Where Science and Business Meet
Written By: Eric DiCroce
Experimentation is a great way to learn what works and what doesn’t. Bringing some science into business helps to gain deeper insights into what factors are truly driving the success of your business. Data science is an emerging field with a lot of ways to help support this effort. It could be as simple as structuring projects to maximize what data is available, or it could be as complex as utilizing Artificial Intelligence. Most importantly, being able to confidently make an informed decision knowing the data has your back is very powerful for both individuals and organizations.
Knowing the results of past decisions can help inform future ones. Historical data is certainly valuable and has been used in forecasting for a long time. However, this method lacks input from what is happening now. Things change and sometimes these changes can happen fast. Being prepared to react to these changes will put you ahead of your competitors. When you are solely dependent on what has historically happened, you can miss opportunities.
This makes the addition of tracking current data important. With modern technology, we can now see real-time feeds of what is happening. This allows us to follow the results of our decisions as they are unfolding. Unfortunately, this alone doesn’t tell us the whole story. That’s why being able to utilize both historical and current data allows us to have a full understanding of the results of our choices.
Additionally, you never want to ignore the knowledge you have. Data can’t be everything, as much as people would like it to be. There is a certain level of knowledge that you have that can be important when building anything data-related. Insights and experiences can help to refine and maximize the results you get back. This element can often be overlooked when rushing to use the latest and most innovative tech. Without it, however, all the AI and tech in the world won’t help you translate that data into something usable and impactful.
The combination of all these elements can help get our projects reach the next level. You may ask, what can I do if I don’t have access to the latest tech? The best start is to maintain clean and structured data. This means making sure that all the information you collect to help your business has a clear format and is as error-free as possible. For example: Name (Last, First), Email (firstname.lastname@example.org), Product Purchased (product A, product B, product C), Date of Purchase (MM/DD/YYYY). Each entry of your client data would then follow this exact pattern. In the end, you will have a robust file containing important client data to help your decision-making.
As you gain access to better technology, not having clean data will be more difficult. While it is possible to clean large amounts of unstructured “dirty” data, it requires additional tech and expertise. Clean data goes a long way in making sure that whenever you want to start that next step, your data is right there ready to support you.