A Data Scientist’s must be business focused

Some people believe that a Data Scientist is just there to crunch as much data as he can to harvest new information from old data. While this is partly true, the results must be business focused. The deliverables required by a data scientist must somehow contribute to a company’s strategic advantage or bottom line. A Data Scientists end goal is to find meaning and answer questions, through the use of algorithms against different data sets. The purpose of this discovery phase is to gather valuable knowledge for the business.

“Good data scientists will not just address business problems, they will pick the right problems that have the most value to the organization.” – IBM

I read an interesting article the other day that went into this a little deeper. It talked about the types of deliverables must be established before the discovery phase, since this will dictate the type of data and analytics to be used. The end product should include the scope of the effort, establish busi­ness objectives, and identify the data sets to be used.

The results of the deliverables should directly impact the business in either an internal or external way. The findings could add some insight into the internal process of business to make it more efficient or establish “best practices”. It gives the business an opportunity to do a health check on itself. The end deliverables could also impact the company externally in where it interacts with customers. It could give some insight into the target customers, how to be more competitive, adapt proactively to changing markets, and the list goes on. Most businesses define success by their profits. The only way to increase profits is by increasing income or reducing costs. The goal of the deliverables for most businesses is to reduce those costs or increase the income for the business in one way or another.

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