Data science key to business success

Companies that use data science – as opposed to instinct or guesstimates – to drive decisions, are likely to be more successful in the long-term.

Data is set to become the mainstay of most organisations in 2017 with more businesses moving beyond simple data science and analytics and into becoming data-centric organisations.

Businesses are beginning to realise the need to move beyond simply acquiring the right technology and tools to collect and analyse data, towards a cultural shift that puts data at the centre of the business, effectively giving data a seat at the decision-making table.

The 2016 Teradata ANZ Survey shows that just 15 per cent or respondents say their company is constantly analysing data and making data-based decisions in real-time. However, a further 21 per cent collect and analyse data to make business changes; they just don’t do it in real-time. Only a quarter of companies say they are not mature; these companies collect data but don’t analyse it.

Companies that use data science – as opposed to instinct or guesstimates – to drive decisions, are likely to be more successful in the long-term, delivering ongoing value to customers and shareholders.

This value manifests as lower costs, increased customer satisfaction and revenues, and an improved bottom line. As data becomes a recognised asset, organisations may reflect its value on the balance sheet.

As more organisations understand the value of data, we predict five key trends will emerge:

  1. Data agility will increase

Businesses are set to work more within agile data warehouses, which create a balanced, decentralised framework to enable a mix of workloads and data types. Effective data analysis is key to customer engagement and organisational competitiveness. By enabling organisations to gain insight from data, data analytics can help businesses improve in any number of areas including customer experience, logistics, sales, operations, finance and human resources.

  1. Collaborative idea creation will rise

Working together to pool data and insights gives organisations a better view of trends and challenges. Self-service tools let more employees interact with data, broadening the pool of intelligence and letting users engage with information in new ways. This leverages the trend towards automated and enterprise social approaches to decision-making.

  1. Disciplined testing will be essential

Organisations remain challenged when it comes to turning data insight into actions. This requires disciplined testing, as well as a solid business case. Disciplined testing includes consistency, accuracy, coverage, correctness and completeness.

  1. IoT will enable predictions

The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) can help improve the customer experience and organisational performance. Analysing IoT data lets businesses make predictions and determine the likelihood of future outcomes, trends or events. Businesses can then take action accordingly, such as undertaking maintenance on machines or vehicles ahead of any problems occurring.

  1. There will be more work for data scientists

Businesses can no longer rely on untrained staff to analyse data. They need to hire and train people with the right skills to make the most of their data. The recent Teradata Index showed that businesses are beginning to realise the value of a data scientist, with 10 per cent of respondents planning to hire one data scientist and 11 per cent planning to hire an entire team of data scientists. Meanwhile, 13 per cent will use an external partner, while six per cent will develop in-house skills.

This demonstrates a strong understanding of the need to have data science skills available to the organisation, regardless of whether they are in-house or outsourced.

Alec Gardner, General Manager – Advanced Analytics ANZ, Teradata