What is Data Science?

Everything from the goods we buy, to the way we interact has been transformed by data. Data science is the practical application of a wide range of techniques, computional methods and expertise to extract knowledge and value from data. It is a fast moving discipline and provides significant opportunities for economic, social and scientific wealth.

We live in the age of the data “big bang”. Driven by the internet economy, mobile phone, cheaper hardware and the Internet of Things (IoT) we are all, largely unconsciously, touched by data every day: from searching on Google, to buying on Amazon, applying for financial products to accessing Government services, monitoring our health to buying car insurance and beyond.

So what Is Data Science?

Examples:

Digital Technologies

Understand how customers use a digital product and apply this knowledge to develop, test and evaluate new product versions.

Finance

Baseline normal activity and develop architectures and algorithms to detect fraud by identifying anomalies from high volumes of real time, distributed streaming data.

Healthcare

Create models of existing patient journeys, formulating and testing new hypothesis to improve patient outcomes.

For instance, in a marketing context, Business Intelligence (BI) will deliver reports on monthly channel performance KPIs to the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), data science will be applied to create and test new hypothesis through creating models and scenarios which simulate predicted outcomes given a set of levers and other variables.

Whilst data, algorithums and many of the required skills, above are not new, that are now constantly evolving to operate effectively given the rapidly increasing volume, velocity and variety of data.

The Data Lab has been created to act as a catalyst for Data Science in Scotland, engaging with industry and public services to understand where data science can drive significant value in their business or service and leveraging the rich vein of research and domain expertise that exists in Scottish universities to deliver that value.

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Posted on Aug 16, 2017

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