are more opportunities compared to other platforms.

So should you choose to pursue an AWS certification? The simple and direct answer is yes, but is an AWS Certification enough to boost your career? That’s where cloud experts would disagree.

Choosing just AWS Certification might be a good first step because the cloud computing arena is constantly evolving and changing. Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud are also strong contenders for being leading cloud providers and are offering young professionals a competitive edge.

To truly launch your career in cloud computing, you’ll need a comprehensive program that covers all the aspects of the cloud, that gives a well-rounded understanding of the fundamental concepts. It needs to equip you with the right skills and tools that help you build innovative cloud solutions. An extensive program needs to offer certain benefits to students, such as:

1. Learning to apply concepts and work with tools and platforms across industry-relevant use cases.
2. Learning from experienced cloud computing industry practitioners.
3. Personalised mentorship from cloud architects working in leading companies.

In comparison to just AWS Certification, a Post-Graduate program in Cloud computing offers you holistic cloud skills that will enable you to succeed in your career. Experts at Great Learning have put together a comprehensive Post Graduate Cloud Computing Program that consists of cloud environments such as the ubiquitous AWS, along with Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. Spread over 6 months, PGP – Cloud Computing is an extensive course has helped people in putting their careers on the fast track to success.

2019 Report – Career Opportunities in India for Analytics and Data Science

Analytics and Data Science have seen steady growth in the past few years, and they’re all set to be the jobs of the future. These domains are helping companies leverage data to make smarter decisions and drive better results.

With the increased proliferation of digitisation replacing paper-based processes, businesses and organisations now have access to large amounts of data on their processes and resources. The advantage of this digitisation is two-fold – one being that it’s made data collection and preservation much easier. This has, in turn, granted access to large volumes of data that were previously unavailable for analysis. The next step after getting access to all this data is to analyse them and mine them for insights.

The world is on a steady trajectory towards relying on hard-data to make rational decisions, instead of relying on untested hypotheses and ‘gut feelings’. The demand for higher degrees of efficiency in processes can only be achieved through insightful analysis of clean data, which is facilitated by Data Science and Analytics.

The need for qualified analysts who can make sense of large volumes of data has created a large demand of analysts and data scientists who can work across industries. This has created huge opportunities for professionals who are able to leverage the data to offer new insights. There are a wealth of opportunities available in India, waiting for the right talent to snap them up.

To make it easier for modern professionals in India to understand the kind of opportunities that are available to them, we partnered with Analytics India Magazine to produce the Analytics and Data Science Jobs in India Study 2019.

This report will offer key insights such as:

  • * Cities offering the best analytics and data science opportunities
  • * Industries with high potential for data science and analytics
  • * Analytics jobs available for specific skill sets and tools
  • * Median salaries for Analytics and Data Science professionals

 

You can download the full report here.

I got a lot of tips on performing well in interviews: Ramya T, PGP-DSE Alumnus

We are defined by the choices we make. In the case of our DSE alumnus Ramya, the choice was clear. Read further to know why she considered the PGP-DSE program by Great Learning as the ideal choice.

Why did you choose this particular program?

I completed my graduation in electronics and communication engineering. After college, I took up a Python course out of my own interest. Later, I decided to take up a full-time data science program; one which would help me to learn data science from scratch. My mother works for Great Lakes and she advised me to take a look at the diverse courses offered by Great Learning. I realized that PGP-DSE is the perfect match for me. The PGP-DSE program is best suited for freshers who want to build a career in data science. I was certain about the quality of the course. I didn’t even consider any other institute and enrolled for the DSE program right away.

How was the program curriculum and how is it structured?

As a fresher, I knew very little about data science but at the end of the program, I was well-versed with all the industry-relevant tools and topics. It was the ideal and the best way to learn data science. All the concepts were taught during this program with hands-on training on topics like text mining, Hadoop, SQL etc. All the Faculty were really great and I really love the way this program is structured

What are your career aspirations?

I got into Saksoft, thanks to the career fair organised by Great Learning in Chennai. My resume was shortlisted by three companies- Monexo, Saksoft, and Merit. After a f2f interview, I got a call from Saksoft for a case study test at their office followed by a rapid-fire round. The data set that was given in the case study round was similar to the classroom project that we did. So, I could do it very well. Also, Mr Hariram, who is a BABI Alumnus had given general interview guidance after my interview session with Saksoft. I got this offer even before completing the program.

What kind of career guidance did you get from your mentor?

We were properly groomed for the interviews. I would like to thank Mr Shyam Muralidharan who took my mock interview. He was very patient. He gave a lot of tips on how to perform during the interviews and highlighted the areas of improvement as well. I couldn’t have performed well in my Saksoft interview without the mock interview experience. Even after getting the job I chose to take a career mentoring session and I booked my session with Mr Shyam. Career mentoring is a good initiative as it helps students to get guidance on choosing their career path.

 

After working for 15 years, I needed a strong foundation in analytics and a solid program like PGP-BABI: Praveen Tayal, PGP-BABI Alumnus

Our PGP-BABI alumnus Praveen Tayal was keen on transitioning to a career in data science, even after 15 years of working in the aerospace and automobile domain.

In his own words:

My Journey So Far: I am a Mechatronics Engineer with around 15 years of experience in the Aerospace and Transportation domain. I have mostly worked on core engineering simulations, building API based Engineering Tools and Product Life Cycle Management (PLM) system. For the last 2-3 years, I have been engaged with core Data Science projects revolving around New Product Introduction (NPI) for both internal and external customers.

My Reasons for Pursuing the PGP-BABI program: Since I have a mixed background of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics, I had a natural inclination for Computer Science Algorithms and I picked up a few projects in my organization beyond my office hours. Then I figured that I lack knowledge in certain areas and I need to enrol in a formal program, preferably with the classroom blend. I chose the PG Program in Business Analytics because it met my expectations and it is the top-ranked program in analytics. The knowledge that I gained from the course was helpful in the execution of the self-started projects in my organization. The duration and learning format of PGP-BABI gave me the flexibility of managing my workload and learning side by side.

Program Highlights for Me: I believe the program structure is pretty good. It covers a lot of different elements and knowledge of other domains. So, there is something for everyone to learn even if you are an expert in any particular domain. It also exposed me to the type of algorithms people use in different companies for problem-solving. Then, the amazing faculty! They are subject matter experts with industry knowledge who focussed on building our concepts from day 1.

Great Learning’s PGP-BABI is the Perfect Course: After working for 15 years, I needed a strong foundation in analytics and a solid program like PGP-BABI to start with. In my opinion, everybody should take up formal courses for a shift to data science and analytics role. One can always use the program learnings as the starting point during interviews.

I was able to switch my job internally because of my networking: I knew the exact people I had to contact in case some opportunity showed up. I shared my assignments and the capstone project and kept in touch with them. I also participated in internal hackathons in my organization. I would reach out to the key people for any queries and I built a good rapport with them. Finally, I got an opportunity and I made use of it.

Tools & techniques used in my current role: I use statistical tools and open source tools. Mostly, R and Python. I also use distributed computing to process the algorithms on the large historical data from the aircraft.

My Advice to Aspirants Looking for a Transition to Analytics: I started getting hands-on experience because I was self-driven and motivated in networking within my company. You got to do it because jumping out into this domain as a fresher could be challenging. Until you have a body of work and a few projects that can act as highlights on your resume, you won’t be taken seriously. Participate in hackathons. Start networking with people in your company for opportunities and most importantly, apply analytics in your current role. There is a certain passion that you have to bring to the table along with your skill set. Good conceptual knowledge, mathematical skills and asking a lot of questions will always help.

 

I’d like to thank Great Learning for their support and guidance: Sravan Malla, Machine Learning Alumnus

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are at the forefront of the technological revolution we are witnessing today. The number of individuals aspiring to become certified AI and ML practitioners has increased exponentially. There are a lot of institutes to choose from to learn AI, so making the right choice needs to be a calculated move.

Read on to find out why Sravan Malla, our Machine Learning program alumnus considers Great Learning as the ideal choice.

  • Why did you choose Great Learning to learn Machine Learning?

I am a graduate in Mechanical Engineering and have started my career in IT as a Mainframe Developer, so the challenges began from then. Though I am having a good time working as a Developer at IBM, I was always encouraged to take up new responsibilities and got a chance to explore the area of analytics. I then developed an interest and started learning about analytics and always wanted to support my self-learning with a well-defined course curriculum; for which I explored and shortlisted few institutes. The curriculum of the Machine Learning program by Great Learning met my requirements and seemed promising. So, the reason I chose Great Learning. I had just three and a half years of experience when I took up this program but the way course is defined suits all levels of experience.

  • Were the faculty approachable and knowledgeable?

The class interactions are the best I can say. I was doing it all online before I enrolled for the program and personally, I felt that there are a lot of distractions in an online course and it can be challenging to reach out to the faculty directly.

The professors who come to teach the machine learning program at Great Lakes are not any fresh college graduates. They are highly experienced professors and industry practitioners. I utilized the opportunity to interact with the professors to the fullest. I had a chance to hear from best professors like Dr. Srabhashi Basu, Dr. Narayana Darapaneni and Prof. Mukesh Rao who took most of our sessions and the best thing is even today, they are approachable.

  • Did your career improve after you completed the program?

The career progression did not happen just like that, it’s not a miracle. Before and along with the course, I had lots of homework. This course really helped me to do that homework in a proper manner and I got a chance to work in this area in my current company. Later when I was on the verge of completing the course, I had multiple job offers in the field of Data Science and Machine Learning from a couple of companies. I have accepted the role and decided to work with Accenture as a Sr. Analyst – AI/ML Engineer which looked more promising and was aligned to my career goals.

I would like to thank Great Learning from the bottom of my heart for providing me with the required support and guidance throughout my journey and making this possible.

From Day-1 of my journey, I believed that the Great Lakes Machine Learning program is the right choice for enhancing my skillset. Once again, I firmly want to say that I came to the right place and my career goals have been fulfilled because of the proper strategy, plan, course structure, and the excellent faculty which Great Learning had in place. Though I have utilized the resources to the maximum extent possible, I should say that there is still a lot more to learn and grow and just like Great Learning, I believe in continuous learning.

  • Do you have any advice for the aspirants?

Firstly, one must stick to the goal they set and avoid all the distractions, it might not be as easy as we say, but the results are a pay-off for all the sacrifices and hard work you put in. Sometimes, people or situations around may make you feel down, just ignore and keeping giving your best. Keep remembering the quote “Repetition is the mother of all skills” and feel proud to revise the concepts twice, thrice or until you feel you are comfortable. The one thing that should always keep you motivated was the zeal and strong will to be future-ready.