Gopal Bang, on “Why the MISB Bocconi Jigsaw – EPBA has the edge.”
This week as we continue profiling our successful applicants from the Jigsaw – MISB Bocconi Executive Program in Business Analytics (EPBA), we introduce you to Gopal Bang, a highly motivated and successful professional, who caught the analytics bug.
Gopal is an MBA Finance graduate from Osmania University in Hyderabad and a certified Associate Cost & Management Accountant (ACMA) from the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (formerly ICWAI). He kickstarted his professional life at a grass root level 11 years back, and has played multiple progressive roles over the years. He has worked with top notch companies like Bank of America, IVY Comptech and Hitachi Consulting, and he says that the experience he has gained so far in this journey, has been invaluable. Today he works at IT Convergence, as their Offshore Finance Operations Manager, understanding client needs and delivering to them an enhanced experience, through customization of services. Gopal says that this has really been at the core of every role that he has handled and that he believes that this, is truly his forte.
On the lighter side, Gopal is a stock market enthusiast and an active derivatives trader. On week days most of his free time goes in tracking his positions in NSE derivatives. He is also a fitness freak and likes to work out at least 3 days a week. On weekends he likes to go walking or cycling with his wife and son and enjoys gardening with them in their backyard.
Gopal calls himself a newbie to data analytics. “The vast majority of my career has been spent on project accounting, accounts receivables, accounts payables, and general ledger accounting functions. While my job requires me to collate and disseminate a whole lot of data, I’m trying to move up the value chain and become a specialist in understanding and analyzing data, so that I can help make crucial decisions that impact the business.” says Gopal.
Let’s find out more about how Gopal became interested in analytics and Big Data and why he applied to the Jigsaw – MISB Bocconi EPBA.
Tell us how you became interested in analytics and Big Data in the first place?
One key aspect that has helped me in my career so far is upskilling and the drive to continuously learn. I am constantly on the lookout for new areas to foray into that would add greater value to my profile and would give my career headway. The data revolution happens to be something that one can’t miss. I’ve been talking to senior colleagues in the industry and reading a lot about analytics and Big Data on the web. I happened to attend a one day seminar on business analytics conducted by the Institute of Cost Accountants of India, where I had a chance to interact with lot of folks from the analytics industry. That precisely is where, I guess the business analytics bug really bit me. It got me thinking, and the more I read, the more I knew that this is where I would want to invest the next phase of my career. The decisive moment was when I came across the website, Analytics Vidhya. Thanks to its founder, Kunal Jain and the articles he published on Big Data for people who are looking at shifting into analytics, I sealed the deal.
So what made you choose the Jigsaw – MISB Bocconi EPBA?
I first came to know about Jigsaw Academy through Analytics Vidhya, which recommended it as the number one institute to learn analytics. I began closely following Jigsaw Academy on their blog www.analyticstraining.com and on LinkedIn and that’s how I came to know about the MISB Bocconi and Jigsaw Academy EPBA program. The program outline seemed to teach the perfect combination of skills and tools that would enable me to shift into the analytics industry.
However I did do my due diligence and looked into other programs like ISB, Great Lakes, Praxis & INSOFE etc. As I’m interested in becoming an analytics consultant and not a data scientist as such, I was looking for a course which would give more emphasis on understanding the client problems and using analytics to solve it rather than the just technology side. I found curriculum wise all the courses were similar, but while most of the others were technology focused, the Jigsaw – MISB Bocconi EPBA, had the right mix of technical knowledge from Jigsaw and management concepts from MISB Bocconi.
The SDA Bocconi certification was another key advantage of this EPBA. Besides, the fact that it would only require me to take 6 days of leave throughout the course, make it more manageable to strike a balance between both my priorities – work and learning.
I honestly felt that the EPBA has the edge and would give me a good head start in my foray into analytics. It’s a perfect combination of Jigsaw’s cutting edge content and Bocconi’s international appeal, and so I enthusiastically sent in an application.
Well congrats on being accepted. You must be really excited. Why don’t you tell us what you are most looking forward to and a little about your interview experience?
Yes, I’m truly excited about this course as I believe this would be the beginning of a new phase in my career and I expect it to be a game changer for me. It feels great to be part of two pioneer organizations in the analytics industry. And the certification from one of the best b-schools in Europe is the icing on the cake. Apart from adding to my exposure, it certainly would make my profile stand out in the resource-scarce analytics industry. I think it would go a long way in positioning me in the analytics world.
I think the whole admission process was pretty simple and straight forward, without any hassles and I liked it that way. The interview was good; I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation with both Gaurav and Anjana. Their questions were comprehensive and I got to hear different perspectives on analytics from two seasoned industry professionals. To be frank, though I was impressed by the curriculum and approach, I was a little hesitant initially about joining MISB, considering this was their pilot batch. But after speaking to both the interviewers, who incidentally are also the faculties for this course, I was clear on my intent to go ahead.
Is there any material or topic that you would like the EPBA to focus on or cover more in depth?
I think the EPBA curriculum looks great. However, I am hoping that the course will offer examples of practical application of a variety of analytical tools in dealing with real life industry problems. I believe that learning the tools and techniques would be easy, but learning how to apply them would be the crucial part and would be the differentiator for people wanting to make it big in this industry. I also feel that the course should have extensive networking events with industry experts, which would help the participants gain fresh perspectives and improve their chances of getting picked up by good companies in the field.
I see you live in Hyderabad, but the program has six in person contact dates in Mumbai. What about this program attracted you to travel out of station in order to participate?
I wanted to be with the best – whatever it calls for. Hence traveling to Mumbai six times isn’t a big problem. Besides I’m taking this as an opportunity to spend some time in Mumbai, where I have never been to in the past.
What are your general thoughts on the analytics and Big Data boom in the business world today?
I believe there is bound to be explosive growth in the Big Data and analytics field as the focus of businesses is shifting from hindsight to foresight.
Thanks Gopal and we look forward to hearing more from you throughout the program.
About the EPBA:
The newly launched EPBA offers participants a flexible and unique route to a top foreign b-school certificate. The ten-month executive program, a partnership between MISB Bocconi and Jigsaw Academy which will commence later this month is India’s first long-term course, blending general management with Big Data and business analytics.
Successful participants will receive a certification from SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan, Italy, one of Europe’s premier business schools. Add to this the Jigsaw Academy advantage (analytics expertise, real life data sets and a unique teaching pedagogy) and you get a winning combination, a program that will set you apart and take your career several notches up.
The EPBA will focus on giving participants an understanding of predictive modeling, data mining, big data analytics, marketing, operations and risk analytics, among other analytics areas. At the end of the program, participants will be capable of data driven decision making and leadership in industries such as retail, finance, telecommunications, healthcare, and manufacturing.
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