What do data scientists actually do? Are things they do so complex that they are incomprehensible to ordinary people?
It’s often said that Big Data holds the answers, so we talked to our resident data science expert, Ognjen Zelenbabic, Head of the Labs department, to find the answers to the questions that intrigue many.
At Content Insights, we don’t work exclusively on data science, but as Ognjen says, it’s certainly at the core of what we do. To get where we are today, we have required a different approach and we’ve no doubt that we’ll encounter more challenges along the way.
“The idea behind the whole product is that we notice patterns inside the data. Out of that data, we distill value, and the value we get is information”.
It’s as simple as that – we serve the information and not the data.
“Those are not the same things, even though people often mistakenly identify them as such”.
Getting the results our data team achieves is not as simple as it seems (if it seemed simple at all).
“There are tons of analytics tools out there that you can use to process data, and – in some cases – to store them as well. But to obtain information from them, one needs to be an expert in analytics. So the choice is simple – get the analysts to read the data, or use an application that will provide you with information right away”.
“Web analytics is a very ‘fuzzy’ field”, Ognjen says “and all those metrics come with a lot of noise.” We have a different approach and our team is always trying to get one step ahead.
The margin of error in the field of web analytics is unknown, and that’s what makes the data scientist’s life that little bit more difficult. But our people have developed something that takes this problem out of the equation.
”We don’t look at absolute numbers, but instead we look at relations. Trends are our game, and that’s how we perfect our precision”.
Revolution in sight
Our team is currently working on a breakthrough in this field, and Ognjen says that Content Insights is definitely a place for people who want to do revolutionary stuff.
“That’s why I’m here. Some businesses focus only on making the profit. They don’t contribute to anything in particular, and they are just shaping their business so that they could sell stuff”.
Unlike those businesses, Ognjen sees Content Insights as a place where we’re actually driving change.
“If we do our job right, and accomplish our goals, we can literally change the world, at least the world of media”, strong words, but ones we all agree at Content Insights.
Now it’s possible to measure almost everything, the hardest thing is knowing how to actually measure success.
“It’s so much easier when you have the desired outcome. But here, we can’t say we’ve sold 200 bags of potatoes today, and that’s success” – says Ognjen.
Data science is a multidisciplinary area and it requires knowledge of a lot of different fields. Ognjen says that the problem is that as it’s difficult to acquire formal education in the field of data science, it makes it hard to find qualified data science experts.
“Data scientists need to know math, statistics, data engineering, but they have to understand the business well, and to be very good at communicating. It is so hard to find people that can do all that, that’s why we are forming teams where everyone has one predominant area of expertise” says Ognjen.