In the last five years, data science has continued to make rapid advances, particularly in the fields of machine learning and deep learning. Organisations now have troves of raw data which, when combined with insights garnered from powerful and sophisticated analytics tools, can improve operational performance and create new market opportunities. However, while the tools are in place, a major challenge for companies is attracting and retaining the right talent that can work on extracting value from data and analytics and applying it in real-life situations.
It is predicted that the demand for data scientists and data engineers alone will grow by 39 percent until 2020. It is challenging to recruit people skilled at machine learning, big data, and data science, not only because of the limited talent available, but also because of the rapidly evolving landscape.
In this environment, the need of the hour is for organisations to enable continuous learning and feedback among employees. Therefore, Indo-German company Innoplexus has come up with an educational programme to encourage out of the box thinking from an early age.
Mathematics gives us a way to understand patterns, to quantify relationships, and to predict the future. The earlier young learners can put these skills to practice, the more likely we will remain an innovation-driven society and economy.
Algebra can explain how quickly water becomes contaminated and how many people drinking that water might become sick on a yearly basis. Statistics and probability can estimate death tolls from earthquakes, conflicts and other calamities around the world. Creating artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms can improve and even save lives by speeding up drug development and improving cancer treatment.
Rethinking maths in a global context to make the subject more applicable and meaningful can help students use data to draw defensible conclusions and use these to make an impact in real life.
The Innoplexus School is a step in this direction. As part of this, Innoplexus employees in Pune, India, are carrying out an early learning support programme where they attempt to bridge socio-economic gaps and develop academic and personal excellence among students from humble backgrounds. The long-term vision is to integrate these into higher education and advanced careers.
Every weekend, children from modest backgrounds get to learn through games, role plays, and fun activities through interaction with Innoplexus employees, who volunteer to provide the children with academic reinforcements and act as positive role models. So far, 30 families have been part of this programme, that started in Spring 2018 and will be rolled out further.
Innoplexus already has plans to launch similar activities in its offices in Europe and the US. Two more projects will soon kick off in Frankfurt, Germany. The company is also working with a secondary school to integrate data science skills into the students’ curriculum by providing content and data, volunteering lectures, and solving real world problems in summer bootcamps and hackathons.
The most in-demand jobs in data science and analytics require advanced education. Therefore, Innoplexus is also working closely together with the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management where they take an active part in the Master’s in Applied Data Science curriculum as lecturers as well as data and problem statement providers. This helps close the data science and analytics skill gap through data-driven insights shared between educational institutes and the industry.
“At Innoplexus, we believe in giving back to society by leveraging our strengths to the benefit of our local communities by sharing our knowledge, expertise and capabilities,” says Gunjan Bhardwaj, Founder and CEO of Innoplexus. “We are supporting and encouraging our employees to volunteer at a wide range of organisations worldwide. Sponsored by the company’s leadership, each and every Innoplexus employee has the opportunity to contribute their time, knowledge and skills towards community activity on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis.”
Innoplexus also believes that some fun is necessary to keep employees happy and productive, and this is evident from its workspaces. The Innoplexus office in Pune has a vivid, fun-filled and open atmosphere with lots of natural light, and bright furniture such as sofas and bean bags, which creates an easy and relaxing workspace.
“Since we all spend a substantial part of our lives in office, we decided to bring in recreation into the workplace,” says Kumar Anshu, CEO of Innoplexus, India. “Our office is equipped with facilities to play sports such as table tennis and carrom, among others. This environment helps us develop cutting-edge products that improve the lives of millions.”
There are also colourful breakout areas which can be used for informal meetings and extensive research and brainstorming sessions. An open-plan office with flexible seating space enables interactivity and collaboration with other creative thinkers from different backgrounds and departments. Other initiatives for all-round employee well-being include an in-house library, Udemy training courses, a learn-while-you-work scheme and knowledge sharing across departments to ensure continuous learning.
All these put together contribute to helping employees come up with swifter, and more efficient responses to market challenges, and develop innovative products and solve multi-dimensional problems.
“We encourage an open environment where you can express your ideas fearlessly. We regularly invite our employees to do something exciting and solve the most challenging problems faced by engineering teams. We have enthusiastic teams who believe in "making a dent in the sky", and with them we design, prototype and code during long weekends. For such occasions, our office is equipped with a nap room and shower facilities,” says Anshu.
As a fast-growing AI-company, Innoplexus hires skilled data scientists, data architects and data engineers through online hackathons which invites them to solve a complex problem statement in a defined time frame. These hackathons are also helpful in recruiting fearless talent which looks forward to taking on the toughest challenges and questioning everything.
(The next online hackathon will take place at the end of July. Visit the Innoplexus website for more details.)
With headquarters in Germany and an office in the US in New Jersey, Innoplexus brings a sense of its vivid culture to all its workspaces, with no real or imaginary boundaries between different divisions, and design elements aimed at instilling creativity and innovation.
With a 240-strong team across Europe, US, and India, Innoplexus is rapidly expanding to meet the demands of its clients. The company understands that in addition to formal educational tracks, there are other avenues such as bootcamps and meetups which can help more people acquire data science skills. Consequently, Innoplexus supports meetup groups in India and Germany as location sponsor and provides speakers to boost the AI ecosystem.
Recently, Innoplexus organised the first annual AI Summit on Campus at the Frankfurt School. “There are four elements that drive the value of AI: We have computational power, algorithms, avalanches of data. But most importantly, we need people. We need people who can translate business problems into problems in data science and understand the fundamentals of AI. As a fast-growing company Innoplexus is looking for skilled ambitious talents. At the same time, it is important for us that our clients develop an understanding of how AI can create value for them. That is why Frankfurt School and Innoplexus partnered to organize the AI Summit which can play a significant role in building that capability,” says Gunjan. “We brought together more than 200 participants and 21 speakers. And now we are in discussions with IITs to implement this success story in India.”
Through a clear vision, inspirational leadership, core values, teamwork, and shared experiences, Innoplexus is working hard to nurture and develop the talents of the future.