Dr Abhijit Gangopadhyay, the dean of Aegis school of business, data science and telecommunication, is one of the key visionaries who helped in conceptualizing and organizing the largest event in data science ever witnessed in India. The Data Science Congress summit was held on 6th, 7th & 8th June 2017. It was instrumental in building a great ecosystem of data science in India. All leading data scientists and analytical heads of Indian multinationals gathered under one roof to discuss the opportunities, challenges and future strategies in the field of data science.
Forrester Research has summed up the problem statement nicely – “Businesses are drowning in data but starving for insights.” While data talent is recognized as being critical to companies, 4 in 10 companies say their teams lack the appropriate skills. In their report, McKinsey & Company has predicted that by 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills.
Dr Gangopadhyay was quick in recognizing the existing gap in the current education system and the job market, and worked on introducing the data science curriculum at Aegis to catch-up with the changing industry requirements. In his former career, Dr Gangopadhyay was the founding Dean of Indian Institutes of Management (IIM) Indore, former Dean & Professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (TISS) and Former Professor at XLRI.
Data science is a new field that combines skills of mathematics, statistics, and computer science to solve real world problems using data. What differentiates data science from a regular academic course is the need to understand business problem in depth, without which, analytical models would be of no help. Very few institutes provide students this unique combination of skills.
Indian businesses today are not leveraging the power of data in decision making effectively, and there are many untapped opportunities to improve businesses that go unnoticed. In one of the panel discussions during the event, Dr Abhijit Gangopadhyay stated that there is a great deal of aversion towards data within businesses. He strongly advocated the need to build data driven organizations. He stated that “to make an organization data driven, data should be available with people at the bottom of the pyramid. Employees should focus on growing in their job instead of growing in designation or levels. Organizations today are a political entity, rather than data driven entity, and that is the main cause of attrition within the organizations“.
The Data science congress is working to bridge this gap, by spreading awareness of data science within the industry, and encouraging companies to leverage the unlimited power of data to build new competencies and business models.