Data Science Consulting: How Can It Help Your Business?

Two business women sit at desk in office discussing project details

Modern businesses are awash with massive volumes of data; however, many of them do not have the right tools, skills, and processes in place to leverage this data for deeper insights, cost reduction, and improved customer interactions.

When organizations employ the expertise of data science consultants, they can unlock the full potential of their data, derive powerful insights, uncover hidden patterns, empower their decision-makers, and secure a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Things to know about data science consulting:

  1. What is Data Science?
  2. What Does a Data Science Consultant Do?
  3. Responsibilities & Services of Data Science Consultants
  4. When Should You Hire a Data Science Consultant?
  5. Why Should You Hire a Data Science Consultant Over a Permanent Hire?
  6. 8 Ways Data Science Consultants Can Benefit Your Business
  7. Types of Projects Data Science Consultants Work On, With Examples

What is Data Science?

Data science focuses on extracting knowledge from large and diverse data sets using statistics, data mining and analysis, machine learning (ML), visualization and specialized programming to identify patterns and make predictions from data to drive strategic planning and empower decision-making.

Data science models also enable Artificial Intelligence when implemented for autonomous decision-making in carrying out specific functions.

What Does a Data Science Consultant Do?

Data science consultants help organizations harness the full power of their data and gain insights by leveraging their deep expertise, technical knowledge, and extensive experience across multiple industries to create and implement custom-fit, end-to-end, advanced analytical and AI solutions.

They begin by conducting a discovery phase and partnering with key stakeholders, including leadership teams, program managers, engineers, and data analysts, to understand the organization’s data needs, goals, and business challenges.

Most critically, they gather and refine the business questions to be evaluated, identifying what the business wants to know and what actions they will take, as well as what data may be available to evaluate these questions.

Data science consultants will then strategize, design, build, evaluate, and deploy the optimal models, algorithms, tools, and processes to aggregate, analyze, visualize, and gain insights from data in areas including customer behavior, market trends, supply chain, and internal processes.

Data science consultants also help manage and support internal talent through their community of practice, building their skills and knowledge to ensure long-term sustainability of the data solution.

Responsibilities & Services of Data Science Consultants:

  • Evaluate the goals of the project: Understanding the what, why, and how of the task ahead and identifying clear metrics for performance relative to the stakeholders affected.
  • Retrieve and prepare data: Building scalable and supportable processes to collect, cleanse, manipulate, present, and analyze large datasets
  • Data exploration: Deeply examining all aspects of the available data, including outliers, missingness, and surface patterns, to engineer features for evaluation
  • Present and Automate: Connecting business processes with tools, leveraging software including Power BI and Tableau, and telling stories through compelling visualizations to communicate results and actionable insights
  • Data Modeling: Developing, training, testing, and deploying descriptive, diagnostic, predictive, and prescriptive machine learning models
  • Designing, developing, and delivering AI/machine-learning-enabled solutions
  • Multi-faceted, can build custom solutions from scratch or enhance existing models using experience from multiple engagements across industries
  • Skilled in scripting languages, especially R, SQL and Python

When Should You Hire a Data Science Consultant?

Organizations at any maturity level of their data journey can benefit from hiring consultants. For those that have abundant data but don’t know how to fully leverage it, data science consultants can help you establish the necessary processes, pipelines, tools, models, and algorithms to derive meaningful insights.

Organizations that have heavily invested in their data solutions can still realize the benefits of engaging with data science consultants. Consultants help organizations solve their most complex data challenges, delivering higher-quality forecasts and more powerful insights to inform business decisions.

As your data capabilities mature, consultants can also implement AI automation solutions to create highly relevant digital experiences with your employees and customers that propel your business’s success.

Why Should You Hire a Data Science Consultant Over a Permanent Hire?

Data science consultants bring outside ideas and deep experience in providing an array of data solutions for organizations across numerous industries. They have “been there, solved that” and can quickly remove roadblocks every company eventually encounters.

Consultants have also been exposed to diverse perspectives, learning styles, and environments, which makes them well-equipped to operate successfully in your organization’s environment.

When your organization employs a consultant with a high level of technical expertise and experience, that individual knows the optimal approach to solving your business challenges and is able to hit the ground running to achieve it, boosting your internal capabilities and increasing time to market for your critical projects. This is especially true when they are paired with a Data Engineer who knows your data well and how to access it quickly.

Consultants provide new avenues of exploration and growth by bringing innovative ideas involving leading-edge technology, using approaches that have proven to be successful.

If you leverage consultants correctly, you can inspire your internal resources to build their skills so they can maintain and grow the solutions you have implemented.

8 Ways Data Science Consultants Can Help Your Business

  1. Establishing the right tools and processes to fully leverage your data to derive meaningful insights
  2. Delivering a custom-fit solution from scratch or enhancing existing solutions to capture, store, analyze, and visualize data
  3. Empowering your business with strategic, custom-fit AI and machine learning models and solutions to automate and streamline processes
  4. Uncovering the most valuable, impactful insights hidden within your data to better understand your customers and target market, forecast demand, increase efficiency, and optimize operations
  5. Creating visualizations and reports to easily identify and communicate patterns, trends, predictions, and other insights with key stakeholders
  6. Empowering your business leaders to make data-driven decisions with access to new, valuable, higher-quality data
  7. Delivering AI automation solutions that create highly relevant digital experiences with your employees and customers, improving interactions, driving sales and increasing satisfaction
  8. Provide an experienced and independent point of view on technical, ethical, and business concerns encountered during solution development.

Types of Projects Data Science Consultants Work On, With Examples

Data science consultants work on a wide variety of projects across an array of industries. As an example of these projects, let’s look at one of AIM Consulting’s previous data science engagements. For a more detailed look, see our Data Science case study.

Example of Data Science Consulting Project:

A Fortune 500 Consumer Electronics Retailer produced nearly $1.5 billion in annual revenue through its electronic repair services, yet its profit margins were under constant strain from labor and material costs.

AIM’s data science experts worked with stakeholders during the discovery phase to understand the demands of all teams involved. They identified the root cause of the issue and built a centralized custom Parts Recommender analytics solution implemented on Azure.

The Parts Recommender that the data science consultants developed leverages an enormous amount of historical repair data, takes the product diagnostics, and determines the best parts and processes to fix the product.

This solution produced significant benefits, including:

  • Eliminating the need for manual support device selection
  • Improving customer experience
  • Saving the company time and resources (five teams directly impacted)
  • Saving the company over $10 million annually

Need Help Deriving Meaningful Insights to Unlock a Better Future?

Our data science experts are skilled in empowering your business with strategic, custom-fit AI and machine learning models and solutions.

Realize the benefits of data science to stay ahead of the competition, predict and plan for the future, and take your services and products to new heights.

To learn more about industry-specific data science applications and benefits, see our related articles: