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Data science

Data science and how you can use it to improve your business

The world is interconnected and digital, and unless you embrace these two facts wholeheartedly, our guest blogger Carol says, “your business will forever be struggling to improve and to grow.”

There are so many benefits of using data, data science, and data analysis in your business operations as well.

Benefits of investing in data science and analysis

There are multiple benefits to investing in data science and analysis. What does it mean to invest? At minimum, it means investing in an integrated data management system. This integrated system means that all your different business processes and tools need to be able to interact with one another and share data. For better analysis and results, however, you will need a data or computer scientist on your team.

With a fully realised data science strategy in place, your business can then start to enjoy several key benefits:

1.    Improved finances

Data science works with numbers. Therefore, the biggest place where you are going to personally see a big improvement to your business is in your finances. Data analysis can help you understand your future buying needs, and it can even help you understand where your unnecessary costs are. With the right analysis, you can streamline your budget, cut away unnecessary expenses, and start to only spend what you need to operate optimally as your company grows.

2.    Improved operations

Part of how data analysis and science can save you money is by predicting things like your buying needs, as well as helping you understand where your business is struggling to be efficient. In order to improve finances, you will then need to take decisive actions to improve the operations of your company. By monitoring your results and having your data scientist interpret the data, you can understand what works, what does not, and what needs to be tweaked.

3.    Improved customer service

Customers leave a lot of data every time they interact online. This data is vital and can allow you to offer your customers an extremely customised version of personalisation that we are only just beginning to see. Offering this personalisation is, of course, not straightforward. Data protection and privacy laws are expanding, which means that you need to work within regulations to offer personalisation that feels helpful, but not invasive. Thankfully, your data scientist can help you understand how your efforts are working.

4.    Improved analysis

Analysis comes in many forms. It can help you improve the ROI on your marketing strategy as easily as it can improve your future investments. When you look at previous data, you can start to see where your company is naturally heading. If that direction is where you want to go, then you are on the right path. If it is not, then you can use that very same data to help steer you towards the course your business needs to take.

How to add data science to your business

There are a few ways that you can add data science and analysis to your business strategy.

Start with the right data management system

As stated before, you can get started with data analysis with an integrated data management system. What this means is that several systems will have access to the same data set and, more importantly, to what other systems do with that data.

This is how you can set up very basic automation, reporting, and analysis. You will be relying on software to do this work for you, however, which means the insights you will be able to glean from this solution are minimal and surface-level only. An integrated data management system is a great tool when you do bring in a data scientist, though, so it is a very good first step for all businesses.

Hire a data scientist

The best way is to hire someone who has finished a Masters in Computer Science online degree, specifically someone who has chosen the data science track. That being said, software engineers can also prove very useful when it comes to improving your business’ operations. They will be very proficient in programming language, and will have specialised in data science, its uses and its application.

If you are interested, you can even sponsor one of your IT employees to further their career within this track. If for instance your business partner is your IT specialist, this makes the most sense, as online degrees in this field can be completed in a 100% online capacity.

What they will learn will allow your business to continuously make smart, strategic business decisions instrumental to your growth and success.

Have your business audited

Until you have someone working in-house a great alternative is to either bring on a data scientist as a consultant or outsource to an agency. You will want your business audited to understand where it is not efficient, and more importantly what the data says you can do to improve.

The future of data

Data has always been around. In the past we had to write it down to use it, today we simply need to record it. Add in Big Data, and the amount of information that one needs to sort through is astronomical. The sheer volume is why data scientists are in such high demand, and why investing in your own skillset can be one of the best investments you make for your business.

Data scientists, after all, do not merely take data and make guesses after looking at it. In most instances they must create a program in order to interpret the data in the way that they are looking for. This is why IT specialists make great data scientists, and why you will benefit most from having an in-house expert on your team.

Being able to analyse data, of course, is not enough. New privacy and data laws are making what you can and cannot do with data more complex. You need to stay on top of these regulations in order to use the data to your business’ benefit, without breaching privacy laws.

It can be done, and when it is done your business will flourish.

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