Companies are starting to use data science in various aspects of the business, not just for marketing, customer service, and advertising purposes. The big data rush is evident, although its still an unchartered territory. More organizations recognize data science as an integral part of the business and that data is a core business competency that can be used to improve decision making, competitive intelligence, in streamlining of internal operations and cross functions, and to increase productivity. Evidently, the strategic importance of data science is beginning to shift organizational behavior, including top management. The Data Science Summit this week explored how Big Data, Data Science, & Analytics are transforming businesses across all industries.
Capturing and analyzing large datasets today brings a broader view of value. Mckenzie & Company issued a report titled “Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity” a couple of years ago, which is considered a 'must read' among data scientists. The report studied big data in five domains and found it can generate value in each: healthcare (U.S.), public sector (Europe), retail (U.S.), and manufacturing and personal-location data globally. The report found that data capture and analytics have been penetrating every industry and business function and have become an important factor of production and operations, alongside labor and capital. Data accuracy and the level of transactional details are critical in extracting value through defined algorithms.
Companies use data science in various ways:
- Make better management decisions
- Forecasting that enables a more efficient process adjustments,
- Narrowing customer segmentation and user behavior
- To solve problems and predict equipments malfunctions
- To improve the development of new products and services.
- Further, companies have begun leveraging data-driven strategies to innovate, compete, and capture value from (nearly) real-time information.
The VentureBeat Data Science conference presented a number of case studies on how several sectors already utilize data assets to revolutionize their business and discussed the major challenges and opportunities in data science. Read here on how data science is fundamentally shifting industries, resulting in a positive impact on our society: "Can consumers stop companies and institutions from collecting data about them?"
Some of the key questions we face are who owns the data, who has rights to it, who can use it, who has the right to share? At some point, we will need a set of principals that everyone can follow and consumers can trust.
When it comes to creating the opportunities to catalyze data science capabilities and harvest meaningful insights, organizations need to move from a decentralized model to a central mode today, aggregating data from several sources. However, some experts also lean toward a hybrid solution, depending on the company, its goals, and values. LinkedIn and Intuit utilize a hybrid model. In large organizations, data scientists acknowledge that there is no way to do analytics for all the departments and throughout the organization structure by utilizing one centralized repository. Therefore a hybrid is more prevalent in large enterprises.
In business, the most important asset of a data science is not the capture per-say or whether to centralize or use a hybrid model, but looking at the accuracy, importance and relevance of the data for product creation, aligning to company goals, bringing value to customers, and ultimately how to catalyses the datasets.
As the data science sector evolves, we will need a set of principals that everyone can follow and consumers can trust.
1. Mckenzie & Company issued a report titled “Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity”
To download the report, click here (PDF).
Mckenzie & Company executive summary of the report: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/business_technology/big_data_the_next_f...
2. The Data Summit 2013, in its third year, is organized and produced by VentureBeat, a media company that covers disruptive technology and its impact on human lives trends, emerging companies and markets, and business opportunities they bring.
VentureBeat organizes a few executive-level conferences each year, including MobileBeat, CloudBeat, GamesBeat, and the VentureBeat Mobile Summit.