My educational background:
I hold a MBA from Indian Institute of Ahmedabad (2009) and MS from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2005). My undergraduate was in Civil Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Madras (2003).
Where my passion for big data comes from:
Data and analytic thinking are embedded in my persona. I am kind of person who had made spreadsheets of my petrol expenses to track the mileage, used regression to figure out price of used car, and simulated my cell phone usage to select optimal plan. Natural extension of analytics is Big Data since world is moving towards Big Data. However, I think the size of data and software are mere tools, and in the end there are problems which need solutions.
What is the most innovative or cool application of big data you have seen?
There are so many, and that’s what makes this so field so fascinating! Visa being able to predict marriage failure, or Target being able to predict pregnancy (before the father did!), or using Big Data to identify wild moves in Basketball which even human trainers couldn’t, or FICO being able precisely target customer level purchase offers for millions of customers of Loblaw.
Tell us a bit about your life away from work:
I have two young kids so time with them takes large part of my personal time. I use my infant for validating various psychological experiments and try to inculcate critical thinking in older. Apart from that, I like watching movies, doing non-work data analysis, swimming and jogging.
A piece of advice I live by:
People in any group like ‘lovable fool’ much more than they like ‘competent jerk’. It helps me keep me rooted, deal better with people and generally be a better person.