Get Away from Your Screen
With all of the data we have at our finger tips, it is easy to become overly reliant on ‘just the numbers’. Thomas Redman’s article title says it all: “The Best Data Scientists Get Out and Talk to People.”
Redman believes great data scientists “know they must understand the larger context, the real problems and opportunities, how decisions makers decide, and how their predictions will be used. Great data scientists know the only way to acquire this smorgasbord of information is to go get it.”
Let’s think of it as creating a data science culture. There’s a big world out there, and when you want to do “detective” data science work, you need to understand the world firsthand. Here are some guidelines for instilling a new data science culture:
- Take a hard look, in person.
- Talk to people.
- Put yourself in another environment.
- Listen closely.
- Understand the full context.
- Do all this in your day-in, day-out work.
This is not something you do once. It’s just what you do every day or at least every week. How do subscription companies do this? For starters, eat your own dog food;)
- What other boxes might your members subscribe to? Order them.
- Take phone calls from customers
- Watch the actual boxes being built and fulfilled
- Conduct a focus group or a live online session
- Reach out personally to 5 of your members/month for no other reason than to say hello, thank them for their business and listen
You have to talk to people. See the world thru their eyes.
Get out there: Listen. Learn. Repeat.