INFORMS, Analytics, Predictive Analytics
June 6, 2022
This was first published on Analytics Magazine, INFORMS.
Data analysts and data architects are often misunderstood. The majority of our colleagues don’t get what we do. From anonymization and Bayes’ theorem to quantile and random forest, some of our terminology is confusing to those outside of data teams.
But as businesses rely more and more on data to make mission-critical decisions, data scientists play a vital role in organizing and analyzing the information. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the field of data science will grow 31% between 2020 and 2030 . Gartner predicts that in 2022, nearly all corporations (90%) will explicitly mention information as a “critical enterprise asset and analytics as an essential competency” .
Data scientists interpret terabytes of unorganized, raw data. Using various sources of structured and unstructured data, we’re called on to generate large databases. We’re responsible for transforming big data into datasets. Then, we must analyze the data and generate statistical information to identify trends, patterns and predictive analytics to understand the behavior of customers.
The task is monumental and never-ending.
Colleagues from marketing, operations, supply chain and other departments ask us to synthesize data and create user-friendly dashboards. They need the technical data to be translated into simple language and ask us for recommendations to make sound decisions and meet business goals.
When the workload becomes overwhelming or the skillsets aren’t available in-house, the marketing department may suggest partnering with an audience analytics consultant. A natural first reaction is to feel defensive about allowing other data specialists to audit your information and best practices. One might think, “If I let others see my data and processes, I’m opening myself to criticism.”
It can understandably be uncomfortable to feel like your hard work is under a microscope. But many enterprises are facing a data tsunami. Organizations are under tremendous pressure to adopt data management strategies that will enable them to drive business decisions from their data lakes and swamps.
In this volatile global economy, companies must be agile, quickly acquiring new customers and efficiently fine-tuning customer communications, while making the most of marketing dollars.
That’s the reason savvy organizations are engaging audience analytics specialists. These data consultants respect the role of data scientists and are dedicated to bolstering the current work being done with additional expertise. Audience analytics partners share knowledge gained from other clients across a variety of industries – including success stories and best practices. The right-fit partner also brings the latest ResTech (market research technology), predictive analytics modeling, data science intelligence and more.
If there is hesitation to engage with a data consultant, take a look at the ways your team can strengthen your market intelligence and customer insights.
1) Using existing information to help you become even more efficient. Starting with the information you have available, the analytics partner will work with you to organize the data. They will provide centralized data warehousing solutions that identify, store and analyze the data that is critical to your organization’s mission.
For example, an audience analytics partner collaborates with you to create highly targeted universes and strategic insight on how to interreact with each universe. By identifying the most valuable targets for messaging, these insights provide a customized path to achieve your goals without increasing your budget
2) Serving as an extension of your data team. The right-fit partner will jump in the trenches with you to tackle your most pressing needs and help you get more value from your data.
The analytics provider will work with you to refine your goals, capitalize on the available resources, support strategic planning, tailor solutions to identify progress and measure success.
Data management consultants offer highly targeted insights to measure public sentiment and deliver actionable data. By integrating and simplifying complex information into easy-to-understand visualizations, consultants empower their clients to build a road map for success.
3) Enhancing your existing data with machine learning and predictive analytics. Data scientists are tasked with being up to date on industry-leading machine learning for predicting customer behavior, converting data into various forms and developing algorithms to solve problems.
Partnering with data consultants opens the door to emerging technologies and the newest techniques in customer behavior prediction models. Audience analytics partners will help you build scalable machine learning pipelines using optimization methods to improve dataset performance. They will support you in understanding the phases of product delivery and expert analyses across product life cycles, running the analysis for each stage and contributing to decision making.
Leading data consultants use advanced ResTech and are experts in predictive analytics and modeling, providing intelligent insight into what drives your target audience to choose a product or service, oppose an issue or even redeem a coupon.
4) Organizing the data, creating visualizations and empowering data-driven decisions. Data scientists are valued for translating technical data and giving recommendations and conclusions to their colleagues. But it’s difficult to keep up with the increasing demand for easy-to-use dashboards and data visualizations.
Partner with the right data consultant who will deliver interactive dashboards that combine visuals with real-time data. They will have experience in data visualization and presenting data in graph or pictorial format.
Top audience analytics consultants are well versed in a wide range of research techniques on public opinion, from focus groups to web and phone surveys. These consultants use a data-first approach to sampling and stratification, ensuring that the individuals you are studying are representative of your target audience.
We take data to the next level by focusing on root causes and metrics, along with road map visualizations that will give you actionable insight and guide your data-driven decisions.
5) Creating a process so you can do-it-yourself. Once your data management and audience analytics procedures are audited and optimized, your team may decide to take some or all of the processes in-house. Make certain that your data consultant has documented each step so that it’s clear and repeatable. They also need to train your team to use the dashboards and reporting tools.
Causeway Solutions is the industry leader in the “Democratization of Data Science.” We believe everyone should have access to data, understand it and take action. We document all of our processes to share with our clients.
Our budget-neutral solutions provide guidance and infrastructure to develop and deploy tools and information specific to your organization, ensuring the data drives the strategies and tactics tailored to your needs. The strategic insights create customized paths to real results and solutions that make the most of your investment.
There’s no question that successful corporations must extract actionable insights from the colossal amounts of information now available across their enterprises. Harnessing data allows organizations to be more innovative, strategic and resilient in our fast-changing world.
By engaging audience analytics partners, data scientists are free to focus on other high-level business objectives and strategies. They’ll gain access to the latest technologies and techniques that will save marketing dollars, increase sales and unlock opportunities.
William Skelly is CEO of Causeway Solutions, a leading provider of innovative data services. Causeway Solutions empowers clients to make smart, timely, data-driven decisions through real-time consumer insights to better reach target audiences.
: “Fastest Growing Occupations 2020 and projected 2030,” U.S. Bureau of Labors Statistics
: “Why Data and Analytics Are Key To Digital Transformation,” Gartner
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