Interview with Mirza Rahim Baig

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Mirza Rahim Baig is one of the authors of Data Science for Marketing Analytics, we got the chance to sit down with him and find out more about his experience of writing with Packt.

Q: What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?

Rahim : Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science

Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?

Rahim : My journey as an author with Packt began with the title “The Deep Learning Workshop”. It was through a good friend, Mohan Silaparasetty, that I got to know of the requirement, and after all the due process, I was happy to be an author for the title. Not long after, during a discussion with one of the editors, we realized the need for this new title. There was a need for a book on Marketing Analytics that would help those in the field or interested in the field of marketing analytics to harness the power of Machine Learning and AI. If we could come up with a book that taught the required Python fundamentals, explained intuitively the relevant Machine Learning concepts and provided plenty of hands-on examples, it would be a great value addition. It would greatly help all those who don’t have prior experience with ML or Python and could be that defining book in their journey towards using Data Science for Marketing Analytics. I’m pleased with the outcome and believe it is exactly what we were aiming for.

Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?

Rahim: Writing something that requires no prior technical knowledge from the readers is challenging. The task was to not only explain Machine Learning concepts in the simplest manner but also teach the required Python language skills along the way. Coming up with simple and intuitive explanations for involved ML concepts (e.g., Mean Shift clustering and Support Vector Machines) was the biggest challenge. The editors were most helpful in this regard and were our ‘non-technical’ audience who provided us authors with extremely valuable feedback.

Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?

Rahim : These technologies will be the future of Marketing Analytics. Data Science is already driving our “data economy”. For the field of Marketing Analytics, I believe that data science will be a critical skill for practitioners and not merely an added advantage

Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?

Rahim : As a professional who worked on Marketing Analytics myself, I was extremely dissatisfied with the available books in the market. Existing titles assumed a high level of comfort with Python and the required fundamentals in Machine Learning. They were also very theoretical and heavy on math. Most importantly, they never had any examples related to marketing. This book, on the other hand, is perfect for complete beginners; there are no pre-requisites, it teaches you the required Python skills and relevant ML fundamentals, chapters have plenty of hands-on code demos and exercises, and all examples are relevant and from the marketing domain. Early feedback on the book is extremely encouraging, and I believe this is the perfect book for anyone looking to get started, and even for practitioners looking to enhance their skills.

Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?

Rahim : I wish for the readers to be confident about solving business problems in marketing using Data Science. There is indeed tremendous potential for Data Science in the marketing domain. I hope they realize that Data Science, if taught correctly, is not nearly as daunting as it seems.

Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?

Rahim : Just one: practice. Hands-on coding is the key. Whatever technology you wish to learn, make sure you choose resources that provide you with extensive hands-on exposure using relevant examples and datasets.

Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?

Rahim: I write about all things related to Data Science at https://www.mirzarahim.com/blog. In all this noise and mess around Data Science, I try to bring some sanity and provide my readers with the ‘real stuff’. This is stuff that I have realized over more than 11 years in the field after working in some excellent workplaces with great peers. I believe this is my way of making a positive difference and helping to improve the next generation of Data Science professionals.

Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?

Rahim : Definitely! My experience with Packt was great and one filled with tremendous learning. I learned a lot about the writing process, about the readers’ perspective, and about language itself. I can see a change (for the better) in the way I approach technical writing, and Packt played a huge role in it. Also, I got a lot of support from the Packt team: brainstorming ways of articulating difficult concepts, help with technical review, with illustrations, and in all steps of the process.

Q. What is that one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?

Rahim : Keep it simple, as simple as you can. It takes a lot more effort, I know, but helps maximize the impact of your writing. Often, the process of simplification helps you realize your own gaps in understanding and is the best tool to help you build that understanding.

You can find Rahim’s book on Amazon by following this link: Please click here

Data Science for Marketing Analytics is available on Amazon.com