IBM Data Scientist Talks about Data Science and More!

Nimesh Jha

Data Scientist – IBM

About 4 years of experience in the field of data science and analytics

Previous experiences – Dell and HP

Educational qualifications – B.Engg (Electronics & Communication)

Specialization areas – Business Intelligence, R and data analysis

Nimesh recently spoke to Manipal ProLearn about his journey so far as a data scientist. The following are some excerpts from the interview:

Manipal ProLearn: Data science is a relatively new career field. How did you learn about it?

Nimesh: Well, I always had an interest in analytics. It started with learning Business Intelligence (BI) development on SQL server and then I moved to learn R for Statistical Analysis. Data Science had always been around.

However, the experts used to be called statisticians, computer scientists, mathematicians and so on. Today, we identify them as Data Scientists.

Manipal ProLearn: How will you explain your job role to a non-industry person in one line?

Nimesh: I would simply say we use statistics, mathematics and computer programming to solve business problems.

Manipal ProLearn: One book or movie that you think every data scientist should watch/read or could draw some inspiration from.

Nimesh: Well, there are several movies, which would appeal to data scientists. However, my favorites are Pirates of Silicon Valley and The Social Network.

I’d recommend the book ‘Data Science for Business” – Foster Provost & Tom Fawcett for industry professionals and enthusiasts. I think it should be a part of every data scientist’s library.

Manipal ProLearn: What are the three qualities or traits that are a must-have for data science professionals?

Nimesh: Passion to mine data, Desire to learn and enthusiasm for solving business challenges.

Manipal ProLearn: What do you enjoy the most about being a data scientist?

Nimesh: I enjoy solving business problems in innovative and creative ways by finding hidden patterns in data.

Manipal ProLearn: Name any industry leader who has been an inspiration to you, and why?

Nimesh: That would be Mark Zuckerberg. Because he has proved that technology is not a privilege. He has established that with the right idea and some enthusiasm, you can build great products which can be accessed by the whole world.

Manipal ProLearn: If not a data scientist, what would be your alternative career path and why?

Nimesh: BI Developer or an Ethical Hacker because both require enthusiasm and innovative approach, which I have.

Manipal ProLearn: What do you like to do in your spare time, when you are not deep diving into the data world?

Nimesh: I prefer spending time with my family, reading fiction books. Also, I spend some time watching sci-fi movies or playing online games.

Manipal ProLearn: Can you share a few activities that can help data science professionals hone their skills? Or something that you like to do to sharpen your analytical skills?

Nimesh: I would advise data science professionals to register on Kaggle – an online data science competition platform. Participating in hackathons and competitions is the best and quickest way to get your hands dirty in data science world. Further, read blogs, participate in forums and join Stack Overflow. Read, read and read. Because there is no substitute for it.

Manipal ProLearn: Which was the last book you read/last movie you watched and why did you like/dislike it?

Nimesh: The last movie I watched was ‘Anti-trust’. Since it covers themes like open standard software and technology, I liked it.

Manipal ProLearn: If you ever have a movie made on your life, whom would you want to play your role and why?

Nimesh: That’s an interesting question, I never really thought about it! However, since you asked, I’d prefer Ashton Kutcher. It is because I think his portrayal of Steve Jobs in the movie Jobs was excellent.

Manipal ProLearn: Describe yourself in three words.

Nimesh: Passionate, philomath, and enthusiastic.

Manipal ProLearn: What changes do you expect to see in the ever-evolving data science world in the next few years?

Nimesh: Especially relevant is the fact that the industry is currently focusing on big-data technologies. Therefore, deep learning and Artificial Intelligence are set to overtake the industry in a few years, I feel.

Manipal ProLearn: What is your message to budding data scientists?

Nimesh: Keep learning new technologies. And read data science articles. Also, keep revising your statistics, mathematics and programming fundamentals. Further, enroll and learn from as many courses as you can.

We’re living in a rapidly changing time. So, keep your spirit alive. Good luck!

That’s one enthusiastic young data scientist for you! Manipal ProLearn thanks Nimesh Jha for taking out his time to talk to us. We wish him all the very best in his future endeavors!

Keep checking this space for more interesting and informative conversations with data science professionals.

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