What is data science? Is it just another buzz word for applied statistics? Some statisticians certainly think so. I believe data science is much more than that. Think transformation. Think about how connecting theory to actual data can enable better business decision-making that directly impacts company growth. Transformative, indeed!
The time is now, (really, it was yesterday) to apply modern data science theory to real-world business applications. And I am not talking about an application illustrating a new methodology published in an academic journal. Real use cases grounded in how businesses are churning raw data to turn a profit already exist and are delivering millions of dollars in cost savings as well as driving up revenue. This bottom-line impact is what defines data science.
Real World Experience
Knowing your customers is important, everyone knows that. Data Science transforms how we identify, personalize, and curate goods and services to meet individual customer needs. Data Science is also an art that can turn a bolt of fabric into a fashionista’s dream. Check out how Stich Fix does just that by delivering a tech-driven, personalization ecosystem that fine-tunes the buying experience the more a consumer uses it. Some may think of Stitch Fix as a fashion portal, but really it is a data science company that helps you find the fashions that you love by tracking your personal preferences. While using the service you visually experience the machine learning in practice. Customers love it and the business impact is obvious: in five years they’ve become nearly a $4 billion company.
As a Professor in Residence @ Cisco, I guide teams in developing and executing new processes to enable an elegant, simplified, automated purchasing experience that relies on continuous innovation to meet customer demands and, in turn, increases bottom-line results. Powerful stuff; and it is transforming how Cisco does business.
Understanding the Customer’s Customer
Cisco collects copious amounts of data every day, but collecting data is no longer enough. The value of this information is a gold mine that data science can transform into actionable solutions. Data Science teams at Cisco are building models that foresee potential delivery delays and this data informs salespeople to take action before delays even happen; thus improving customers’ experience by discovering the user journey. Data science allows us to explore customers’ actions, not only the customer perception of their experience. In the case of Stitch Fix, their simple, convenient and intuitive digital interface allows customers to rate purchases and provide instant feedback to make the next shopping experience even more tailored to their likes. All of this is transforming the way data are consumed which allows companies like Cisco and Stitch Fix to leap ahead of the market and explore new horizons.
In September, Cisco is hosting its Third Data Symposium. It is an internal, widely attended event designed to spur critical, innovative thinking that delivers intuitive outcomes to business challenges. There will be something for everyone as topics range from Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, to predictive analytics and data security. This event embodies the essence of data science: exploring how transformative change through data enables businesses to deliver a personal, qualitative experience to customers that engenders loyalty. And loyalty my friends, turns into revenue. Who doesn’t like that?