Team Spotlight: Q&A with Praveen Nedumpully, PhD

Meet Praveen Nedumpully, Modjoul’s Head of Data Science. Praveen leads a team around which nearly everything Modjoul does revolves, working directly with our technology and client strategy teams on an everyday basis. So what does that look like? Learn more from Praveen himself!

Question: How long have you been with Modjoul?
Praveen: I have been with Modjoul for about 6 years now. 

Q: Tell us about your role. What does the Head of Data Science do?
P: My main responsibility is to lead a team of data scientists, data engineers and software engineers that builds, deploys, and maintains machine learning models for Modjoul. It involves building the team, making sure that everyone’s potential is understood and utilized, as well as making sure that they can grow and flourish. I am also responsible for making sure that best practices are followed when it comes to the ideation, development, evaluation, and deployment of data science applications. 

Q: For people who may read this who are thinking about their career plans or future, what kind of education and training is needed for your type of role?
P: The role requires many technical and non-technical skills. The most important requirements are expertise in machine learning algorithms, data science concepts, programming languages such as python, and cloud compute. Other general skills include problem solving abilities, ability to learn new skills as the data science world changes, and ability to work with quantitative data. In addition, managing a team with different backgrounds and skill sets can be challenging. The data science field is evolving fast, so one needs to keep up with the trends and new tools.

Q: What attracted you to work for Modjoul?
P: What I find most attractive is that the work we do at Modjoul impacts people in a positive way. Modjoul is aggressive and nimble when it comes to product development. These are the things I find most attractive.  

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
P: Modjoul’s products are designed around customers’ requirements, and consequently, the technology that we invent helps solve their everyday problems. It is a very satisfying feeling to know that our work impacts people positively. 

On a day-to-day basis, there is always a challenging task or job at work. I get motivated by challenges and draw energy from them. It is also rewarding to know my work helps other teammates. For example: building a relationship with a customer, winning a deal from a customer, or solving a teammate’s problem. 

Q: While collaboration is an integral part of the culture at Modjoul, it seems like the Data Science team plays an especially critical role in that. How do you collaborate with the technology team on the solutions development side? And how do you collaborate with the client strategy team once solutions are integrated in a client’s workplace?
P: Yes, collaboration is indeed an integral part of the data science team. The data science team primarily works with sensor data, and the output that we produce is what customers see on their dashboard. This means that there is a need to integrate the data science system with the hardware, firmware, cloud infrastructure as well as the software system. My team and I regularly meet with the technology teams that are responsible for the hardware, firmware and software system, and we make sure everything is operated in tandem. This takes a lot of planning, knowledge, experience, and most importantly relationships with other teams. 

As for the client strategy team, our collaborations are mainly in two areas – for developing new features and for reporting data. The first one typically is client driven, and my team helps the client strategy team in achieving their goal of delivering what a client requires. It could be adding a new feature to the model, or getting an insight that the client wants from the data. The second area is helping the client strategy team with creating custom reports, automating them, etc. This saves them a lot of time preparing these reports, so they can utilize their time more effectively. 

Q: When you think ahead to the future, what are you excited about in terms of Modjoul’s evolution? What are some areas you think the company could grow into moving forward?
P: I believe the most exciting thing is the growth opportunities for Modjoul and the teammates. Modjoul actively develops many new products and for many of them, the growth potential is high. I believe the most challenging thing would be to grow organically, in a healthy way.   

Q: What are your interests or hobbies outside of Modjoul?
P: I spend a lot of time in nature, especially around hikes. I watch football (college and NFL) games. I also have an interest in music, which spans a wide variety of genres. I really like coding, and I often do it outside my work. 

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