Data science and machine learning will, if implemented properly in your business, accomplish that all-important objective of data clarity. Understanding patterns, uncovering data secrets, and highlighting where to focus your efforts based on the mountain of data you’ve gathered – and continue to gather.
Data on its own is of course no use unless you gain benefit from it in terms of usable information and business intelligence (BI): the sheer quantities of data held by even a smaller business mean specialist personnel and techniques are often required to make sense of it. Your first port of call may well be a specialist data analysis consultancy to seek the expert help you’ll likely need.
Are Data Science and Machine Learning the Same Thing?
No, the two terms aren’t the same although they tend to be used interchangeably in many instances. Machine learning is really a branch (or subset) of data science which, in turn, is a subset of data analytics.
- Data Science – the way in which meaningful information is extracted from data and arranged so answers to questions and meaningful BI can be derived from it.
- Machine Learning – how machines literally teach themselves to create a useful model or programme against which to interpret data. For example, in finance algorithms can be developed to detect if fraud is taking place (unusual activities creating unusual data against a particular algorithm).
Is it Worth My While Using Data Science and Machine Learning?
Analysing data is always important but you may find smaller amounts of data make powerful data science and machine learning implementations less worthwhile – the ‘hammer to crack a walnut’ principle – while badly gathered and stored data could render the whole exercise pointless as poor data models could lead to inaccurate results.
A competent data analysis consultancy could help you determine when embarking on the use of professional data science and machine learning would be worthwhile in your specific case.
How Do I Go About Using These Technologies?
Firstly, you need to identify what information or activities you wish to accomplish. Are you looking to analyse your marketing? Do you wish to build meaningful customer profiles though factors such as buying habits and other metrics? Do you wish to set up a fraud detection facility? Do you wish to institute sound data analytics to predict future trends? Is it a combination of one or more of these and maybe others?
Detailed data science and machine learning may well be beyond the skill sets of yourself or people within your business: data science (and by implication machine learning) requires skilled and experienced people such as highly experienced data scientists with specific IT qualifications and specific programming knowledge.
Partnering with a Data Analysis Consultancy
If recruiting data scientists is out of the question, then using the services of an experienced data analysis consultancy will give you access to these types of highly qualified personnel. Along with providing data science expertise, your consultancy can also help set up your data analytics facility based on the information and BI you particularly require and help you arrange your data using specific BI tools so it can be analysed in the most effective way.
Your data analysis consultancy should be prepared to undertake an exploratory discussion with you to determine whether data science and machine learning is appropriate for your business based on your current data gathering circumstances and, if so, how to proceed further.