Most organizations are sitting on a treasure trove of data. The good news: They have a ton of information waiting to give them a competitive advantage. The not-so-good news: Well, it’s a ton of information to work with—far more than any human being, or even dozens of people, can sift through.
That’s what makes data science so powerful. Data scientists design algorithms to structure, sort, and analyze massive stores of data to catch information and trends mere mortals are likely to miss. This next-level processing power can reveal critical information for businesses and fuel better decision-making, and run analyses in an instant, to boot.
Here are five tips for your business to get the most from data science.
1. Use Data Science to Understand the People You Serve
Each piece of data you have from your customers is a single point in a giant game of connect the dots. The trouble is that none of these dots have been numbered, and you have several games going at once.
Data science can help you confirm each piece of data is correct and aggregate it into customer profiles. This process of aggregation will reveal certain behaviors and patterns—essentially drawing many pictures for you. Once all those dots get connected, you’ll have a much better idea of who your customers are and what they want (or what they might want in the future).
2. Forecast Market Trends Before They Arrive
Who doesn’t want a crystal ball now and then? There’s an obvious advantage to being able to predict future trends in the market, and data science is one of the rare tools that can actually help you get a peek at what’s coming.
By harnessing the power of algorithms to analyze the data you have, you can catch the first rumblings of change. Are your customers beginning to make different purchases? Has a new demographic begun using your products and services? Are audiences you’ve never considered suffering from pain points that you can solve? Data science can help you answer these questions and stay ahead of the game.
3. Strengthen Your Organization’s Security
Catching a single bad actor in a large crowd of people presents a tough challenge. Security breaches, fraud, and other attacks all depend in part on the attacker’s ability to proceed unnoticed. But with the damage even a single attacker can do, it’s important they’re noticed.
But while a human being may not clock the unusual behavior that precedes an attack, machine-learning algorithms can efficiently detect suspicious activity, even when working with a massive dataset. It’s another way data science can help protect your customers and your organization.
4. Tell Better Stories Through Data Visualization
People love stories. That might sound simple, but it’s true: storytelling is a powerful tool when it comes to educating and persuading your audience.
Data science can help you tell better stories by turning data into digestible, understandable visualizations that work within a larger narrative. Whether that’s a heat map, a histogram, or a trusty ol’ pie chart, incorporating these visuals can add a greater dimension to the stories you tell.
5. Saddle Up and Wrangle Your Data
Like a herd of wayward cattle, your data needs to be wrangled. Lassos won’t help; data wrangling is the process of cleaning up information to get it ready to be properly analyzed. This isn’t an easy task to begin with, nor is maintaining order within an ever-growing dataset.
But it is possible. Relying on an algorithm to quickly tidy up your data makes it easier to glean important insights quickly. Because the better your data quality, the greater benefits you’ll reap from analysis.
Rigorous science can yield breathtaking results. Learn more.