You might be wondering what all the fuss is about with data science, constantly hearing buzzwords like AI and Machine Learning; your Analytics team is already doing really well. Your team very ably pores over databases worth of information, generates important insights about your business, and compiles dense reports regularly. You might even run some of these data analyses yourself.
Whilst these reports are important and support you in making business decisions, they tend to focus exclusively on the past (e.g. did I meet my quarterly budget?). The reports might also be largely descriptive, without any guidance on what you should do in the future. On the other hand, we all know how, in this VUCA environment, the ability to predict and prepare for the future gives businesses the upper hand.
The power of data science as compared to data analytics comes from its ability to forecast, i.e, in helping people make decisions about the future. Using “algorithms”, you can now look at what has worked about your business in the past, and know which knobs you must pull in the future for the optimal outcome that you want: both for your business and your customers. At its core, data science allows companies to better pre-empt their own resource needs and/or their customers’ needs. This could lead to budget savings, higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
The UK-based retail giant Tesco tracks fridge temperatures across its thousands of stores to identify which ones will need servicing, allowing them to proactively engage maintenance services, thus minimising the time any fridge is out of use. In turn, this improves customer experience within Tesco.
It is all well and good that a giant like Tesco can do this. But, you might be thinking, what about my not-so-giant company in Mauritius? Is my data big enough to be as valuable?
It turns out that data science does not require Impossibly Huge Terabytes of Data to deliver results. Any hospital or clinic in Mauritius can use data science to improve its patients’ experience by monitoring their waiting time within different departments, and matching this to doctors’ and medicine availability. That way, the hospital’s operations are optimised.
A Mauritian retailer can achieve efficiency and customer satisfaction through data science by tracking the quantities and types of products sold to its customers, and linking this back to the associated inventories and delivery information. Even further, the retailer could use data science to personalise its services to each customer. By monitoring customer purchase habits, a retailer could send a family nappies before their baby cries, printer ink before the report is due, or even ice-cream when you’ve had a bad day (now that’s a little creepy, but possible).
At Red Dot, we firmly believe that data science is the next frontier of innovation. We are committed to helping organisations work smarter, and get smarter about better serving their customers. If you are excited about what data science can do for your business, and would like to explore how Red Dot can help you, give us a call!
In our drive towards building data science know-how on the island, we are also hosting Dr Ragu Bharadwaj from the MIT Sloan School of Management next month. Through data science, Dr Bharadwaj has helped Fortune 500 companies identify and solve high-value problems across sectors as diverse as banking, agriculture, pharma, logistics and aviation, helping them capture millions of dollars of value in the process. He is hosting a 1-day interactive workshop on data science on the 4th of July 2019. Find out more information about the workshop here.