7 Benefits of Hiring a Data Scientist at Your Business

Jonathan Meade

If you'd like the short answer of why your business needs a data scientist, consider this statistic from a recent report released by McKinsey Global Institute: It estimates that the successful analysis of big data could potentially improve the annual gross domestic product in manufacturing and retail by as much as $325 billion by the end of this decade. And that specific skill set is one that's right in the wheelhouse of data scientists.

Generally speaking, a data scientist understands how to manage large data sets and extract meaning by utilizing mathematical, statistical, and machine learning techniques. The insights gained transform the data your business collects into a viable asset your company can benefit from in a variety of ways.

Here are seven reasons you may want to hire a data scientist for your company.

1. Monetize Your Data

Facebook monetizes the data it collects from its subscribers and you can too. For example, plenty of retailer sites have a feature that says "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought," which shows items likely to increase sales. It is this type of creative analysis that can allow you to improve revenues at your business.

2. Mitigate the Risk of Your Company

One of the tasks data scientists are charged with is analyzing client churn patterns, which allows you to react proactively rather than reactively should you happen to notice a trend of customers favoring competing businesses over yours. To win back customers, you can send out teaser deals or other discounts, and thwart the shift of fleeing consumers.

Data scientists also evaluate data from other businesses that you may consider partnering with. This helps to minimize risk. For example, a data scientist could analyze information provided by a third-party payment processor on a company you're considering doing business with, and that analysis could be used to determine the creditworthiness of the company in question.

3. Gain a Better Understanding of Your Customers

Customer behaviors change over time, and it's difficult to monitor that change without the use of a data scientist. For example, the website Airbnb, which helps travelers and hosts find and rent affordable lodging spaces, recently reviewed consumer behavior during website searches and revamped its algorithm engine to provide more customized results. As a consequence, both bookings and reservations increased. It's that sort of glimpse into the actions of your customer base that a data scientist could uncover in order to improve your business model.

4. Receive Unique Insights

Let's suppose that through the effective analysis of data, your scientist finds a correlation between the sale of Cocoa Krispies to winter snowstorms. If that were to be the case, a grocer could strategically place that food item in its retail location during snowstorms in order to increase sales. It would be difficult if not impossible to come up with this correlation on your own. That's where a data scientist fits in perfectly.

5. Get Assistance with Business Expansion

With a data scientist, you might be able to uncover new markets that would potentially be interested in your product or service. Your advertising campaign campaign might be solid, but a data scientist could review it and determine the type of new customers gained from a particular initiative so you can tweak future campaigns. Data science can also be used to identify new trends or to determine which particular inventory items will have a more immediate effect on revenues.

6. Improve Forecasting

Mining your company data through the use of machine learning and neural networks have been employed for quite some time to predict results in the future, and many data scientists have skills in both areas. For example, a car repair business could analyze spikes in consumer visits over the past several years in order to write a better employee schedule.

7. Receive Objective Business Decisions

Data speaks for itself, and having solid, verifiable data on-hand can help you make decisions based on objectivity, taking emotions and precedence out of the equation. If egos, emotion, or a tendency to do things the same way year after year have hampered your efforts in the past, a data scientist can help.

Final Thoughts

Finding a data scientist can be a challenge. If you have current staff members with solid IT acumen, they might be able to grasp data science software programs rather easily. Posting your available position on Indeed or Kaggle (which targets data scientists) is an option as well. Just be sure to be discerning so you land one who can competently and significantly improve your business operations.

What's stopping you from hiring a data scientist at your business?