Dr. DJ Patil, first U.S. Chief Data Scientist in President Obama’s ministry, was in Mumbai this week to address the data enthusiasts at DataGiri meetup in Mumbai, India. Talking about building great data products and startup ideas, DJ Patil asked entrepreneurs to dream for years, plan for months, evaluate in weeks, and ship in days!

His talk did not include data graphs or charts or algorithms, but included pictures of common people who were contributing to building great data products. He talked about the passion that was driving them to build these great products. He urged future entrepreneurs and data scientists to focus on people and to start thinking with their hearts instead of thinking with their heads, to come up with ideas that will truly impact the world.

DJ stated that great data products have the potential to impact every single person and they leverage data in a very responsible manner. He recommended an approach of building a prototype for 1x population, growing it for 10x and engineering it for 100x population. According to him, data products should endeavor to cut the timelines in half and double the impact in an ongoing manner to continuously reach out to larger populations.

He also emphasized on the difference between building smart products vs building clever products. While the smart products use smart algorithms to derive value, clever products allow humans to leverage their discretion and judgement to make them smarter. When asked what next after machine learning and deep learning, he said that applications dictate trends, and most impactful data products may not necessarily involve latest technologies, but can be steered by simply combining information from discrete databases or by making simple changes in policies.

DJ was speaking at DataGiri, a Community for Data Science Professionals and Enthusiasts. They meet once a month to share the latest and best on the Data Science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and more. The meetups happen at various prominent cities in India. DJ was speaking in one of their monthly mumbai meetups, at the elegant and stylishly luxurious FinTech Ecosystem of Rise Mumbai located in Mumbai’s iconic Peninsula Business Park, Lower Parel.

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