A day in the life of a Data Scientist

With contributions from Arnab MukherjeeAkshta ChoudharyRoopali GuptaKamalesh RouthRadha Sundaram, and Vighnesh Subramanian

As we step into the next decade, it is the many voices of Tiger that can truly describe the company’s journey. In this blog, the focus will be on the very interesting lives of our Data Scientists, and we will explore it through their personal journeys, in their own words. From the organization’s founding values, innovation, guidance, exposure, and the culture of trust and autonomy, a wide spectrum of Tiger’s different facets are brought to light.

Digging Deep for Solutions

My primary job is to make sure we deliver the best possible solution to a client within the stipulated time. For that, I need to dig into the nature of the problem to come up with feasible solutions. Having worked on many such projects, it’s tough to pick a few. A few worth mentioning are: 1) We worked with one of the largest CPGs with 50+ marketing analytics models within a quarter. We were able to stop possible train derailments with the effective use of computer vision technology. 2) We helped a large US bank increase their marketing efficiency by several fold.

Arnab Mukherjee, Associate Vice President, Data Science

When someone asks me what my typical workday looks like, I often find myself being unable to give them a simple, short answer. The truth is, as a data scientist, no two days are alike. My day-to-day tasks are not rigid, and that is part of why this job has been so rewarding and exciting. What I can say for certain, however, is that I have learned to be more flexible, open-minded, and embrace complexity with confidence.

When I joined Tiger Analytics, I already had 10 years of experience in data science. I had worked in domains such as HR analytics, fraud risk modeling, and marketing analytics for e-commerce business, which I thought had taught me the ins and outs of the industry. I was wrong.

It was at Tiger that my eyes really opened up to the various industry problems, and how data science can help solve these problems. In my six years at Tiger, I have worked on multiple different high-impact projects with multiple large organizations — helping them improve their business value and streamline processes. But I could not have done this on my own. The team that once comprised just 30 people, is now at 1,000+ and growing! What keeps us united? It is the culture of openness and approachability at Tiger.

For a company that has seen such exponential growth, it is easy to assume that the core values could get lost somewhere along the way. Not at Tiger — we have managed to stay true to our fundamentals even while building a world-class team.

The last ten years could not have been possible without the team that constantly strives to make Tiger the industry leader it is today.

Let’s hear from some of them:

Thinking outside the box

Smoother transition post-pandemic

The ‘work from home’ concept that became the norm amid the pandemic was always an option at Tiger. I believe that because we were already comfortable with this concept, it was a lot smoother for us to adjust to this way of working.

Akshta Choudhary, Data Scientist

I started my data science and analytics journey as a fresher at Tiger Analytics. I have come a long way, and Tiger has not just helped me become an all-rounder but also polished my already existing skills. I have had the opportunity of working across domains at Tiger, which has given me the scope to explore the various applications of data science.

What I find incredible about the work culture at Tiger is that it keeps everyone humble and approachable regardless of their designation. The conservations with them on data science have not only motivated me to think outside the box, but also resulted in some life-long friendships! The best part is that this culture hasn’t changed regardless of how much the company has grown.

My time at Tiger cannot be described without talking about the mentorship program and how it has helped shape my personal and professional journey. The guidance my mentors have provided me made even difficult waters easier to sail through. I want to share the same self-confidence and wisdom that was imparted to me, with the people I go on to mentor.

The feedback system at Tiger has motivated me tremendously. It happens frequently, which helps me stick to my goals, and let’s face it, receiving positive feedback can make your day! What makes the feedback system at Tiger unique is that it is not a one-way street — I am also asked to share my opinion on the functioning of the team, etc. In case any concerns are brought up, they are actually addressed and not just pushed under the rug.

Pushing my limits

A memorable project

One project that stands out for me was location planning for a clothing brand. That project exposed me and my team to a treasure trove of internal data, external demographic data and competitor data. Feature engineering was also an interesting part of the project, on which we spent a lot of time. We provided a linear regression equation as an output to the client, which they integrated with another system to understand where they should open their next store.

Roopali Gupta, Data Scientist

Data science happened to me when a roommate spoke about pursuing a course in the subject. Since working with data, finding patterns and coding were already interesting to me, it only made sense that I did a course in it.

My journey at Tiger started in 2019, and it has been one of constant learning. In just these two years, I have gotten to work on different projects and with different clients, which has helped me grow by leaps and bounds.

The mentorship I have received in the last two years has been instrumental in figuring out my interest areas and pushing my own limits. What I have found here is support — in times of crisis and definitely in times of celebration.

Taking ownership, being accountable

Collaboration for better learning

The team at Tiger is highly motivated and always striving to make an impact. We have no barriers or hierarchy, making it easy for people to reach out to one another freely. People are quite collaborative and different teams try to learn from each other. For example, we have a weekly session called ‘Tech Mechanics’, where each team gets to speak on the solution that they have come up with for a particular problem. This not only helps to understand what different teams are working on, but also helps us to get to know each other better.

Kamalesh Routh, Data Scientist

I joined Tiger in mid-2019, and it’s been a rollercoaster ride since. Being new to the analytics world at the time, I was able to get the right support and guidance from some of the brightest minds. Working closely with even the senior-most people at the company on the most interesting of topics made the journey till now extremely fruitful.

However, despite the immense support, what’s important in truly developing personal and professional growth, is the sense of ownership and accountability instilled in us at Tiger. Of course, we can always reach out to others for help, but being given full responsibility over a task early on helps us blossom into better professionals.

Each person has an official mentor assigned to them with whom they can have 1:1 discussions once in six months, but who are also available for any kind of guidance when needed.

Working with flexibility

Asking the right questions

For me, the most important aspect to taking on a data science project is really understanding the root of the issue and asking all the right questions. What is the data about? What does each column in the data mean? How are the different columns related to the business? How do they speak to the other columns present? How can the data be used? Finding the answers to these questions gives me a basic understanding of the business.

Radha Sundaram, Lead Data Scientist

It has been close to two years since I joined Tiger Analytics. I have had the chance to engage and work with some top-notch data scientists, whose feedback has helped make my time here a lot more meaningful.

We are constantly kept updated on the latest market practices via discussions and tech sessions, which is vital for improvement in solutioning, techniques, and tools. We employ these learnings in our daily tasks, which we can carry out at our own pace. This flexibility is especially important for working mothers like me.

That being said, we have an efficient system in place for handling any kind of problem. From data gap analysis to hypothesis formulation to implementation and execution — we follow a step-by-step process. Support and mentoring from industry and subject matter experts help us to brainstorm and come up with the best possible solutions.

Each individual’s role within the team is clearly defined, and expectations are laid out by the mentor at the start of a project. To ensure transparency and avoid miscommunication, we liaison with team members regularly.

Constant, continuous learning

Projects that have stood out for me so far

1) We executed an anomaly detection project for a leading steel manufacturer. We built a set of robust linear models that were explainable for machine operators, and these models were reusable across 10 different pieces of equipment. This saved $3 million!
2) We handled call center analytics for a leading insurer that wanted to cut its costs. My team dug deep into data to spot an issue the company had not been able to identify.

Vighnesh Subramanian, Senior Data Scientist

The last seven years as a data scientist have been amazing. I have seen myself grow tremendously, but not always steadily. Like with anything else, there have been highs and lows. What I have always had clarity on, however, is that numbers have made me tick, and I am lucky to have played with them at some of the biggest companies.

Finding solutions to any kind of problem using analytics has constantly motivated me to do more, and Tiger has supported me through thick and thin. Donning the hat of both the mentor and the mentee has taught me a lot through the years. I’m not sure if I can call myself a good mentor just yet, but I always fall back on the guidance of my own mentors to help me pass on the best practices and tools. One particular learning that I try to share is that sometimes, it is important to fail and learn from your mistakes.

I’m still learning, and an essential part of true learning is to be able to question things. Getting to the core of a problem by constantly seeking answers, whether right or wrong, reveals a world of hidden features, data points, filters and more that we could miss with the blink of an eye.

Solving pressing everyday problems through AI is intrinsic to a day in the life of a data scientist. But the importance given to life outside of work creates a calming balance, which in turn truly improves people’s quality of work and their mindset towards the job itself. However, especially in these times, the primary focus has been on employee well-being and providing support in every way possible. So from fun engagements, regular check-in, knowledge sharing sessions to help keep up with the ever-changing industry landscapes, it’s been a safe space. So when we turn up to work, there is a strong sense of belonging, which reflects in the quality of work. In short, everyone in the #tigertribe wholeheartedly supports each other.

Our work speaks volumes and is out there for the world to see, but what lies below is a network of determined individuals who come together every day to make a difference in the lives of their clients. It is this strong network that makes Tiger the roaring success it is, and which it will continue to be for the many decades to come.



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