Everything we do produces data. In the past, that data has to be recorded to be useful in any meaningful application. Today? Today you cannot escape it. Apps track each other, information that you gave to one site might be available to others, and of course your behavior, your accounts, and more are all logged. Your behavior is worth money, and today they can quantify it and commodify it.
There are new privacy laws coming into effect that are set to improve the control you have over how other company’s track you, but they are still slow coming. What is more, the power and potential of what data science and Big Data can do for the world mean that it is in everyone’s best interest if certain types of data are universally available – albeit not connected to you.
Big Data and data science are set to completely change the way the world operates, starting with businesses. If you are a business owner or someone already specializing in IT, then directing your career or business strategy towards data science is the single smartest way forward.
What is Data Science?
Data science is an interdisciplinary field. This means that it combines many processes from computer science, as well as analyses. Data scientists use scientific methods, they create algorithms, and they also use traditional analytical approaches to extract meaning from data sets.
Their work is how businesses can become more efficient, how we can monitor the results and impact of what we do, and also how we can better strategize for the future. They can work in academics, in the healthcare industry, in the private industries, and in the public industries. Their work is, by far, one of the most universally pressing roles of the day.
It is for this reason why jobs in data science have increased by 29%, and why it is the number 1 job role in the US at this moment.
What is Big Data?
Big Data is, essentially, all user behavior and information collected together. It is an astronomical amount of information that, for most us, is impossible to understand. At the moment businesses are using Big Data to personalize and target their ad campaigns, but the potential of Big Data goes so much further than that.
What Are the Implications for The World?
For example, there are thoughts that, if we can anonymize medical records, we can create a single database that lets us understand symptoms, diseases, and treatment records that much more. The anonymity and privacy aspect of this is, of course, the biggest obstacle. How can we use the trillions of bits of data without infringing on the personal rights of who that data belongs to?
More people need to become computer literate, and more still need to specialize in data and computer science. Making use of Big Data is not just a matter of running data sets through programs – you need to be capable of creating the programs in the first place. It is for this reason that data scientists and computer scientists have become one of the best, most well-paying positions in the world.
If you currently have a background in computer science and are proficient in Python, the C-Languages, or Java, then it is time to further your understanding of data and, most importantly, how it can be used to improve business operations and even society as a whole.
There is so much value in computer scientists specializing with an online Masters in Computer Science, even if they do not choose the data science track.
What Are the Implications for Businesses?
Right now data can offer several key benefits to businesses.
Improve Business Operations
With data analysis you can understand your business better, including where it is struggling, and the optimal solutions for the future. You can, for example, better predict how much stock to buy or place an order at the start of the season based on data you already have. By only ordering what you sell, you cut costs and reduce waste all at once.
This is just one example of how you can save and improve your efficiency through data analysis and computer science, but the benefits continue for businesses from there.
Improve Business Intelligence
Investing in your operations, improving your strategy, and generally trying to steer your business towards a successful future are all things that we technically can do by relying on our instinct, but with data science you can transform it from an art to a science. You can understand exactly what sort of impact a decision made, even in terms of things like how your company culture and HR strategies are working to improve your employees’ productivity.
Data scientists are there to create the programs that allow you to ask specific questions and get answers you never would have been able to get otherwise.
Allows for Personalization
It is rather easy to create programs that collect user behavior and associated data. It is another thing to create a system that can extract the relevant information, and another thing still to have a system that can take that extracted information to offer personalization that does not feel invasive.
That is what computer scientists are there for. Their work is instrumental to offering a soft personalization that does not make it feel like our devices are listening to our every conversation. Not only is this the best solution to appeal to customers, it is also increasingly becoming a legal requirement thanks to several new regulations and laws.
The Future of Data
Data is only growing. There is no possible future trajectory where data, Big Data, and privacy laws are not going to increase both in volume and complexity. You need a data scientist on your team. You need to be a data scientist. You need Big Data to improve today, and you will absolutely need data science as the years progress and our devices become increasingly smart.