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Data scientist – Unicorn or Key In Providing Actionable Customer Insights

o have deep insights about their customers, to truly understand what motivates them to buy and what drives their decisions. [caption id="attachment_2418" align="alignright" width="164"]Dr Julia Keddie, head of analytics at BSG Dr Julia Keddie, head of analytics at BSG[/caption] “Big data gives organisations access to more customer behavioural data than ever before. To remain competitive and be seen as industry leaders, organisations must turn this data into intelligence to enhance customer value,” she advises.Ideally, data analytics should be part of an organisation’s enterprise strategy to reveal intelligence that can enable real-time decisions. Keddie believes for this need to be addressed, organisations should consider structuring their companies accordingly by reviewing people, processes and infrastructure. “BSG has found that data analytics is not very mature in South Africa, mainly embedded at departmental level and not entrenched across the company. Data projects we’ve undertaken have revealed information the company didn’t realise they have.” Prior to embarking on big data analysis an organisation needs to understand what intelligence is needed from the data to ensure actionable insights. This requires the data science capability to work closely with business decision makers, as improving business performance is a key consideration.  Keddie explains data science is not one person but a capability with a variety of data analytics and big data technology skills. “Data projects need to be driven from the business level and business executives need to take ownership, as it’s their data being worked with. BSG finds that big data is often misunderstood and senior executives need to be leveraged and educated on the value of big data analysis. The organisation needs to decide, upfront, who is going to drive the data science capability and what form it should take and where it needs to reside in the business. For example, will it be business asking for answers or the data science capability going to business with insights.” If organisations want to survive and compete they need to be making decisions based on data. Fact-based decisions can improve customer service and customer experience, risk management, operational efficiencies and performance can be better managed. Generating insights needs to form part of a company’s DNA, constantly testing and learning what techniques work best for them.]]>

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