It Takes More than Math and Engineering to Hit the Bullseye with Data

author: Paritosh Desai, Target Corporation
published: Oct. 9, 2017,   recorded: August 2017,   views: 810

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Adopting algorithmic decision-making in a large and complex enterprise such as a Fortune 50 retailer like Target takes much more than clean, reliable data and great data mining capabilities. Yet data practitioners too often start with advanced math and fancy algorithms, rather than working hand-in-hand with business partners to identify and understand the biggest business problems. (Then teams should move onto how algorithms can be applied to those problems.) Another key step for data scientists at large organizations: ensuring that their business partners -- the merchants, marketers and supply chain experts -- have a base-line understanding of advanced models as well as the proper analytical support tools. Obtaining widespread buy-in and enthusiasm also requires providing a user-friendly interface for business partners with optionality and flexibility that allows the intelligence to be applied to the many varied issues facing a modern retailer, from personalization to supply chain transformation to decisions on assortment and pricing. This talk will explore effective practices and processes -- the do's and don'ts -- for data scientists to succeed in large, complex organizations like a retailer with 1,800+ stores, major marketing campaigns across multiple channels and a fast growing online business.

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