Enter the world of big data and analytics in 2011. The resources to learn big data and analytics were rare and scattered online. It was tough for a graduate student to enter this field because of lack of formal education in analytics at cheaper cost. Around this time, came a training institute and changes the rules of the analytics world in India forever. It was Jigsaw Academy.
We interviewed Jigsaw Academy’s co-founder and COO – Sarita Digumarti. Here is her interview which talks about her Journey in analytics, Jigsaw’s history, advice for graduate students and special advice for entrepreneurs.
1. Can you please tell us the vision of your firm?
Jigsaw began its operations in 2011. Gaurav and I were brought together by our shared passion for data and the belief in the power of analytics and Big Data to change the way not only industries, but individuals could work. We regard data science as a necessary life-skill, and our constant endeavour to improve how it is taught has been a consistent factor in what continues to distinguish Jigsaw Academy from other training providers. The sole reason to start Jigsaw Academy was the need to bridge the gap between the demand and supply for qualified, industry-ready professionals.
- What is your professional background and how did you decide to start Jigsaw?
My experience has been in economic consulting and analytics, both in the USA and India. I have worked with some of the largest retailers and FMCG companies in the world helping clients tackle complex business problems by applying analytical techniques.
Jigsaw Academy is our brainchild. It was the outcome of our idea to bridge the gap by training individuals as well as corporate participants with relevant backgrounds in the most widely used technologies and tools in Big Data processing and analysis.
At Jigsaw, we passionately believe that the future of analytics is poised to soar and that we will play a crucial role in identifying and nurturing talent in analytics worldwide. We also firmly believe that online learning is changing the face of education and we are proud that Jigsaw’s virtual platform is a part of this revolution.
- What analytics areas does your firm cover in terms of training?
Our courses cater to every learner – from someone who is just starting out to a person with knowledge and skill in analytics. We also offer domain specific courses that are for specific sectors and professionals and an Executive Program in Business Anaytics (EPBA) in collaboration with MISB Bocconi.
A broad list of our courses would be:
- Beginners Courses: Analytics for Beginners, Big Data for Beginners, Analytics for Leaders
- Intermediate Courses: Foundation Courses in Analytics, Data Scientist Certification, HR
- Analytics Courses, Wiley-Big Data Specialist and Web Analytics Courses
- Advanced Courses: Advanced Certification in Retail Analytics, Advanced Certification in Financial Analytics, and others
- Analytics Workshops: Corporate Training & College Workshops
- Executive Programs: EPBA Program by MISB Bocconi in association with Jigsaw Academy
- What courses are the most popular ones?
Some of the most popular courses amongst our students are:
- Analytics for Beginners
- Big Data for Beginners
- SAS & R courses with Data Science.
There has been sharp increase in demand for R & Big Data courses in the recent past.
Big Data for beginner’s course includes –
- Introduction to Big Data
- Big Data Technologies
- Big Data career
- Big Data case studies and project demonstrations
Wiley big data specialist course includes –
- Overview of Big Data, Hadoop, and Map Reduce
- Data Warehousing using PIG and HIVE
- FLUME, SQOOP, HBASE and cloudera distributions
- Introduction to analytics
- Intergrating R and Hadoop
Apache Spark course includes –
- Why Spark
- Internals of Spark
- Spark Architecture
- Spark Components
- Spark Case Studies
Apache Storm course includes –
- Introduction to Big Data and Real Time Big data processing
- Introduction to Apache Storm
- Storm Installation and Configuration
- Storm Advanced Concepts
- Storm Interfaces
- Storm Trident
- What kind of students generally enroll for your courses?
Our students are mostly working professionals who want to upskill in Analytics and Big Data technologies and want to stay updated with the changing industry trends. They make up the biggest group of Jigsaw course takers. The number of students taking data science and analytics course has seen a huge rise, from 5% in previous years to 17% in the current year. Entrepreneurs too are paying close attention to analytics, with a good 11% of our students being self-employed. As a single sector, IT is still the biggest pool of candidates taking up analytics courses to make a career switch or to simply stay updated with the growing demand in analytics, but we’ve seen a sharp increase in the percentage of Non-IT professionals taking our courses.
- Are you seeing lot of traction with respect to big data courses? Cloud based analytics courses?
The market demand for Big Data Analysts has seen a huge growth in the last couple of years and we saw that this reflected in the number of students taking up our Big Data courses. Big Data is the buzzword and I’m sure it will continue to be so in the coming years as well. A lot of tech forums today are a gathering place for technology skills & tools discussions. Students realize the need to upskill in Big Data tools and stay competent and compliant with the market needs.
- What are the latest technology trends in analytics, which every data scientist should be aware of?
While technology trends tend to keep fluctuating, there are certain tools that should be a staple for every data scientist. Some of them are:
- Database technologies – SQL & NoSQL systems
- General scripting languages – Python, Perl
- Big Data processing frameworks: Hadoop and Spark
- Machine learning techniques
- What is your advice to graduate students who want to make a career in analytics/ data science?
Students from Economics background can concentrate on learning statistical techniques while Computer Science graduates can master skills predominantly in Hadoop, Spark and machine learning algorithms.
- What are the Jigsaw courses that graduate students should consider in order to kick-start their career in data science?
Our beginner/foundation courses are pretty apt for anyone looking to kick-start their analytics career, irrespective of previous education and professional background. These courses have been designed to give a foothold to anyone who intends to pursue an analytics career but doesn’t have prior experience or knowledge of the tools and concepts. The courses we advise are:
- Analytics with Excel
- Data Science with SAS
- Data Science with R
- Analytics for Beginners
- Big Data for Beginners
The above foundation courses would help them decide to delve into an array of advanced level courses offered by Jigsaw
- What have you learnt from “starting-up your venture” which every entrepreneur should keep in mind?
Starting your own venture definitely comes with a myriad of issues that we can probably never think of. Each experience teaches you something. The focus should be on building a product that solves real world problems and I believe the revenues are sure to follow after that. The key is building a sustainable business and having an idea about how you can scale the product and the company. It might be a while till you see profit or find investors, but as long as you have clear plan of action and a vision for your company, you will see a positive growth.
- What kind of career path can economist graduates take as compared to computer science students/engineering students?
Economics graduates can consider mastering statistical techniques and the way to go about that would be to focus on tools like SAS & R to begin with. This can lead up to courses in Financial Analytics and Retail Analytics which will add to their profile.
Computer Science students with a backgrounds can focus on Technologies like Big Data, Python, Spark, machine learning. However, these courses are not restricted to just computer science folks but can also be picked up by almost any engineering stream based candidates, if they are open to picking up computer programming skills.
- Jigsaw seems to be leading analytics training institute in terms of quality of their content. What new courses pertaining to analytics, would you be introducing in 2017?
Our focus is to continue to be the training provider of choice for all data and analysis related skills, and to that end we continue to develop courses both from a broad coverage perspective as well as advanced topics to add depth. We have a number of interesting course coming up soon – a good place to watch for them is the upcoming courses section on our website: www.jigsawacademy.com
Sarita Digumarti (COO & co-founder) has over 17 years of experience, across analytics, management, and operations. She has worked extensively on analytics and consulting across the FMCG, retail and healthcare sectors, both in the US and India. She has spent the last 5 years in establishing Jigsaw Academy as the premier provider of expert analytics and big data training globally. She has an M.A in Quantitative Economics, from Tufts University, Boston, and an MBA from T.A. Pai Management Institute,Manipal.