Healthcare Stock


 Helping Health Companies Leverage AI  

May 8, 2024 | By Dean Sevin Yeltekin


In this Q&A, analytics and AI consultant Puneet Kaur (MSF’16) reflects on her journey to making an impact at the intersection of healthcare and AI.

Note: This is Part 4 of 4 in our Alumni AI Q&A series. Click to view Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3

Sevin Yeltekin: Can you walk us through your career journey in the data analytics and AI space?

Puneet Kaur: By a stroke of luck, my first-ever gig was with EXL, a consulting firm focused on data science and analytics. I was drawn to the opportunity to be part of a functional business unit that leverages technology to drive change for a diversity of clients. The longer I was in the consulting world, the more inspired I was to obtain more business knowledge, particularly in finance, to dig even deeper for my clients and move up the ladder. I relocated to the U.S. to pursue a Master in Finance at Simon and returned to EXL after graduating. I primarily worked with large retail and banking clients as a hands-on data scientist in an environment where we were in the early stages of exploring AI applications. After I had worked my way up to the position of engagement manager, the pandemic hit and I began thinking about ways to make a broader societal impact. It was too late to become a clinician, but I realized I could support the healthcare industry with the skills I had already built. In 2021, I joined Tiger Analytics, a global leader in AI and analytics. Now, I am a client partner in the life sciences and pharmaceutical space.

SY: What are the types of problems you solve for your clients?

PK: My favorite thing about consulting is that I never solve the same problem twice. At EXL, I frequently worked on use cases related to analyzing customer spend. For a company to send one targeted email, for example, it must have confidence from data that the decision makes sense in light of customer profile and competitor landscape. Now, I am still focused on patient segmentation but in a different context. For example, some of my pharmaceutical clients come to me with questions about the vaccines they have developed. They are looking for data-driven insights on the demographics of the population opting for or against vaccination, on the roadblocks to vaccines access, and the touch points that have shaped a patient’s perspective on the vaccine. AI tools help us sift through data with the aim of developing a strategy that drives higher rates of vaccination. And there are plenty of similar AI applications in the industry. Many people hold off going to a doctor until they are unwell, but they walk around wearing smart watches that capture their healthcare data. Health companies can use AI to analyze this data in a way that improves preventative medicine and saves lives. 

SY: What is the greatest day-to-day challenge you encounter? 

PK: The world of AI is a madhouse. I get up in the morning and there is always another change, another technology. There is so much happening in this space that you are never caught up, even if you are at the top of your game and reading constantly. It’s a challenge to stay informed without becoming overloaded. 

SY: If you are hiring a student out of Simon, what specific skills are you looking for in relation to AI? 

PK: My expectations will depend on their level of experience. If I am considering a candidate with a few years of work experience, I would lean on them more heavily for technological ability, which they learn in the classroom, rather than industry expertise. AI is not a magic wand that we can wave to get results—there needs to be an input of solid, refined data before it’s useful. New hires need to get their hands dirty with data, ensuring that it is in good form for AI to function correctly. For someone more advanced in their career, I would be more focused on their ability to use AI tools to stitch a story together for the client.  

SY: How has your Simon education made you more effective at what you do?

PK: I moved from a small town in India to the U.S. without any family or friends. I graduated from Simon a more confident person, someone who could offer tangible skills in a dynamic corporate environment. I’m grateful to Simon for that experience.

Puneet Kaur is a Client Partner (AI: Data Strategy, Engineering & Data Science Consulting) at Tiger Analytics. 

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