April 22, 2015

Cognizant’s Principal Analyst Visits CDS

Cognizant’s Principal Analyst Visits CDS

Tom Jirele, Principal at Cognizant Analytics Division visited the Center of Data Science (CDS) NYU in February and discussed Cognizant’s Data Analytics initiatives. Cognizant Technology Solutions is an American multinational corporation that provides custom information technology, consulting and business process outsourcing services. This information session was one of many such sessions organized by CDS that provide an opportunity for students and industrial experts to interact with each other.

Unique Data Science Projects
The Data Analytics Team at Cognizant largely provides data analytics services, tools and consultation to their clients. Mr. Jirele provided examples of several fascinating projects that were completed at Cognizant including:
1. Promotion alert system
2. Social Media Analytics
3. Warranty analytics
4. Potential Health Care frauds
5. Potential Credit card frauds

Specifically, the Company’s client problems can range from designing the correct promotion plan for a restaurant chain, to investigating the reason for decreasing ratings of a website. Mr. Jirele presented one point that he believes Data Scientists don’t need prior domain knowledge of the problem at hand, but rather a good hold of Data Science concepts. And irrespective of the diversity of issues, they should be able to develop promising solutions.
Qualities expected in Data Scientists at Cognizant

Mr. Jirele also discussed the qualities expected as a Data Scientist at Cognizant. His view on the top qualities include:
1. Ability to work independently
2. Need to be a Critical Thinker
3. Good Communication skill is needed since a data science needs to interact with clients
4. Deep analytic experience, as a key skill
5. Understanding and familiarity with the languages like Python and packages like SAS, SPSS
6. Diversity to augment various ways a team would approach a problem
7. They should be able to handle pressure

Prospects for Students with Cognizant
What makes Cognizant different is that it gives an opportunity to data scientists to present their work directly to the client. This was of particular interest to hear, as it seems most data science roles end up in the back operations of the company. But at Cognizant, you are expected to be client-facing.

Overall the session was very interactive – Mr. Jirele specifically requested student opinions on their data science experience. Cognizant also plans to work with NYU with respect to actual data science projects. This is a great benefit, as getting data sources for projects in Machine Learning or NLP can be a challenge.

Story by Rishabh Jain, master’s degree candidate and writer for the Center for Data Science.