Fifty years ago, when Neil Armstrong was planting a flag atop the moon “taking a giant leap for mankind”, I arrived on earth in the city of Lucknow as a “baby step”. Since then, I have lived in Delhi, Singapore, and Bangalore over the last 50 years and I am hoping to score a century!
While I’ve worked with Feedback Ventures, ICICI, GE Capital, Standard Chartered Bank, Dell and now Wells Fargo, I’ve never distinguished between my personal and professional life – borrowing experiences and learning from personal to professional and vice versa.
Analytics is an aid to taking better decisions and it is important to determine 3 areas about that decision – whether it is even required, how often we need to take that decision and the economic value/impact so that we can channelize our analytics bandwidth in solving the critical problems at the right time and at the right cost. Ideally, we should be designing systems that need fewer decisions to be taken, infrequently and a low cost. Hence critical thinking becomes a primary tool to enable this.
My advice to the aspirants is to think through, experiment, reflect and assess your strengths & your larger purpose in life – what’s it that you really want to do and are also likely to be good at. It’s an iterative process and instead of focusing on tools and tactics try and embrace what Daniel Pink talks about what motivates all of us – Purpose, Autonomy, and Mastery.
Besides work, I’m an outdoor person and I love engaging with people, marathons, badminton, and movies. On most weekends, you’ll find me far away from devices, either playing badminton, doing runversations, meeting friends at Dialogues café, watching movies at PVR. I do not read newspapers or watch TV and limit my time on social media, even the movies are in a theatre not on Netflix / amazon prime – I’m in it for the whole experience; the popcorn, the company, and the film!
Meet Pankaj Rai: Veteran Data Scientist, and Avid Marathon Runner
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