What does your data scientist say about your organisation?
At a time when data is of extreme value, businesses cannot afford to ignore it. In fact, embracing data is one of the most effective ways to thrive as an organisation. So, it is unsurprising that many companies are looking to bring in the skills of a data scientist to enhance their data capabilities and ensure the correct systems, processes and reports are put in place to capitalise on this important asset.
When it comes to data for sales, bringing in the skills of a data expert can be invaluable. However, the title ‘data scientist’ has become a bit of a trend of late, and therefore the skills and experience levels of those with this job title can vary greatly. A recent study by UCLA and Microsoft suggests there are 9 different types of data scientists. On this basis alone, it is no surprise that many organisations find understanding which type of data scientist they need a challenge.
We’ve worked with many data scientists in the past (we may even have a few in-house ourselves!) so we know a thing or two about what to look for when taking on someone that will bring out the best from your data and deliver the greatest value to your sales organisation.
Two broad types of data scientists for sales development
When it comes to sales, there are two distinct types of data scientist roles that can benefit your organisation, and deciding which one works best for you will depend on what you want to achieve. Using the correlating descriptions from the UCLA report mentioned earlier, these are;
1. The Data Shaper
The Data Shaper spends much of their time querying data and preparing it for analysis, but brings additional skills, such as machine learning expertise and experience with tools like MATLAB and Python. They’re also more likely to work with SQL or structured data.
If that sounds technical to you, then you’d be spot on. These individuals are highly technical and mathematical, often PhD qualified, and are used to creating and programming advanced systems to interrogate and analyse your data to help inform and support sales activity
2. The Data Evangelist
The Data Evangelist is the type of individual who will spend a good proportion of their time engaging with others alongside their data analysis work. As a result, they will have a good understanding not only of the data but the circumstances and factors that could influence changes in that data, but also the specific needs of the department(s) and business decision-makers they work alongside. Whilst they may well have programming knowledge and an understanding of machine learning AI, it is not as advanced as the Data Shaper and they are unlikely to be as highly qualified.
What will each type of data scientist help you achieve?
Whilst the Data Shaper may sound like the safer pair of hands from a technical point of view, we’d suggest there is a different perspective to consider. Although the Data Shaper has the advanced knowledge and expertise to program bespoke systems and reports using advanced technology, the likelihood is that their focus may be more around building solutions to achieve very specific goals. There could therefore be a limit to what can be achieved in this way, and here’s why.
For some time now, we have been seeing advances in data analysis, particularly in the form of AI machine learning for CRM sales data. Many organisations are using machine learning to achieve notable improvements in;
- Sales team productivity
- Sales forecasting accuracy
- Deal success
- Churn rates
The latest of these developments is deep-learning AI for sales intelligence. Whilst traditional, human-led, machine learning AI uses statistical modelling, regression analysis and educated assumptions to deliver the specified output, deep learning AI mimics the workings of the human brain. It can read results, understand nuances and rationalise outcomes, constantly learning from every interaction to improve intelligence and enable highly accurate predictions.
To put it simply, this form of AI has no limits. It can start with restricted or incomplete data and learn as it goes, with no preconceived ideas around what may be influencing sales success; be that customer behaviours, sales team activities, or outside influences such as the timings or circumstances of an action.
This kind of technology is bringing organisations incredible results that include;
- Improved productivity: a greater level of insight that brings more focused activity, helping save hundreds of hours and achieving more selling time through a more focused approach to sales
- Highly accurate sales forecasting: deep learning AI uses time-sequenced data to identify exactly what influences sales success, enabling high forecast accuracy
- Increased deal success: employing a personalised sales process and flow for every opportunity, generated from in-depth data insights, substantially increases win rates
Organisations who are benefiting most from this pioneering technology are not those who have a ‘Data Shaper’ data scientist, but instead, a Data Evangelist and here’s why:
How data scientists and deep learning AI can bring value to your business
The Data Shaper is likely to approach this solution with a critical eye, and want to influence the technical functionality to achieve their specific desired results. Here, the data scientist and deep learning AI platform would be working against each other to some extent.
The Data Evangelist on the other hand is more likely to have the depth of organisational and sector knowledge to get the most from this kind of system. As the deep learning AI machine analyses millions of data records to find patterns that may be influencing sales, the Data Evangelist will be able to use their knowledge of the data, organisation and sector to evaluate and apply the results in a meaningful way – bringing a new level of insight that will deliver the greatest value to the business.
What your choice of data scientist says about your organisation
If your business is in a highly specific niche, or already fully understands what influences sales success, and you are looking for an in-house, bespoke system to capitalise on this, then you will get the most from a Data Shaper.
If, however, you are looking to save time, money and manual hours with a solution that could bring unexpected insights and high return on investment, then employing a Data Evangelist to work alongside your sales AI platform could be the best solution for your organisation.
All in all, data scientists bring growth, improvements, efficiency, and effectiveness in sales. Combining these skills with an established AI platform could well take your sales to a new level.Tags: Data Technology