Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock in an extremely remote section of Nowhereville, you’ve heard that big data is a really big deal. There are tons of uses for it if you happen to know what you’re doing. Most businesses turn to a data scientist for help in determining what big data can do, develop strategies, and conduct data analysis. Do you need one?
What Does a Data Scientist Do?
A data scientist conducts high-level analysis on big data. By big data, we mean many petabytes. Varied data produces better analytical insight than lots of similar data, so most data scientists utilize both structured data (the data already residing in your database) and unstructured data (which includes things like emails, voicemails, videos, images, text documents, audio files, and other things that don’t fit nicely into a spreadsheet or database).
The data scientist then conducts extensive analysis on this data (using techniques like algorithms). The data then yields a tremendous amount of insight, and even predictive capabilities. Data scientists can use analytics to improve business intelligence, streamline processes, create better marketing strategies, and more.
How Can a Data Scientist Benefit the IT Service Desk?
During the past few years, most businesses have used some form of data analytics to cut costs and eliminate waste. This is particularly true in the manufacturing industry, where data on robotics and human work processes yield data that can be used to identify waste, eliminate bottlenecks in the process, and even improve the quality of the finished products.
But a data scientist can also refine other processes outside the manufacturing process. For instance, the data can provide insights into everything from the process of underwriting an insurance policy to predicting market trends for stock brokers. Data science is also used in fraud prevention, creating customer profiles for better marketing and customer satisfaction ratings, and determining what customers want in order to develop more successful products.
How Can You Obtain a Data Scientist?
Experienced data scientists are in high demand, making it difficult and costly to hire one on a full-time basis. During the initial stages of undertaking a big data initiative, it might not even be necessary to fill a full-time position. Many consultants are available to help businesses delve into data analytics, and a number of both open-source and paid products can help with data offloading, data integration, and other steps of building a data warehouse and launching data analysis.
Another option is to home-grow your own data scientist. Those with strong mathematical, statistical, and computer science skillsmake excellent data scientists. The advantage of home-growing your own is that the person has intimate knowledge of your business. This means that they can help bridge the gap between IT’s needs and the needs of the business. A solid data scientist also has good communications skills, and is able to help the tech workers and the business folks understand the other side of each issue.
Is a data scientist needed at your IT service desk? Along with other innovations like asset management solutions, CRM and ITSM software, and similar automation solutions, a data scientist can help you gain an edge over your competitors and come out ahead in the age of big data.