DataGiri with DJ Patil - Never learn Data Science alone!

. 4 min read

A year ago, we started DataGiri as this one crazy experiment with an objective of bringing Real Problem-solving in data science to Meetups.

Since then we’ve had 9 events, 4000+ RSVPs, 25 speakers addressing at DataGiri talking about use cases right from Survival Analysis to Recommender systems, CNNs to deep learning. At our June Meetup Haptik open sourced a part of the ML module driving their chatbot thereby providing people platforms to build their chatbots on top of Haptik technology!

Each attendee at DataGiri has contributed to our journey in a unique way. People reached out to us with some fabulous ideas. We would like to call out one DataGiri member specifically. Tejas — Zarekar, who suggested we call DJ Patil at our Meetup event

On 5th Dec 2016 he posted a comment on Meetup “I know it’s too much to ask for, but can you guys call DJ Patil at your meetup event”? Below is a snapshot of the conversation.

Thanks to Tejas, the thought got planted in our heads and we hosted DJ Patil at our 22nd July meetup

Tejas Zarekar Requesting DataGiri with DJ Patil. Mayuresh Shilotri replying affirmatively.

Even the Mumbai rains that day couldn’t stop 272+ people from attending the houseful event!

Many more got the opportunity to see the event on live-stream from their homes

DataGiri with DJ Patil | Snapshots of Live Stream
Pramod Krishnaprasad, Vice President, Head- Rewards at Barclays attended live stream session of Dr. DJ Patil

DJ spoke to our community about a variety of topics right from how People are always greater than data to what is the next big thing that India really needs. He spoke about how the IT wave that India has been riding on will soon coming to an end. However, there will be a new wave. India has to switch from just servicing systems to the art of creation, using technology and systems to build novel things.

How do we do this? Education is the solution.

We must massively start investing in ourselves to keep re-educating ourselves, to keep the curiosity alive. We have to figure out how do we start investing in education more broad-based as a society”

While talking about data science from education front, DJ believes every program of data science must have ethics and security as core central parts of the curriculum and not just some elective.

He gives credence to data science as a project based work. As a data scientist, you have to start with a problem and then if you fall in love with the problem, solutions carry forward.

Nonetheless, don’t learn data science alone. Always do data science with a team. You need to have somebody with you for just an advice, input or a critique. It’s a team sport because it is multi-dimensional.

Attendees at DataGiri with DJ Patil sponsored by GreyAtom School of Data Science

It’s multi-dimensional. It’s humongous. It’s a field which is very much attractive and hence the sexiest job of the 21st century.

One good reason why people are shifting to data science is that you get paid more. But, the next time you think of data science as a career option of getting paid more, then wait a minute, maybe you aren’t aware of the true power of data science.

DJ effectively communicated the core function of a data scientist. Calling ourselves a data scientist gives us permission to do a lot more. You play with data, you do a whole bunch of engineering, you do a whole bunch of math, a whole bunch of storytelling, you may do a whole bunch of product etc. The fundamental power of data science is bringing all these things together and helping people.

We learn data science for solving problems, coming up with new solutions, building data products. But, we fail to realize one of its important approach and that is,

Always build a data product by encouraging people to think about humanities. Because, who are you building the data products for?

DJ believes that the true power of data is leveraged by people and not computers. The power of data should be leveraged responsibly and for the benefit of all.

We should help people unlock the data. Ridiculous more good things will happen and you have to make sure to figure out how to find those cases, celebrate them and show them the power and potential.

Attendees at DataGiri with DJ Patil sponsored by GreyAtom School of Data Science

During our candid Q&A session, one of our members asked, “With the advent of robotics, automation, there is a general feeling that lots of jobs may be lost. How do we as Indians prepare for this problem?”

We have to make technology work for us and not against us

He focused on education and policy making.

He believes, “ A good policy solution right now is on the educational bet and I would recommend making it a top priority across the country.”

DJ elucidated the true potential of a human and when combined with data, we can open doors to some amazing opportunities. Robustness and sophistication of technology can serve everyone better and the people who are designed and best optimized to do that are all of  YOU.

We were fortunate to understand data science with an improved point of view and overwhelmed to see the colossal measure of support and participation. This has urged us to bring numerous all the more capable meetups like this. Stay tuned with DataGiri for our forthcoming meetups!

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