Buzz words in the field of Data Science (itself a buzz word) run rampant, seemingly increasing with each day. From big data to advanced analytics to machine learning, every company worth its salt wants a piece of the newest data technologies, a way to store data, a way to manipulate data, and a way to understand data. This hype, however, is not excessive. From the McKinsey article, “the world’s stock of data is now doubling every 20 months”, which means not only that the stores of data are increasing, but the gap between what is understood by that data is also increasing. In “Five Crucibles of Innovation that will Shape the Coming Decade”, we understand that continuous innovation is the key to remaining relevant, i.e. developing new products, attracting new customers and finding better ways to operate.
Innovation is the reality of our present circumstance. Innovation will continue to increase with each year, and so staying on board the boat is a matter of innovating with your competitors. In the Cola Wars case study, Coke and Pepsi continually innovated with one another, each nipping at the heels of the other and forcing them to find new, innovative solutions to their problems. As computers’ capacities have increased, so have the size of the data sets to be manipulated by them. The new capacity of these computers is now being utilized not just to optimize retail prices and balance sheets, but to improve the impoverished world, innovating new products suitable to 3rd world countries (http://www.globeadvisor.com/servlet/ArticleNews/story/gam/20100607/PERSPECTIVEMALY07ATL) .
Predictive analytics, machine learning and data science are more than buzz words, they’re necessary to meet the challenges of the increasing rate of innovation on the planet today, and without the capabilities to harness these technologies, we would not be where we are today, nor where we expect to be tomorrow.