“Data Scientist by accident, curious by nature” probably defines me well. If I have to represent my analytics journey, I would call it as completely serendipitous.
Honestly, I didn’t have any specific plans to get into this industry. Having once failed a Math test in class VII, I got seriously interested in the subject. Enjoyed it more and more as I grew up and like most others at that time, I was preparing to crack the IIT JEE. Nobody at my home or school knew about Indian Statistical Institute (ISI). Luckily, my Math teacher’s son happened to be in Kolkata and had talked to someone briefly who knew about ISI. You know right, usually boys at that age don’t talk to their dads a whole lot, but he happened to discuss with his father about ISI.
One thing led to another, I made through the test and the interview (that experience is another story by itself!). Those were the days when Google wasn’t around to give you answers and one would go to uncles for advice and they were like, “is that the same ISI that puts the quality stamp?”. My Math teacher did some fact finding and got to a conclusion that ISI is indeed a very good institute. He told me, “don’t worry, go ahead with it; you are definitely not making any mistake”. I do credit a lot of my success so far to him. He is one of my early mentors in life. In fact, he has had an immense influence in shaping my personality.
My enrolment at ISI made a significant change in my life. The environment there was very collaborative as well as homely. After completing B. Stat and M. Stat, getting my first job at GE was another serendipitous event, after having missed the first rounds of hiring that happened. Another story in itself! My journey at ISI gave me some important parts of my life. The degree gave me a perfect start in the Analytics industry, I made many friends who still support me through thick and thin and I met my wife over there!. Fantastic memories along, right? When I think about it now, I feel this was one of the best decisions of my life. Having become a part of the Analytics industry, I feel great, and definitely, want to continue my journey here!
I believe the Analytics journey is not a rosy road. Though the current hype may make it sound like it, it is not a path laid with the red carpet and you just walk in. You have to create some differentiated impact and outcome for yourself as well as for your team and the organization. Only then can you build your success stories! Everything from Analytics to AI is going through a big hype. It’s definitely a good thing that is attracting a lot of bright talent to this field, but at the same time if it is not interpreted correctly then there could be a lot of misunderstandings along the journey. All of us practitioners need to watch out and be careful so that it doesn’t spell doom for this industry. That’s something I am quite concerned about.
There are some other aspects of me as well. Being a doting father to my son is another dimension of my life. He is more of a friend now and that’s something that ranks very high on my priorities list! I am very curious by nature and want to know how things work from the inside. As a kid, my home was filled with broken toys, even a wall clock, to find out what’s going on inside. I think that curiosity urges me to go deeper into the analytical problems and techniques to find out how they work. I believe that is very critical for anyone starting in the field to inculcate. Finding out how a technique works and not be a slave to the tool!
I like to keep myself updated. I read about new things which help me to get a taste of what’s happening in the industry and beyond! I enjoy reading technical books as well as something that’s completely opposite to the industry. From complete fiction, I can go on to something that tells me how to sharpen my management skills. The book I am currently reading is A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. I still haven’t completed the ‘’Black Swan”, though it’s a very old release. Maybe I will finish reading it soon! So, yes this is the way I keep my brain cells active for the next challenge!
Meet Nitin Sareen: A curious person, doting dad, and an Analytics Influencer