I wandered. I have tried different things and kept exploring things on a hunch to see if it was something I wanted to do. Others may have felt I look lost, but I learned a lot in the process and got some great experience before settling into a more focused line of work. “Not all who wander are lost.” After a few years exploring a few things in postgraduate education, my initial few years of professional life were spent in market research and customer loyalty consulting.I soon found that I was not able to answer some of the pointed questions asked by my clients, senior executives in large companies, and realized that adding Analytics skills to my repertoire is crucial to explain not only the “what” but also the “how” and “when.” That is how I happened to be a part of this tribe.
Interestingly, in the field of Analytics, when you are exploring and trying to figure answers to complex business problems, you can wander around purposefully (and patiently!) and eventually come up with amazing insights that can change the game. That serendipity is part of what gets many of us addicted to the field of Analytics! Now, I remind my team members of keeping this same sense of discovery handy when they are progressing through their career and want to find the next thing they want to do – the answer may reveal itself through experiences!.
Analytics is considered as a hot area of work, getting a lot of media buzz and drawing young professionals from various directions. But if you need to enjoy it and progress, you need to have a passion for ‘making a contribution.’ As an analytics professional you need to grow the domain expertise and also it is equally important to inspire others to succeed. I am fortunate to learn this trait during my college days at IIT Kanpur. I got to study and live with some incredibly bright people, who were very modest and spent as much or more time helping others as they spent on their own development. That memory has set a strong benchmark for me in terms of how one should conduct oneself – pursue excellence with modesty, and don’t get ahead of yourself – stay grounded through highs and lows.
If there is one thing I would tell others that defines me, is that I place enormous value on being an enabler. A value I picked up again starting from college days – whether through helping develop others and set them for success as individual professionals or to help connect dots and bring people, knowledge, and insights together to make great decisions for organizations. I focus on doing both these things in an ego-less manner, for there is no other way to do these well. If you do good things to enable others, you get enabled to succeed yourself.
On that note, there is huge opportunity to use data-driven insight to help improve social services to the neediest sections of society. The government is struggling with this problem given the scale of it. Perhaps analytics can help everyone focus on the biggest rocks and find the most efficient path to solve problems. I would be very keen to get involved in such efforts!
When I don’t deal with numbers, I completely immerse myself in totally unrelated fields. I am a huge history buff. I like to watch documentaries and movies. I travel a lot with my family – I am lucky that we share a lot of interests in terms of things to see and do and can agree on where to go. Another passion is nature, wildlife, and bird-watching, which I try to enjoy whenever I get the opportunity – whether sitting on my balcony and observing birds or going to a city park or national park. I enjoy swimming and yoga, and since childhood, I have been game to play most sports when I get a chance. As a history nut, I keenly read quality cricket literature too; it is like reading poetry for me.
Meet Ashish Singru – Wanderer, Analytics mentor, History buff and Ornithology enthusiast.