We live in a world driven by data. From the ads we see when we’re on social media, to the routes we take to work, the shows we watch, the products we buy- they’re all dependent on data. For businesses, leveraging this data could mean the difference between huge profits and fatal mistakes.
Data informs key decisions such as which products to sell, which markets to venture into or shy away from, how users respond to marketing efforts, among other important pointers. But to successfully make use of data analytics in your business, you require the input of a specialist. This is why many companies are turning to data scientists to help them extract and analyse huge data sets that can then be used in decision making.
In 2017, Forrester Consulting carried out a survey on 200 business executives to find out the value of data science to business. The results showed that companies that depended on data science platforms had a leg over those that didn’t. But there was a general consensus of the importance of data analytics to business- 99% of the respondents said they consider data science an important discipline to develop, while 74% said that data science was their most important initiative. In another survey conducted by Gartner on more than 3,000 CIOs, the respondents ranked analytics and intelligence as the top differentiating technology for their organizations.
So if you’re yet to hire a data expert, you might be losing out on key information that could better inform your strategy going forward. But not to worry, we’ve written this blog with you in mind, with a brief introduction into the world of data science, the incredible benefits it offers for your business and why freelance data scientists are your best bet.
Who are data scientists and what do they bring to the table?
Although data science has been a hot topic in the past few years, it builds on disciplines that have been around for ages like mathematics, science and statistics.
According to Oracle, a data scientist is a professional who combines a wide range of skills to analyse data collected from the web and other sources and uses programming languages like Python and R to derive actionable insights. The analysis of this data uncovers patterns that enable business leaders to draw informed insights.
Below is a run-down of the benefits you stand to gain by hiring a data scientist;
- Identifying new opportunities
For companies looking to grow, data science offers insights into behaviours of potential customers, and the scoop on which products and services bring in the most revenue. It also helps leaders quickly identify new trends and provides reliable information that can inform the brand’s persona.
- Making objective decisions
A data scientist doubles up as an advisor to decision makers in business. From their analysis of huge data sets, they have a deeper understanding of the market, so they can make accurate predictions about the direction it’s leaning towards. They are also able to test the impacts of decisions you’ve made in the past to check whether they’ve had the outcomes you envisioned. This way you can reel in or scale up a strategy you are implementing in line with its impacts.
- Decrease customer churn
Wondering why you keep losing customers to your competition? Or why it is you don’t have returning clients?
Valuable information obtained by your data experts can help you create a more proactive approach to consumer behaviour. That way, you act, rather than react to consumers choosing rivalling products/services over yours.
- Preventing Fraud
The rate of fraudulent transactions over the internet has risen at an alarming rate. For businesses handling online transactions, especially internationally, it’s impossible to tell which consumers are genuine and which ones are using stolen information. But with the help of data scientists, you can create risk profiles that can detect fraudulent patterns and reduce the friction with genuine customers. Managing fraudulent transactions can save you a ton of money. It is estimated that for each dollar of fraud, retailers lose $3.13.
- Understanding consumer behaviour
This is probably one of the top benefits of relying on data analytics, and encompasses all the other points we’ve mentioned previously. If you understand the behaviour of your consumers, you can meet their pain points directly and at all times, which will always keep you ahead.
For instance, Facebook realized that users with more than 10 friends are more likely to keep an active profile on the site. So for users with less than 10 friends, Facebook is constantly suggesting new connections to keep them engaged.
Freelance data scientists: a reliable bet
If this is your first foray into the world of data science, we understand why you may be a bit apprehensive bringing on a new employee. First of all, it isn’t cheap; according to Glassdoor, hiring an in-house data scientist will set you back £47,000 (around $65,000) annually without including the cost of recruitment, onboarding, benefits and paid vacation days.
With freelancers on the other hand, as they’re paid from gig-to-gig, their fees are commensurate with the volume of work they do, so you’ll never pay them when they’re idle (unlike permanent employees) which ultimately reduces the stress and cost of hiring.
Secondly, bringing on freelancers is much faster. You’ve probably heard of the great shortage of employees in the labour market that has been spreading rapidly. In this new climate, hiring permanent employees is becoming somewhat of a nightmare. But with many people transitioning into freelancing, you significantly increase your chances of hiring great employees quickly if you turn to the gig economy. Then again you’ll forgo that rigorous process of bringing on new employees.
Another great reason why freelancers would make the best hires for a data science noob, is you can hire, fire and scale with them as you see fit. When you’re just starting out with a freelancer, you can give them work in bits to check their competency. If they meet your criteria, you can make them regular contributors or bring them on permanently if it suits both of you. If not, you can bring on another new freelancer and repeat the process till you find the right fit.
This process can be a bit draining though if you’re not careful. This is why your marketplace of choice should have the best of the best experts, who are vetted beforehand to increase your chances of hiring the best fit at your first attempt.
Want to take your business to the next level with data science? Hire your experts at Ureed.com now!