One thing that every modern-day business needs to be aware of is data. There is so much of it, and it is so crucial for running a successful business that understanding data is becoming more and more important. A huge amount of value in analyzing data and how having a data scientist or analyst – someone with a degree in applied statistics – working within your business would enable you to do so much more than most other companies could. Read on to find out more.
What Is A Data Scientist?
Data science might be an unknown for most people since it’s not something that they will think about every day; it’s not the kind of professional that is familiar to everyone. However, it is something that many businesses are finding is a useful addition to their team and understanding more about what a data scientist is and what they can do will help you decide whether or not to hire one.
In essence, a data scientist will work in data mining, information management, and data visualization. They will have advanced training in computer science, statistics, and math, and if you’re hiring a data scientist, the better degree they have, the better; click here to learn more about a master’s in applied statistics, for example. This is exactly the kind of degree a good data scientist will be working towards or already have accomplished.
Some of the main areas that a data scientist will work in includes:
- Fraud and risk mitigation. A data scientist will be able to spot any data that looks different for any reason. These anomalies can then be explored further, often leading to the detection of fraud and other issues.
- Finding the right products. A data scientist will be able to look into which products sell best, when, and to whom. Armed with this knowledge, a business owner will be able to ensure their stock levels are satisfactory and that their marketing campaigns are reaching the right people.
- Understanding the customer. To run a successful business, it is the customer that must be considered first and foremost. A data scientist will break down exactly what a customer wants, enabling the customer-facing team members in your business to deliver exactly that and create exceptional customer experiences.
What other reasons might you need to hire a data scientist? Here are some of the main ones.
Allowing for Better Decision Making
Decision-making in business is a potentially stressful situation. Whether it is the owner, the manager, or a team member, when a decision has to be made, big or small, if the reputation of the business or a large contract that would bring in additional funds, or anything else is at stake, that decision needs to be the right one. Learning from mistakes is indeed useful, but that doesn’t mean that mistakes are good things in business, especially if it will cause a major issue for that business.
When you have an experienced data scientist on board, they will act as a trusted advisor who will be able to look more deeply into the decision that needs to be made, mining the right data and using modeling to determine which direction the decision needs to take the business in. Although there will always be some margin for error, having an expert back up, any decision will instill a lot of confidence in the team.
With this confidence, not only can a decision be made, but instructions can be carried out. Without fully understanding why a task needs to be done, team members might be reluctant to do the work, especially if it is a complicated one. It could be a slow process. However, when a data scientist has done the research, and there is a good reason for the task to be completed, the team is more likely to get to work faster and happier.
The main core of what a data scientist does revolves around examining the data within an organization and exploring it to determine the different trends in sales. Once this is understood, the data scientist can recommend the next steps, cementing the business’s reputation and success. Once this is done, the business will perform better, be more able to engage with customers, and – ideally – increase profits.
On top of this, the business owners will better be able to define their goals. Once they can see where the business is heading and understand which goals will be met, they can reassess their own thoughts and ideas and put different plans into action if need be. Having goals within a business is essential to get anywhere, but it is important to remember that those goals must be flexible; business can change on a whim, and any new trend that comes into being can make your business have to change course.
With a data scientist on board who can determine these trends both within and without the business, your flexible goals can be determined as time goes on, and you will never be irrelevant or behind the curve when it comes to trends.
Helping Staff Understand the Business Goals
The business owner is not the only person who needs to know what the business goals are; the rest of the team does too. Giving your team information about where you intend the business to go and how is something that a good employer will be more than willing to do since it will ensure the team itself understands why they are doing what they have been asked to do, and it will give them confidence in the sustainability of the business itself.
Having a data scientist as part of your team can help in this regard. They will be able to explain exactly how the business’s goals will be met with each department in mind, showing them what their contribution will be using data and statistics. Although an inspiring pep-talk by their boss might galvanize your team into action, these hard facts and figures are utterly indisputable and will give every staff member a much clearer idea of what is happening and where they are heading – and why.
When a data scientist can delve deeper into the company’s analytics, they can see which of the current processes and systems are working and need to be updated or entirely removed. Although you might be able to do this yourself, when you are involved directly in the business and have perhaps created the systems and processes that are being used yourself, understanding how to change them or stop using them can be a much harder task. An impartial data scientist will be able to look at them entirely objectively, thus giving you a true understanding of the best thing.
If any of those systems are holding you back, causing you to have fewer sales, making you invisible to the public, and so on, the data scientist will be able to determine this. Using their ability to understand data and statistics, they will also be able to give you some advice about how to change those processes or what new ones to put in their place to reach the goals you have set for your business.
You will also be more able to understand different opportunities that are around you once you understand the data that links to them.
If your business is not collecting any audience data, you miss out on some crucial information that could make all the difference to your level of success. However, even if you are collecting customer data (who they are, where they come from, their age, how much their average spend is, what gender they are, and so on), if you’re then not doing anything with it, or not doing enough with it, then you may as well not be collecting it at all. The data won’t be useful, and you won’t be able to move forward.
A data scientist will be able to take that data (or organize its collection if that is not happening) and, using other elements of data that they will have been able to determine through their work, to generate important and useful insights that a business can then use to understand exactly who their ideal target market is. Armed with this information, marketing can be much more specific, products can be chosen with the audience in mind, and by not trying to bring everyone into the business, your marketing budget will be easier, more of an investment.
Recruiting the Right Talent
A data scientist can be of benefit in every department of your business, including when it comes to hiring new talent. A data scientist can determine exactly who will be the right fit in terms of their experience, qualifications, or even where they have worked before. This will easily narrow down the list of candidates that a recruiter has to deal with and ensure that all those interviewed will be, as far as the data can show, be a good fit for the role.
There is a huge amount of information available from various platforms, including social media and corporate databases. Understanding how to use this data and give a detailed explanation as to who is the best for the job is something that a data scientist should be able to assist with as part of their work for your business.