Having ‘data scientists’ to understand information

Author: John Halpin

Categories: Big Data & Data Analytics
Tags: Tesco Bank
John Halpin: "Data is the blood – the lifeblood of any organisation.  And people understand that.  People who aren’t in the industry will say, “Yeah, it’s all about the data.”  But when you get into that information and  understand it, that’s where you need specialists.  And that’s where it becomes a bit of a grey area and a bit of a mystical unknown for lots of people.  Organisations have lots of data so that challenge has really gone.  That was there 10 years ago because the  cost of storing data has come right down.  Most organisations have the information, but are they using it?  Not really.  So to me a data scientist, it’s about, what data do you have?  Can it be used?  Can it be put into a structure that we understand?  All this has to happen before people get into the realms of modelling and segmentation and behavioural trend analysis, all wonderful stuff.  But you’ve got to get the building blocks sorted out first.  And certain industries, again, back to financial services, like I have, you’ve got to be really clear.  There’s legislation round about, you have to have the legal right to talk to customers, some of the products,  in terms of a legal perspective, you can’t sell to certain people.

I can’t really send things to people who are under 18 to buy a product that was, for certain products need an adult to buy.  I’m breaking the law, I can’t do that.  Now, that could be because the data we have, our data births that we captured are rubbish.  So it’s this kind of information you’re thinking, right, we can’t do that.  We’ve got some wrong information.  So understanding the data is key for any organisation, before you go down the route most people want to talk about is more of like the insight and the analysis and trending and behavioural output, that’s great, but make sure your data’s right first place."

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