Interview with IQ Graduate Khizer Syed

As our IQ Program continues to grow in size and recognition, we are pleased to share with you an interview with IQ Graduate Khizer Syed.  Khizer was a full-time MSIQ student and has also volunteered his time as an officer for the International Association for Information and Data Quality (IAIDQ) UALR Student Chapter.

Khizer PhotoIQ Program: Khizer, we are very pleased that you accepted to answer our interview questions.

Khizer: Thank you for this opportunity to share my thoughts. It gives me immense pleasure to be able to give back to the IQ program in any way I can.

IQ Program: Please introduce yourself. Where are you from? What is your background?

Khizer: Sure.  I’m originally from India (Hyderabad, AP). I studied Computer Science and Information Technology at Osmania University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 2012. After graduation, I worked with Wipro Technologies (India) as a SQL developer before enrolling with the UALR MSIQ program.

Life has been a beautiful journey and I cannot thank God enough for everything I have. I would like to take advantage of this opportunity to thank my family, my teachers and my friends who have played a vital role in helping me to be where I am today.

IQ Program: From which IQ program (s) are you a graduate? What year were you graduated?

Khizer: I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Information Quality in spring 2015. I am a PhD candidate in Integrated Computing with emphasis on Information Quality, and I look forward to getting back to UALR soon to complete my PhD.

IQ Program: How did you find out about the UALR IQ Program? And how did you become interested in IQ? What made you decide to enroll?

Khizer: I learned about the UALR IQ Program from my cousin Fayaz Syed (now an Application Architect, Enterprise Product Management at Humana) who is an alumnus of the UALR CSE program. He was studying at UALR when the IQ program was about to start. He kept inspiring me all the way and is a great person.

Since the time I was studying Computer Science in India, Fayaz used to talk to me about the power of data and how Information is valuable for everything in the modern age. This instilled in me the desire to learn more about Information Quality and to contribute to the field. In addition to that, when I read about Dr. Talburt’s research in the Entity Resolution and Information Quality (ERIQ) lab, I decided to enroll in the IQ program.

IQ Program: Were you a full/part time student and were you a local or remote student?

Khizer: I was a full time student living in Little Rock.

IQ Program: What was your experience with the program?

Khizer: The IQ Program’s curriculum is very well designed. It enables students to learn the concepts and best practices of Information Quality and Data Governance which in turn helps IQ graduates to find excellent jobs and to pursue successful careers.

Courses like “Principle of Information Quality, IQ Tools, IQ Policies Strategy, Entity Resolution & Information Quality” to name a few, give the students the chance to understand, research and work with the concepts and dimensions of Information Quality so that by the time they approach graduation they are all geared up and ready to put the knowledge they gained into practice in their jobs.

IQ Program: How did you become involved with the UALR IAIDQ  Student Chapter?

Khizer: Since I was a child, I was always involved in extracurricular activities and that was one of the reasons I joined the IAIDQ UALR chapter when I got admitted into the MSIQ Program. I served as the President of the IAIDQ UALR chapter for almost a year. I got the chance to work with an outstanding team!

I believe that being a part of a dynamic student chapter provides the opportunity to have access to unlimited resources and to network with other IQ professionals and students. This greatly helps with self-assessment and networking.

IQ Program: Who is your current employer? What does your employing company or agency do?

Khizer: I am currently employed by Equifax Inc. We are one of the three main credit reporting agencies in the USA.

IQ Program: What is your job title and description?

Khizer: I work as a Senior Data Analyst with the Search Match and Identity Linking department.

Entity Resolution helps me get the bread and butter now. My special thanks to Dr. Talburt for his mentorship during the 2 years at the IQ program. I was very fortunate to closely work with him (as his Research Assistant and his Teaching Assistant for PIQ and ER courses). This has tremendously helped me to improve my skills and understanding of the concepts of Master Data Management, Entity Resolution and Information Quality.

IQ Program: How have you applied what you learned in the IQ Program to your current position or your professional career in general?

Khizer: The IQ program curriculum and the faculty together are the BEST combination. The curriculum introduces the latest concepts, principles and research in our field. For me, applying the lessons I have learned from all the IQ classes to larger datasets and putting the concepts and principles that we were taught into practice, was the best approach that I have applied to my job. This approach has helped me so far and I still keep referring back to the concepts that I learned.

IQ Program: What is your advice for current or prospective students? What do you encourage them to do?

Khizer: There are lots of opportunities for IQ graduates today. Being enrolled in the MSIQ program is the best place to be as you all are getting trained to conquer the era of Information. Be a master in what you’re doing, connect well with other alumni and get involved in research activities. There is a lot to learn every day. Try to make the most of everything you have and learn.

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