What is Data Science …
Data Science is one of the great tech buzz words of the moment, but ask 10 people what it is, and you will likely get 10 different answers. For good or ill, you have landed on my page, so here is my take:
Data Science is the algorithmic search for useful patterns in data (some people would insist here on the term “Big Data”, but if I can get the computer to help me find a useful pattern in “small” data – why not??). This, of course, begs the question – what is a “useful” pattern? A “useful” pattern is one that can help the end user make a decision, or solve a problem. In order to achieve this goal, many tools drawn from various disciplines may be necessary – Data Engineering, traditional Statistics, Machine Learning, and Data Visualization to name a few. If you want to know more, check out my blog post.
… and why do you need it?
Anything that can be stored on computer – traditional spreadsheets, text documents, audio and video files – is data. And this data can be leveraged to answer your questions: From resource allocation to impact analyses, from optimizing marketing strategies to improving manufacturing processes.
What does this look like in practice?
A data science application is based on one or more of the following approaches:
Strategy: What can you do with the data? Transform your business questions or needs into a data science work-flow.
Consulting: Generate data-driven insights that can help you make your decisions.
Training: Enrich your internal resources by learning about the tools and techniques involved in Data Science. Own your data, and the processes involved in using them to gain information.
Contact me to find out how these services can be tailored to your needs.
Data Science for all
Data Science has the potential to benefit not just big corporations and academics, but small and mid-size businesses, as well as social entrepreneurships and NGOs. Data Science is already having a tremendous impact on society. Engage with it, and help determine the direction it will take.
In order to make Data Science tangible and accessible to a larger audience, I am co-organizer of the VDSG’s data4good program, which aims to deliver free data science support to organizations with positive social impact. If you are an NGO or a social entrepreneur, and are curious about how Data Science can help you, you can email me or the data4good program directly.