This past November, Avi Patchava and Paul Meinshausen participated in panel discussions at the Data Hack Summit in Bangalore and were encouraged to see Kunal Jain’s keynote on developing the data science ecosystem in India. They have been a part of the community for several years and have worked in data science roles across start-ups, management consulting, industry, and venture capital.

They share the strong conviction that an important area for development in the ecosystem is in Data Science’s intellectual infrastructure. In the early stages of development, data science is often mistaken for a thin layer of popular statistical tools and packaged algorithms that are applied bluntly to a problem of choice.

As data science evolves as a discipline in India, it will take more robust shape as an intellectual approach to discovering, as well as building solutions, for tough problems across business and society. The early stages of data science emphasize the size and diversity of data.

As data science evolves, we see more focus on the application of scientific rigor in forming hypotheses, making deliberate decisions on model design, and causal inference. Model thinking is at the very heart of data science.

We use models to understand or predict the parts of the world that we want to make decisions about in our businesses. For example, at InMobi, Avi and team use models to predict behaviours of mobile users – such as whether they will click an advert, download an app, or purchase an ecommerce product. Read more from…

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