Business leaders across platforms are hungrily eyeing data-driven decision making for its ability to transform businesses. But what needs to be taken into account is the opinion of data scientists in the core company teams for they are the experts in the field and whatever they have to say regarding data driven decisions should be the final word in these matters.
“The ideal scenario is all parties in complete alignment. This can be envisioned as a perfect rectangle, with business leaders’ expectations at the top, fully supported by a foundation of data science capabilities — for example, when data science and AI can achieve management’s goal of reducing customer retention costs by automating identification and outreach to at-risk customers,”says a report.
The much sought after rectangle, however, is rarely achieved. “A more workable shape is the rhombus, depicting the push-and-pull of expectations and deliverables.”
Business leaders must have patience with developments on the part of data scientists for what they expect is usually not in sync with the deliverables on the ground.
“Over the last few years, an automaker, for example, dove into data science on leadership’s blind faith that analytics could revolutionize the driver experience. After much trial and error, the results fell far short of adding anything meaningful to what drivers found valuable behind the wheel of a car.”
Also, what must be appreciated are small improvements made impactful. For instance, “slight increases in profitability per customer or conversion rates” are things that should be taken into account despite the fact that they might be modest gains in comparison to what business leaders had invested in analytics. “Applied over a large population of customers, however, those small improvements can yield big results. Moreover, these improvements can lead to gains elsewhere, such as eliminating ineffective business initiatives.”
However, it is advisable for business leaders to constantly push their data scientists to strive for more deliverables and improve their tally with a framework of healthy competition in place. In fact, big companies form data science centers of excellence, “while also creating a healthy competitive atmosphere that encourages data scientists to push each other to find the best tools, strategies, and techniques for solving problems and implementing solutions.”
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