During my school days Mathematics and Literature were my favorite subjects and I loved participating in elocution contests and quizzes. In college I was drawn towards research and computer programing. One of the things the I really enjoyed was interpreting and explaining scientific papers in simple language. At IIIT Bangalore I was fortunate to have a great mentor and guide in the form of renowned Scientist and inventor Dr. G N Srinivasa Prasanna. Under his guidance I completed my master’s thesis entitled “Modeling of Data traffic on a Storage Area Network under Virtualization”. It was then that my career in analytics and data science kicked started.
My analytics journey started around 12 years back with my first job in a healthcare IT startup. Here, I contributed to web analytics of a newly launched portal, online marketing, customer communication and a bit of customer support. From doing web analytics of a newly launched site I moved on to doing web analytics for larger websites with very high volume of annual visits. Some (web analytics related) corporate blog articles I wrote during this period were tweeted by “Google Analytics” and well-known web analysts and had readers from more than 75 countries around the world.
My shift towards analysis of unstructured data happened with a challenge being thrown by one of my leaders to see if I can pick up Natural Language Processing (NLP) to work on a very high visibility project. I was able to complete the project successfully, and thanks to it I also discovered my passion for NLP and other Data Science fields and techniques. That started my journey of “learning on the job”. I have been lucky to be appreciated during this journey. My machine learning and NLP work for making Contact Centers more efficient has been appreciated and awarded by Vice-President of client support. I have also received “40 under 40 data Scientists” award by analytics India magazine. I have up until now filed 5 patents with few more in the pipeline. I also like working on image analytics/machine vision problems. Advanced applications of deep learning fascinate me and I continue exploring them for solving business problems. I keep myself updated by reading latest scientific literature and blogs.
Something that I have always been keen about is passing on the knowledge that I acquire. So, I lead various business units’ training and mentoring programs for Data Science and Advanced Analytics. During my free time I teach “Deep learning” to a batch of post graduate students (at Reva University).
Some of the projects where I picked up important learnings were the ones which were not related directly to the team that I was working for. I volunteered for it and completed them in my free time. I would suggest everyone to try and learn new things to break the monotony of doing the same kind of work all the time. I don’t believe in learning just for getting a higher pay check or position. If you are passionate about something the rest will follow. I was passionate about trying to solve business problems irrespective of where or who they were coming from. Taking on challenges and exploring new avenues is something I will keep doing.
My family includes my Father, wife Vandana (who is a seasoned banker) and am blessed with twin girls Aditi & Kirti who are in Class 1. I enjoy spending time with my family and taking vacations with them. I love watching movies and am a voracious reader. I am a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes and have read all the stories and novels multiple times.
Meet Ravi Shukla: Data Scientist, Learner, Mentor and Doting Dad