Meet the Executive Series: Sujatha Sagiraju

Chief Product Officer

One of our core values at Appen is recognizing and celebrating the people that make the work we do possible. For us, that means writing about and talking about the accomplishments of our people so you can see just how awesome they are. To celebrate our staff, we’ve started a series highlighting a day in the life of an Appen contributor and introducing you to our executive team. We are so excited to introduce you to our Chief Product Officer, Sujatha Sagiraju.

Meet Sujatha…

Sujatha has a long career in product, but that’s not where she started. Sujatha started her life and education in India, where the majority of her family still lives. She received a Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, then received a Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering from The University of Texas, then completed her education with a Master of Business in Technology Management from The University of Washington. Sujatha began her career as a software engineer at Schlumberger, before moving on to become a product manager. “I wanted to focus more on the breath, vision, and strategy of a product instead of deep in the details. It wasn’t until I was working in that role that I realized it was something I loved to do,” she says. Sujatha joined the Appen team in August of 2021 and is currently living in Seattle with her husband and two children.

Entrance into the AI Industry

Before joining the team at Appen, Sujatha worked for Microsoft. While there, she started to notice a problem. “I could see from a customer’s point of view that training data was a roadblock to building ML models and I saw Appen as an opportunity to solve that problem. Appen has the unique ability to connect all four stages of the Data for the AI lifecycle.”

Work at Appen

While Sujatha could see some of the problems inherent to the AI training data, she took the time to ask questions first. “When I started at Appen, I spent a lot of my early days meeting with customers to learn how they work with us and use our platform. It was from those discussions and my experience from Microsoft that I discovered we are supporting our customers through their AI Lifecycle.” Sujatha noticed that at Appen, we’re not just creating training data for AI and machine learning. Instead, we’re supporting customers and showing them how to build continuous AI cycles. She says, “the culture and people at Appen truly make it successful for us to service our customers. The expertise from our team members and the years of experience put us as the leader in the Data for the AI Lifecycle. Our core values of humility, integrity, grit, and performance provide the structure to create a successful, inclusive environment.” While Appen may have started off creating training data for machine learning models, it’s become so much more. Under the stewardship of Sujatha, Appen is helping customers to recognize the importance of data throughout the entire AI lifecycle and to use each aspect efficiently.

Data for the AI Lifecycle

While data for the AI lifecycle is a newer concept, Appen is committed to being at the forefront and pioneering best practices. Sujatha says, data for the AI lifecycle “encompasses four stages in a continuous cycle; data sourcing, data preparation, model build and deployment, and model evaluation by humans. These stages are necessary to deliver high-quality data for building AI projects.” Within that process, data sourcing, data preparation, and model evaluation are the most labor-intensive aspects. Appen provides customers with tools and training to be able to use data efficiently for the highest ROI. With Sujatha at the helm of product at Appen, we’re continuing to innovate and change the landscape of AI for the better. Thank you, Sujatha, for being part of our executive team! To learn more about Appen and our leadership team, visit our company page.
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