The Next Frontier - Data Science

There were 5 exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that information is now created every 2 days.

This was what Eric Schmidt of Google said in 2010.  With revolution in technology, we now produce close to 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day.  To put things in perspective, this is more data than what was generated two years back.  But what has also changed, is that we now have the means to sift through such ginormous volume of data in reasonable time. And this has huge implications for organizations today.

So, what does that mean for us? As professionals Data Science enables us to convert extensive data into statistical, quantitative and qualitative analysis that then gives organisations powerful insights to take the most effective decisions for growth and success.

In the words of Hans Rosling, it has empowered us to go from Numbers to Information to Understanding.

With Data Science organizations can now base their decisions and strategies on data rather than on gut feel.  Moreover with the rate at which this data can be analysed, organizations are able to keep tabs on customer trends in real time. As a result effectiveness of a strategy can be determined almost immediately. Thus with powerful insights, Data Science promises reduced costs and increased profits.

The Data Science & Analytics Industry is one of the fastest growing in modern times with it poised to become a $50 billion market by 2017. With this sudden surge in the analytics industry there is a tremendous increase in the demand for analytics expertise across all domains, throughout all major organizations across the globe. It has been predicted that by 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions. (McKinsey Global Institute).

Facts and Figures

IBM's recent study revealed that “83% of Business Leaders listed Business Analytics as the top priority in their business priority list.”

Deloitte has mentioned in its study that – Decision makers who can leverage everyday data & information into actionable insights for the growth of their organization by taking reliable decisions, will find themselves in a much better position to achieve strategic growth in their career.

“There is an information overload in today’s world and data analytics helps to cut out the clutter to help businesses make safe and smart choices,” said the Deloitte global MD.

A recent report by Nucleus Research found that companies realize a return of USD10.66 for every dollar they invest in analytics. - www.ibm.com

In the developed economies of Europe, government administrators could save more than €100 billion ($149 billion) in operational efficiency improvements alone by using big data, not including using big data to reduce fraud and errors and boost the collection of tax revenues.  - McKinsey Global Institute

A retailer using big data to the full has the potential to increase its operating margin by more than 60 percent. - McKinsey Global Institute

Recent Updates

For quite some time now, retailers and consumer-packaged-goods (CPG) companies have had access to extensive amounts of transaction data, social-media information and other large data sets known as big data. They are utilizing this information to understand consumer behavior in order to serve them better.

A European CPG company, for instance, revolutionized its retailer-specific assortments and planograms, by applying advanced analytics to consumer data, and saw a 10 percent sales growth in a low-growth category.(Breuer, Moulton, and Turtle for McKinsey, 2013)

A recent research by McKinsey and Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that companies that inject big data and analytics into their operations outperform their peers by 5 percent in productivity and 16 percent in profitability.

Analytics is poised to take center stage as the volume of data generated by embedded systems increases and vast pools of structured and unstructured data within and outside the enterprise are analyzed.

Gartner’s Cearley says that all apps now need to be analytics based and that analytics will become deeply, but invisibly embedded everywhere.

The arrival of news sites like fivethirtyeight.com forced more newsrooms to integrate data analytics into their online presence. This trend has had a spillover effect from the public sphere to organizations, pushing analytics lagging companies to get with the times. (Tableau)

“Analytics momentum grows, moving squarely into the mainstream of business decision-making worldwide. Put simply, analytics is becoming both the air that we breathe—and the ocean in which we swim.” (Deloitte, 2015)

Marketing Analytics has shifted power back to the brands. In 2014, Amazon generated lines when it was granted a patent for it’s “anticipatory shipping” software that starts to pack and ship products before customers have even ordered them, based on sophisticated analytics. In the future, more companies may be “packing and shipping” your purchases before you’ve even placed your order. (Forbes, 2015)