Analytics Vidhya has launched its new sequence, ‘Main With Information,’ the place trade leaders share their experiences, profession journeys, fascinating initiatives, and extra. Within the debut episode of the sequence, Mr. Anand S., CEO and Chief Information Scientist at Gramener, was interviewed by the Founder & CEO of Analytics Vidhya, Mr. Kunal Jain. Anand is a visionary within the discipline of Information Science and a frequent speaker at DataHack Summit. He’s identified for the thrilling initiatives he works on and the way in which he narrates tales with detailed visualizations. In this interview, Anand unveils the magic he brings to his talks, sharing with us a glimpse of his storytelling expertise and the thought course of behind them. Listed below are a number of the considerate insights from the interview.
The Artwork of Storytelling with Anand S.
Kunal J: Each time I attend your discuss, I simply stroll out awestruck by the way you narrate the story and the visualizations. Are you able to stroll us by what goes behind creating these talks and the way you method them?
Anand S: There are normally two sorts of talks that I ship – one geared toward instructing and the opposite at studying. The training discuss is the place I decide one thing I don’t know sufficient about, study it & then speak about it. It helps me be taught one thing new inside a set deadline. It additionally helps me discover out what materials works and what doesn’t. So, the subsequent time I discuss, I do know what to repeat and what to exchange or convert to tales. The second type of discuss is the place I goal to show by assembling what has labored nicely in a lot of my earlier talks, selecting simply the fascinating elements, and stitching them collectively.
Kunal J: I’m presuming numerous what you do within the talks the place you’re studying would finally go into the instructing talks. So how precisely does the precise creation or the analysis part for a studying discuss occur?
Anand S: I discover purpose-driven studying works higher than systematic studying. What I imply by that’s if I picked up a guide or an API’s web site and went by it finish to finish. I be taught lower than if I decide up an issue and be taught to unravel it. I additionally discover that if I decide an issue that I’m fascinated about, I’m extra prone to get an answer than an issue that I’m simply making up. So, the primary job is to determine an issue that I wish to resolve. The second half is knowing the issue and attempting to unravel it, which is an entire lot simpler as a result of I’ve one thing that I’m fascinated about.
The Influence of Storytelling
Kunal J: The tales you share in your talks are very fascinating. What obtained you into that format of presenting? Do you discover it to be extra impactful?
Anand S: Individuals have a tendency to recollect the tales advised in a chat extra typically than the remainder of what is claimed. So, it’s simpler to convey the content material in a narrative format. Whereas the content material of the story is what issues, I’ve realized it’s the means these tales are advised that makes them memorable.
For instance, after I would inform folks that older kids have a tendency to attain extra, they’d say I may have guessed that. So I modified the title to say, ‘Do you assume the solar signal impacts the marks of a kid?’ At which level they started to assume, ‘No, that may’t be.’ And the fact is, sure, it does – which makes it a hell of much more memorable. Once I discuss in regards to the community of the method of Characters within the Mahabharata, it’s fascinating. Nevertheless it’s solely after I began narrating it as, ‘Let’s discover out which Pandava was Draupadi’s favourite,’ that it began turning into extra memorable. And subsequently, the way you inform it clearly has a robust affect.
Now, what’s fascinating in a chat might not essentially be content-related. To present you an instance, I used to be exploring a chat on the usage of comedian characters. It struck me that whereas there are numerous fascinating issues about automating comedian characters, one specific story significantly resonated each with me and the viewers, which is that, as a child, I wished to attract cartoons for Disney. And the fact is I can’t; even should you put a gun to my head, I can’t draw. So I gave up. However as a result of I put collectively, together with my colleagues, this widespread technology API known as Comicgen, utilizing their drawing expertise mixed with my programming expertise – which occur for use at Star TV, which obtained acquired by Fox, which then obtained acquired by Disney – I ended up drawing for Disney, in a really oblique means.
Now, right here’s the factor. That is an fascinating story however has completely nothing to do with the expertise behind or the info behind the discuss itself. And that’s what I imply after I say it’s not that the storyline essentially needs to be one thing that strengthens the content material instantly. It may be one thing that augments the content material differently or is a narrative round it. So I attempt these out, and whichever works will get distilled after which will get into the discuss.
Speaking to the Lots vs. Speaking to Purchasers
Kunal J: How is the storytelling in your public talks totally different from the talks you might have along with your purchasers? Does the method stay the identical, or is it a really totally different setup?
Anand S: It’s 50 % totally different. There are purchasers for whom we do nearly precisely the identical type of work. It’s simply that it’s for personal knowledge. So, when an organization involves us with an issue, I might narrate to them a associated real-life downside with their knowledge. It will be offered in some type of gross sales storytelling format that’ll keep memorable. After which, we’d convert it into an software that delivers the identical story.
However that’s solely 50 % of what we do with purchasers as a result of the opposite 50 % is, whereas in a chat, folks anticipate a completed product. Whereas working with purchasers, they anticipate two issues which might be totally different. First, to be concerned as a part of the method. So there’s numerous working course of output that goes alongside. Second, it’s the capacity for them to have the ability to ship such insights. So typically, they’d say, “Give me the uncooked materials for me to have the ability to mess around. I don’t need you to give you the reply. I need to have the ability to give you the reply myself. So in terms of that, what we do is extra device constructing or answer constructing that empowers them to seek out the story and narrate the story. In that sense, it’s totally different.
Anand S.’ Tackle Generative AI
Kunal J: As somebody who’s actually nice at constructing visualizations and knowledge tales, how have your experiments with generative AI been, and the way do you are feeling about it?
AI lowers the price of doing sure issues, and when one thing has a decrease price, much more issues turn out to be value doing.
Anand S: The final time I felt that the world had modified round me this a lot was when Google was launched. That’s when google.stanford.edu got here out. This principally meant that I by no means wanted to be taught stuff. I may search for something. And with LLMs coming in, now I notice I by no means must assume; I simply must learn to get issues to assume for me. It’s that transformational.
LLMs, I might say, are making the unattainable attainable. Let me let you know how. A job that will have taken me 10 hours earlier than will take me only one hour now, because of LLMs. That saves me 9 hours, which I can put into different issues, and that’s the distinction between unattainable and attainable. So now, we get higher high quality output with decrease effort.
How do I see it altering the way in which I work? By and huge, I’ve stopped coding. I simply inform LLMs to code for me, and there have been just a few purposes that I’ve constructed which might be one hundred pc LLM generated. In different phrases, I didn’t write a single line of code, and dissipation works fantastically. Generative AI, particularly giant language fashions, has given me the power to create assistants. I can now create an assistant who will code for me or create concepts for me. I can create an assistant for any of a sequence of various makes use of. Now that I wish to be taught by experimenting, I exploit it as a self-help coach.
If so, I’m solely restricted by my creativeness within the type of assistants I want. That is significantly an issue for me as a result of I’m the type of one who doesn’t ask for assist. Even when I’m stranded and misplaced in a desert, I gained’t ask for instructions. It’s the change that I’m attempting to get to. In 2000 or 1998, when google.stanford.edu was launched, I made a decision that I wanted to make a transition from realizing to with the ability to uncover. Now, I must make a transition from pondering to with the ability to information pondering. It’ll be highly effective.
Highlights of Anand S.’s 2023
Kunal J: I’m a subscriber of your weblog, and I get this annual reflection that you simply ship out, itemizing what you’ve achieved prior to now 12 months and what you want to do that 12 months. When did that begin? Additionally, may you please share a number of the prime matters you’re specializing in this 12 months?
Anand S: Nicely, I began this about 4 or 5 years in the past. The primary intent was for me simply to maintain myself trustworthy in regards to the issues that I wished to try this 12 months and share what I’ve realized within the course of. Publicly committing to reaching one thing retains me pushed, realizing I’ve to replace them about it the subsequent 12 months.
This 12 months, I’ve taken on 3 issues publicly and a few issues privately. One is to run 50 experiments and be taught from them. I had finished this final 12 months as nicely, nevertheless it began after which fizzled out. Once more, this 12 months, it began nicely after which fizzled out. So now I’m attempting to construct a behavior of studying from experimentation.
One other, which is approaching a little bit higher, is altering my surroundings to see the way it adjustments me in flip. So I attempt issues like figuring out of a special place day by day, assembly a brand new particular person day by day, listening to a special style of music day by day, and so forth. The plan was each month, I might run one among these adjustments in experiments. And a few of these have labored dramatically, whereas others haven’t. It’s a broad course of the place I decide to sharing and utilizing that suggestions to enhance.
The third factor I’ve taken up is calendar integrity, which is principally sticking to what I do. That is one thing that I used to do fairly nicely. But final 12 months, I felt I slipped a little bit bit and took it up this 12 months. Nevertheless it’s extra like a behavior; when you’ve finished it, you don’t actually neglect.
Some Parting Recommendation
Kunal J: Based mostly in your perspective and expertise gained over time, what could be your prime recommendation for somebody beginning off their profession as we speak? Or, in different phrases, what would you advise your individual youthful self as we speak?
Prioritize the issues that you simply like first. Merely since you discover it simpler to stay to.
Anand S: The 2 are considerably totally different. So, first, let me share what I might inform somebody beginning of their profession. The primary piece of recommendation could be to seek out and clarify what you want. It makes work so much simpler if you’re engaged on what you want. The second factor is to be taught by instructing. In case you want to be taught one thing, the easiest way to do it’s by committing to show it to any person. That has 3 advantages: First, it pressures you to be taught. Second, it improves the standard of studying to the purpose the place you may get any person else to clarify. Third, you’ll make some mates who owe you a favor.
Now, if I needed to advise myself, going again a technology, then I’d most likely inform myself to not fuss about what’s good or what’s proper. Each single factor has a very good and a nasty – simply consider each. I say this as a result of I at all times have, and nonetheless do, discover a solution to a query with out acknowledging that a solution is only one means of a query.
These had been the highlights from our unique interview with Gramener CEO, Mr. Anand S. You’ll be able to watch the complete interview right here. Keep tuned to our ‘Main With Information’ sequence on the Analytics Vidhya Group Platform for extra unique interviews.