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Data Science and the Art of Winning (and Wedding?) in Las Vegas

Data is big—and getting bigger. Thanks to modern technology, we’re facing “data deluge.” And, this access to big data is opening doors for a new (crucial) role in the new economy: the data scientist.

Forbes’ Dan Woods has a great series on data scientists. A couple recent spotlights are Monica Rogati and Daniel Tunkelang, data scientists at LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s data scientists “turn big data into big value, delivering products that delight users and insight that forms business decisions.” It’s this type of “big value” that leads to innovative products like the professional networking company’s “People You May Know” feature.

From medical researchers to social and mobile app developers, we’re all trying to interpret data as fast as we can, to make better business decisions as fast as we can. That’s why people like Rogati and Tunkelang are imperative to bringing much-needed order to the information chaos.

Data scientists give you more focus on the massive amounts of data now available—what slice(s) of data you should be honing in on, what the data is telling you, how to predict what’s going to happen next based on historical data. Data is useless without science.Google VP of Consumer Products Marissa Mayer and Baynote Systems CEO Doug Merritt were recently part of a panel, “Computer Science or Data Science? Panning for Gold in the Information Stream.” When it comes to data, the panelists all agreed:

The better a company can understand who a consumer is, the more usefully it can offer what a customer is actually interested in. Not a week later, but right then and there.

Whether you’re trying to find customers with the highest lifetime values (LTV) in social or mobile analytics or you’re looking for love, data science (and the predictive analytics that comes from it) is everywhere these days. In fact, banks are doing it; they say they can predict your divorce. Even fashionistas are entering the fray, using big data to design their wardrobes. Successful companies need to embrace the power of big data.

Need another example? Caesars Entertainment Corporation understands the importance of the data scientist. It hired former economics professor Gary Loveman away from Harvard Business School to run the gambling juggernaut.

NPR ran an interesting story this month on Loveman, From Harvard Economist to Casino CEO. Loveman is credited with improving Caesars’s profits. Caesars is also entering the social and mobile space; it purchased social gaming company Playtika earlier this year. Playtika relies heavily on user analytics—and data science—to develop its games. (Disclaimer: Playtika is a Kontagent customer.)

Listen to the entire podcast:


Caesars—and all the companies using data to beat the competition—aren't leaving anything to chance. Loveman says he’s been able to drive profits because he runs the company like an economist, using data to make EVERY. BUSINESS. DECISION. Right down to that Celine Dion concert you’re dying to see.

What about you? Do data scientists play a role in your business?

BONUS: And, because this is a fashion blog, here is my Pinterest board on gowns:
Gown Crowns: For Glam Girls on the Glittery Go
(I'm not the kind of girl that obsesses or plans a future wedding that may or may not come.)

About the Author
Catherine Mylinh leads Upsight, Inc.'s New Markets business unit, which is responsible for the company's development and growth in new verticals. Upsight's comprehensive analytics and marketing platform allows app developers to track user behavior, decide what it means and take immediate action.

Catherine has worked in both B2B and B2C tech spaces, where she has successfully led global product launches and spearheaded high-performing, metrics-driven brand and demand generation programs, building millions of dollars in pipeline and closed-won deals for several publicly traded companies.

Prior to her move back to tech (she started as a programmer!), Catherine was a news anchor for NBC and CBS stations throughout the country. In 2006, Catherine was the lead reporter for coverage in which she and her news team earned an Emmy Award for Best Daytime Newscast. She has also been the recipient of several Associated Press Awards for reporting. Catherine's broadcast career began in San Francisco, the country's fifth largest TV market, where she covered the Bay Area’s business and tech sectors. After years of traveling and working in various news markets, her broadcast career came full circle: Catherine returned to the Bay Area's NBC O&O station, where she anchored her last newscast.

Catherine studied journalism, math and computer science.

> Connect: linkedin.com/catherinemylinh
> Tweet: @cat_mylinh

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