Many businesses are intrigued by all of the data science buzz. It is impossible to read a tech or business article without someone mentioning the massive benefits. Everyone knows that it is the next big thing that successful companies are taking advantage of, but is your business ready? Do you have enough data to get started? Can it really be applied to your particular business model, product or consumer market? Can your company afford it?

If you are asking yourself any of these questions, you are ready to start thinking about data science more seriously.

Is your company a large, mid-size or small business?

Ok, this is a catch-all question that everyone will identify with; but, it illustrates an important starting point. Data science is for everyone. All companies have some type of data they use to run their business, whether they are a multinational firm or a start-up. While large companies have the advantage of building in-house data science teams, small to mid-size businesses don’t need to count out data science because of a lack of internal resources. Instead, they can rely on existing tools, applications and external guidance to achieve their goals with lower overhead cost.

Professional data scientists have a unique viewpoint that no other professional has given their often advanced educational background and real-world training in several disciplines (i.e. math, stats, analysis, data mining, information management, software development, etc.). This combination of skills may be present in your company across several resources; however, only data scientists bring them all together to provide a novel take on your business problems.

Do you have enough data (or the right data) to make it worthwhile?

Just because you don’t have every possible piece of data at your fingertips does not mean you shouldn’t be analyzing it. Innovative businesses strive to understand existing data to solve their issues, earn larger profits, serve their clients better and inform what other data sets they can collect to build on transformational insights. Starting early will help set you up for success and growth.

Data science solutions put you in control of the information you already have, ensuring that you are not wasting existing resources.

Are there opportunities for you to increase your operational efficiency?

Stepping into data science allows business leaders to understand their operations in new ways, and identifies unforeseen opportunities for increased efficiency, optimization and output. Without data science, companies have to rely on employee and customer feedback and labor intensive manual process reviews (i.e. management consulting) to spot areas for improvement. Even then, the insights provided will not be backed by solid data analytics, and these methods take forever to produce valuable results.

Can you anchor your company policies and processes in proven data?

Data science will equip your leaders and decision makers with the ability to make the most efficacious choices. In order to operate at maximum efficiency, you will be making complex decisions that involve intersecting departments, budgets, and processes. Data science can help you map out road plans to your goals that are backed up by data and facts – instead of conjecture, best estimates, assumptions, opinions and a “business as usual” attitude. This can apply to process optimization, customer satisfaction programs, and employee policy.

Data-based processes and policies are incredibly beneficial in governing employment practices and behavior. They provide clear expectations from leadership with measurable targets for employees. This take on employee management creates a rewarding environment for employees and a culture of achievement for employers.

Are you currently considering any sort of change to the way you operate?

A data science solution can help you test out the outcomes of a potential change before implementation. The value in this is immense. Thinking of launching sales in a new market? Switching vendors or suppliers? Data scientists can run the data first and simulate real life scenarios to see how these changes will impact all aspects of your business.

In addition to predicting results, you will benefit from reduced problem solving and implement time. Data science models and advanced tools take the manual work out of data analytics and can produce simulated results in a much quicker timeframe than a traditional pilot project. Companies no longer need to give it a try in their live business environment to see how it plays out.

How can I get an edge on my competitors in such a tight market?

Data science can unlock limitless potential in every aspect of your business and takes data analysis one step further by adding a human touch to the cleaning and organization of data. Traditional data analytics can help you demonstrate existing trends; however, data science delves deeper to show you correlations you didn’t even know were there. It can help you understand your market, client needs, past successes and failures, current room for improvement and predict future outcomes.

Utilizing your data, and even adding external data, will give you a unique outlook on your market, performance, and opportunities. No other business holds the specific data that you do, and therefore no other business can tap into the insights that you can.

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