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Pankaj Swami

Pankaj Swami

Tell us about the company you worked for during your work placement?

Kids Know Best or KKB is a data-based advertising agency, founded in 2016, driven by data collected from children. KKB is an expert in market research, insights, content and distribution and some of their clients are Mattel, Universal, SONY, Warner Bros., and many more. KKB collaborates with a wide range of partners and provides them with solutions that will help make better brand and marketing decisions in the kids and family advertising market.

What did you do as part of your placement?

I joined KKB as a Data Engineer. The Chief Technical Officer at KKB hired me as he was convinced that my skills as a Data Engineer in the Financial domain could be applied into a market research organisation such as KKB.

As per his vision, I was responsible for following tasks.

  • Support tasks of getting and evaluating data with the use of SQL (Structure Query Language) queries.
  • Build a data warehouse which can handle data from various sources and forms. This includes majorly unstructured and semi-structured data.
  • Build an automated system where kids or parents can easily upload answers to survey questions in a video created by them via their phone or computer.
  • A second system is created to find the trending topics across various social media platforms and news, which can decide if a topic is related to a child’s interest.
  • A machine learning-based sentimental analysis project is created, which can decide what are the topics which are more popular and what are the topics which are getting negative sentiments across all the social media platforms.

Was there anything you found difficult and how did you overcome it?

One of the most frequent challenges I faced while doing data extraction for different teams was that they were never specific about exactly what kind of data they needed. Resolution: Firstly, I had continuous communication with the teams to try to understand what they are looking for. Secondly, I prepared reports for them and then they got to choose which one they want to show the clients or if the reports needed any specific changes.

In the database of existing files there were a lot of duplicate file copies and no housekeeping was done in the database. Resolution: I created a repository for all the production and development files. All the duplicate files were removed from the system after being identified, and a name was decided for the new files. Me and my team member listed down all the existing data quality issues and eventually I had to create a Python project to clean data issues which were recurring.

What skills did you learn?

I have developed many skills during my work placement at Kids Know Best (KKB). These skills are:

  1. Business Awareness –In order to understand the business I had to learn about KKB’s various product offerings, understand the different customized models for every country KKB has data collection from, and gain an awareness about the work that all the teams inside the company do.
  2. Communication – I learned to communicate on a daily basis with my team members and other teams. Everyday there were meetings on Google Meet and constant communication on Slack, which has Direct Message options to all colleagues in the company.
  3. Creativity – The tasks which involved graph and report creations gave the opportunity to display this information in a creative manner, which helps the company in gaining new business.
  4. Initiative –I had to learn to take initiative in proposing new solutions and designs involving the latest technological tools.
  5. Leadership –I was assigned to lead Data Analysts in my team and mentor, help and direct them towards the new product creation and BAU.
  6. Planning – My role included working on multiple things concurrently. I had to plan my work in a manner that I can juggle them all and manage all tasks efficiently.
  7. Self-Management – During my work Placement I had to learn how to accept responsibilities, assert my opinions and take feedback from team members.
  8. Teamwork – I worked in a small team during my work placement at KKB. I also communicated and worked with various other teams.

How did your course help to prepare you for your placement?

The various modules I studied during my course in the last 9 months taught me many academic skills which I could use during my work placement at KKB. Just a few of these include:

  • In the module ‘ICM316 – Python for Finance’, I learned to use Python and SQL (Structured Query Language) for financial data analysis and programming. I used both of these skills at KKB to query data, data extraction, building python projects for data cleaning and data transformation.
  • In the module ‘ICM103 – Quantitative Methods for Finance’, we learnt various statistical methods to analyse data for decision making. I used the statistical knowledge to analyse KKB’s data.
  • KKB is using Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to host their data. In the modules ‘ICM317 – Machine Learning and Big Data Finance’ & ‘ICM319 – Insurance and Big Data’ we learned all the basics of cloud computing. In ‘ICM317 – Machine Learning and Big Data in Finance’ we learned various tools provided by AWS and GCP. Every day, I worked in KKB I used one of these cloud application providers, so this academic skill really helped me.
  • In the module ‘ICM320 – FinTech Regulation and Data Protection’ we were taught the importance behind data protection in today’s organisations. During my work placement I followed the data protection guidelines in order to safely protect the data from accidental sharing and cyber-attacks.