Business analytics for small companies?

By Daniel Negrete

Chief Data Scientist at E-Level Cloud Services

Actionable information has been one of the paramount elements for companies of all sizes to succeed in the marketplace. Carefully sourced and curated information can tell us what products or services will be sold, at what price they should be sold, and who is the most likely customer to purchase them. It is the shiny light in the dark chambers of unawareness. For business, it is critically important to have all kinds of information related to it.

Why does information is so important in business? It is because it can tell us which steps we should take in order to find valuable opportunities, to know which products or services could give us more profit and how to achieve it, or open our eyes to pursue significant differentiation in our markets. Information enlightens the path that businesses should take to succeed.

To make wise business decisions, we must relay in the light of information. In this age of technology, we can get more information than ever. But is it all useful? Let’s see. Is it accurate? Timely? and what does it actually mean?  Can I correlate seemingly distinct pieces of information to uncover new insights? .. all valid questions.  So how can we extract meaningful, actionable bits of wisdom from all those new massive loads of data we can now gather?  the answer lies on two words: DATA SCIENCE.

Before the immense progress and evolution we’ve seen on information technology over the last decade, gathering massive amounts of data would be an impossible task. That is because we did not have the means, not only to gather it, but to store it and then process it. Now this problem has been solved; in this “IoT” or “Internet of Things” world we now live in, we have tools such as tiny sensors to put on pretty much anything you can think of, storing mechanisms, digital data gatherers, software that arranges and manipulates our data, etc.

Now, the most important question I believe is how we can leverage these massive amounts of data to get actionable insights to optimize our business, and the answer lies on the mining of such data. This mining process requires to clean it, arrange it and perform processes and algorithms that leads us to transform “meaningless” data into actionable information and valuable insights.

With the correct processes performed we can both better assess the current operational health of our business, and also predict future behaviors to take important decisions in order to optimize all aspects of our business from strategy, planning, supply chain, customer success and advocacy, and many more.

How do we do that? Mixing technology with human intelligence. Data Scientists analyze the data and decide what processes are the best to get the most important information, but there could be a lot of processes that are repetitive. Then, Data Scientists decide which processes are repetitive and develop an algorithm to give such task to a machine, not only because it is repetitive, but because it can do it faster than a human, and give the human more time to think about new tasks.

There are many algorithms that help us perform difficult tasks, so in this age we could mix our human knowledge with the power of technology yielding very valuable information for our business.

The race is on, and companies that do not fully leverage human intelligence mixed with technology to better understand and improve their performance will be left behind, no question.

Want to have a conversation about how your business, regardless of size, can start this journey and leverage data science?  reach out, leave me a comment, or schedule a consulting session with us.

Daniel has a PhD in Control Engineering by the UNAM in Mexico City. He has been deeply passionate about mathematics and data science since he was 7 years old. He is an expert in algorithms and machine learning. He serves now as the Chief Data Scientist at E-level Cloud services.

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