Part 2: The Geeks Win: New Perspectives on Data Science

Three years ago, when I worked for SAP Global Marketing, I wrote a BLOG – ” the Geeks Won”: The Rise and Performance Management of Marketing Analytics, Data Science.

It was the last of a long, successful career at SAP Digital Business Services Marketing. The focus was on the science and art of marketing analytics with some thought leadership.

Looking back, I saw that it had been more than 25 years since “business intelligence” (BI) was mainstreamed in the IT and marketing lexicons.

While the technology behind it has advanced, the fundamental idea of turning data into knowledge to inform better decision-making remains essentially unchanged. Let’s find out how…

Data Science Meets Business Intelligence

Three years later. Fast forward three years. I joined Dresner Advisory Services almost a year ago. I reunited with Howard Dresner, the “father in BI” whom I first worked with over 30 years ago at DEC.

In an earlier post, I discussed how data science, combined with data and analytics, was coming into its own. It was also how it was explicitly helping to advance the field of marketing performance management. It also brought with it a new generation of next-generation marketing analytics. This will enable a new set of marketing professionals to combine Marketing Technology (MarTech) with data science.

Data science was the focus of our most recent Dresner Advisory Services Luncheon Learning monthly webinar.

Its maturity, use within organizations, its relation to data literacy, and its contribution to an organization’s BI initiatives’ success were highlighted. It is now not about “Why” data science. The conversation has moved to “How” to make the most of it.

Yes, “the geeks still win,” and this combination of left-and right-brained skills is fueling creativity and new skills, often in conjunction with martech.

It was then that I was quickly reminded of the traits of a successful data scientist. We have witnessed the rise of the “Modern Marketer, but we also have seen an increase in the “Modern Data Scientist.”

Modern Data Scientists: What Role Does Each Play?

Our webinar guest speaker, Dr. Theresa Johnson from Airbnb, said they could be working in a formal position, within a team, or as a “citizen scientist” as part of their job.

They bring a diverse skill set to the table, bringing techniques and theories from many areas within mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Data scientists draw on their expertise and are most likely experts in one place and skilled in another. This is where the term “eclectic” really applies.

Theresa spoke about her journey to becoming a Data Scientist. It made me reflect on my journey.

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