Amidst the COVID 19 pandemic, when jobs were lost on a scale of millions worldwide, there was one news from India on that front which stood out.
There were close to one lakh vacant data science jobs in the country as of August 2020.
India is one of the world’s top destination for technology skills. From Fortune 100 companies to the largest global startups, India continues to be an attractive destination for enterprises to set up their technology development hubs. While in the past, lower cost of operations has been a deciding factor, today the IT industry in India is booming not because of the cost advantage, but also the tremendous quality of resources having technical knowledge. It has become a hotbed for innovation and, every year, hundreds of thousands of emerging technology jobs are created in the country by enterprises across the globe.
An indication of a trending technology skillset being in high demand in India is direct proof of the global affinity for the same technology. On that note, the close to one lakh vacant jobs in Data Science in India throws light on the rising importance of data science and the role data scientists play in companies that successfully navigate their business journey with the help of digital solutions.
Nearly 65% of business owners agree that big data is a key tool that can help them be more competitive in the market. So how exactly can data science bring about radical changes in businesses? Let us examine a few use cases
Transform existing business models
Data scientists can create innovative solutions for existing businesses that will transform the way they did business and bring in more efficiency, cost savings, and ultimately drive more profits – especially in the post-pandemic era.
One of the finest examples in this regard is the transformation witnessed at one of the world’s largest courier and logistics company UPS when they rolled out a data analytics-based routing solution for optimizing delivery. The system called ORION applies data science on information such as shipping points, customer requirements, delivery timelines, and traffic information to calculate the most efficient route for its delivery drivers. The initiative aims to reduce distance driven and improve the speed of service and at the same time optimize routes for more service being handled efficiently with fewer delivery trucks. Considering that every single mile saved by UPS drivers every day can result in an annual savings of over USD 50 Million, the transformation in operations brought about by data science is huge.
Businesses of all sizes and from different sectors may face situations where their core operational models do not yield the expected results. A simple check on the business health may not help in identifying the root cause of the slump or unexpected deviations. However, data science can make lives easier for decision-makers in this sense by helping them accurately identify the root cause of issues through simulations and pattern discovery mechanisms. This facet covers the exploratory prowess of data science which, when put in the right perspective, can uncover problems that may have never been tracked by business leaders.
An example would be identifying patterns in cart abandonment and return of purchased goods in the case of online retail. By applying data science logic, it becomes easier for sellers to identify the root cause of what made their product less consumer friendly. For example, inefficiency in parcel handling by a particular delivery partner may be the reason for an unexplained number of returns from shoppers who are located in areas where the said partner delivers. Through data science, such patterns can be uncovered, and businesses can further investigate the insights and make amendments to help solve the problem at the earliest.
Integrate Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Faster
Data Science is the foundation of AI and ML and folks with specialized skills in data science can create algorithms and data models that can easily be adopted within your business’s digital channels. In addition to creating the most efficient roadmap for AI integration, data scientists can continuously monitor your data models and introduce alterations to algorithms to incorporate the latest market trends. They will be responsible for ensuring optimal performance from all AI initiatives deployed within a business.
Improving Predictive Capabilities
Data science plays an important role in enabling businesses to forecast outcomes from historic data.
For example, by developing data models that simulate sales of items from past seasons, combined with market trends such as economic situation, weather, brand sentiments, etc., it becomes easier for retailers to stock inventory for events like the holiday shopping season. The COVID-19 pandemic has been yet another great revelation in this regard. Across the globe, leading pharma companies and scientists are using advanced data models to predict the behavior of the virus to chemical and biological environments to develop an effective vaccine.
Data Science will be one of the hottest skillsets in the 21st century as more digital transformation initiatives take center stage across industries and consumer domains. Businesses and organizations, public and private, of all sizes will rely on data scientists to help drive better results across their operations. With more data generated every day, the need for skilled professionals who can build models to analyze and realize value from these data sets will keep on increasing. The meteoric rise of job vacancies in data science in nations like India is a testimonial to the value created by data science across sectors.