Anindita Adhikary is a Data Science Manager at Lam Research. She has over 12-years of experience in the Analytics Domain, and has held important roles in organisations like Target Corp, Rockwell Collins & TCS, before joining Lam Research. Anindita holds a B.E. (E&TC) and an MBA in Marketing.
Q. How does a career in analytics/data science look like?
In today’s day and age, career opportunities in Data Analytics are limitless. Around a decade ago, for sampling huge data in the fields of agriculture and population census, we would have discussed the application of statistics. Today, we have come a long way from that, and data analytics is seeing its value in almost every domain in the digital world.
Even the nature of work has broadened. Today, data science has branched out into Data Analytics, Business Intelligence, Data Science, Data Engineering, etc. From being a domain which was predominantly for statisticians, it has opened its doors to graduates from the disciplines of computer science, IT, mathematics, economics etc. With the ease of available self-service tools these days, almost everyone with very little effort can drive their own business intelligence. There is a plethora of roles and applications to choose from, including Business Intelligence, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Data Architecture, Business Process Optimisation, and Big Data. Organisations are investing in next-gen technologies which will unfold new career opportunities such as Robotic Process Automation, Cloud Computing, IoT, Blockchain, and Virtual/Augmented Reality. There are also numerous startups in this domain, which provide ample exposure to pursue a career in analytics.
Q. How did you come into analytics as a career option?
My journey in the field of analytics goes back to 2006, when I started working in the field of Marketing Research. I was always intrigued by how data can be used as a vital reference, and an answer to different business questions, without making somebody sound opinionated or biased. Data is a powerful entity by itself and it can even help one navigate and understand new and complex business functions. It helps in asking the right questions, exploring patterns, connecting the dots and eventually presenting a complete and coherent story based on facts.
Q. How has been the growth story so far?
I started my career as an Analyst doing a variety of analytical work across domains. In the last couple of years, I have been instrumental in setting up analytics teams in my previous organisations – Rockwell Collins & TCS. Currently, at Lam Research, I manage a team that has grown manifolds, has more than doubled in headcount, and has expanded its customer base from two to eight business functions.
During my 12-year career in this field, my journey has enabled me to work across multiple domains ranging from Retail, to Healthcare, to Supply Chain, to IT and Telecom. I have also had the opportunity to perform various functions like marketing research, syndicated research, business intelligence, predictive modelling, text mining, web analytics, fraud analytics, financial data analysis, attrition data analysis and forecast. Recently, I have worked in enabling business process and workflow optimisation through automation.
Q. How do you manage to maintain a work-life balance?
I do believe that the concept of work-life balance needs to be rethought in today’s world as it is very tough to equally balance both. Instead, I believe it is about prioritising expectations at home and work. One might take precedence over the other at times, and it is important to maintain inner peace and calm, so that one can get satisfactory results in all spheres.
The other key aspect is the support structure around us and most importantly support from a spouse. Believe me, if there is proper alignment of life’s expectations and priorities with your spouse, rest are operational in nature. With multiple roles to play, staying disciplined, focused and continuing to strive towards the goals are key to success.
Q. How difficult is the field?
Analytics is an industry that is data centric and, as quoted by Forbes data, is expected to grow at a pace of 1.7 megabytes per second by 2020. By then, our accumulated digital universe of data will grow from 4.4 zettabytes today to around 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes.
Therefore, while on the one hand, there is a realisation to manage this growth through technological development, on the other hand, there needs to be a continuous effort is to make a larger set of people in the organisation, data literate. As this is a common challenge being faced by most organisations across the world, the successful ones will be those that cultivate the data driven culture faster and comprehensively.
For individuals interested in pursuing a career in this field, it is important to be focussed and to identify the area that they want to specialise in, while avoiding getting carried away by the plethora of options that are currently available. Data Analytics is both, a science and an art, and is a skill that can provide insights capable of bringing exponential value to the organisation. I firmly believe that it is time for organisations to turn Data Analytics into Infonomics i.e. turn the analytics team into revenue centers from cost centers, to realise the true potential of this field.