The Heads of Big Data and Data Science of the digital transformation company ZONE24x7 facilitated an interactive forum that was of profound value to the student community at RIC. This session careened towards the purpose of enlightening undergraduates of avenues in which accumulated knowledge could be utilized in an industrial setting.
Zone 24×7 is an international company that has relentlessly labored towards “enhancing the emotional experience” of their clients. In their endeavors of linking the tech giants of Silicon Valley with clients across the globe, they have also received opportunities to provide retail navigation to two department store chains in the US. Additionally, their Aziro platform linked with the fashion industry and the Xone online store are among a few business models that the company has pioneered.
Mr. Chanaka Kaluarachchi, the Head of Big Data, commenced his segment by emphasizing the manner in which technology had evolved during the past two decades and complemented his point with illustrations from his own experience. Concentrating his attention on Big Data, he shared a few characteristics of it ubiquitously known as the Big V’s; Volume, Value, Veracity, Visualization, Variety, Velocity, Viscosity and Virality. The gathering was also educated on how Big Data is utilized to provide services to the financial sector, transportation and the fields of health and life sciences. The gentleman also elaborated on how data is stored in server farms in various geo locations the world over. The manner in which companies such as Amazon analyze user data and give consumers additional recommendations was highlighted as an avenue of amassing colossal amounts financially.
Taking the reins thereafter, Mr. Hansa Perera, the company’s Chief Data Scientist delved into a discussion on Data Science. He exhorted that prospective Data Scientists ought to hone the cognitive capabilities to think in a Retrospective, Descriptive, Predictive and Prescriptive manner. The facilitator also guided the audience in comprehending on how Business Analysists, Digital Innovators and Data Scientists collaborate with each other. Speaking further, Mr. Hansa elaborated on Artificial Intelligence [AI]. Based on the facts disseminated by the speaker, AI can be defined as the resulting processes witnessed subsequent to training machines to perform tasks usually done by human beings. AI serves as an umbrella for a plethora of subfields such as Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Data Analytics. While briefly commenting on the various facets of the role of a Data Scientist, Mr. Hansa advised the student community to consciously step into a suitable job role within the spectrum of career options. Possessing a strong understanding of Statistics, being equipped with good communication skills and being armed with a thorough knowledge of business are considered integral components that build the stature of a Data Scientist.
This session was similar to a prism that refracts natural light, for it enabled prospective professionals amongst those gathered to efficaciously comprehend the nature of this lucrative area of employment. I was particularly inspired and encouraged by the reality of how students from the diverse fields of Business Analytics, Data Science and Digital Innovation could collaborate professionally. Living in a global context where Data is an impetus in socio-economic change, I was encouraged by the prospects of being able to harness the skills of a plethora of professionals from within the aforesaid fields to inaugurate and sustain an optimally managed, innovation centered, data driven world.
Written by:- Shevaan Dayaratne – Undergraduate in Management and Digital Innovation