Why I Believe 2019 Will Be the Year of Data Science

 In CEO Corner

With the costs associated with bad data increasing multi-fold– totaling almost $3 trillion a year – the need to process and analyze data is evident, putting data science into the spotlight.
Data science has, in a way, become inevitable, for businesses looking to drive fact-based decisions and enhance business efficiency. Today, data science is one of the fastest growing jobs on LinkedIn, with roles having grown over 6.5 times since 2012. Although the US is expected to have as many as 250,000 open data science jobs by 2024, I believe 2019 will be the year of data science. Here’s why:

1. The amount of data is skyrocketing

The complexity of data that businesses are having to deal with today is unimaginable – data stored in different enterprise systems, data from sensors, customer care data, social media data, employee information, supplier and vendor details… the list is endless. As a matter of fact, roughly 90 percent of the world’s entire data has been created in the last two years, with the current data output being 2.5 quintillion bytes each day. Here are some other facts:

  • There are 3,607,080 searches conducted on Google every minute
  • 15,220,700 texts are sent every minute
  • Instagram users post 46,750 photos every minute!

Each of these actions produces data, which takes the amount of data produced to a staggering level. Because the amount of data is growing exponentially, so has the need for people and tools that can read and analyze it. I believe businesses will adopt data science in a big way in 2019 – to uncover insights like never before.

2. Businesses can no longer make decisions through intuition

Although businesses have warmed up to the fact that data analysis is critical, a majority of them still base their decisions on gut and intuition. This type of decision-making is vulnerable to personal bias and seldom takes the entire picture into consideration – often making results skewed. 2019 will see data-driven decision-making taking center stage. In my opinion, data science will not only help companies make better business decisions but also help them achieve financial gains. According to a study by Harvard Business Review, companies that use data-driven decision-making are, on an average, 6 percent more profitable than their competitors.

3. The need for speed

As responding quickly to business disruptions and customer needs becomes more and more important, in 2019, data science will enable companies to accelerate business decision-making. Using advanced algorithms, data science will help organizations save time and resources, and enable them to make quick and accurate decisions based on past learnings. And the biggest benefit data science will bring to the table is the ability of every employee to make critical business decisions, through the use of modern models and algorithms – without needing to have skills or expertise in data science technology. 2019 will witness businesses embracing data science to identify new business opportunities, predict customer demand, personalize their experiences, and outperform the competition.

4. The need for better demand forecasting

As globalization hits every industry, supply chains are becoming extremely complex. Businesses are compelled to maintain optimum inventory levels, and make sure the products they produce precisely meet customer demands. Since data science algorithms are excellent at finding patterns that normally go unnoticed, I feel 2019 will be the year when businesses embrace data science, in order to be competitive, meet the needs of customers, reduce operational expenditure, and improve business process efficiency. Because data science continually improves forecasting models based on past learning, businesses can gain an edge over the competition and stay ahead in the market.

5. Mitigating risk is becoming synonymous with business excellence

As more and more data breaches and cases of fraud plague industries, with online credit card fraud alone expected to total $32 billion in 2020, businesses are having a tough time mitigating fraud. Irrespective of whether the fraud is internal (employee-driven) or external (by hackers), most are difficult to diagnose and address. When a fraud goes undetected, it can compromise the integrity of organizations as well as cripple their bottom line. By using predictive data science methodologies, companies will be able to discover potentially fraudulent activity before it occurs. I believe in 2019 organizations will truly understand the value data science brings to spot anomalies, detect breaches, and safeguard data and privacy. Data science, through the use of statistical models, will create alerts when a breach is detected and warrant timely responses when unusual data is recognized.

Move up the value chain

With the business world in general now looking to data and analytics to drive competitive differentiation, data science is poised to grow in a big way in the coming years. Deloitte research shows that by 2021-2022, the forecast income of data scientists will be $130,176. However, 2019 will see industries embracing data science to extract meaningful data, make informed business decisions and move up the value chain: from eCommerce giants using data-driven logistics to keep a tight hold on the ever-growing inventory, to healthcare institutions leveraging data science to drive insights and make more accurate and time-sensitive diagnosis from the ever-increasing digitization of patienrecords, and more. In every sense, 2019 will be the year of data science.

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