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Data science: the key to growing your business in Africa

Data science

Do you want to understand why your competitors are winning the business of potential clients? How do you predict future trends within your marketplace? Are you looking to predict government policy decisions that will affect you and your business? These are the questions that can be answered by a team of data scientists that will improve your business and your understanding of your clients.

Let’s take the first question: “Why are your competitors winning the business of potential clients that you may be missing out on.” In the 20th century, you could have commissioned some market research and employed some students to poll people on the streets or call their landline and ask questions. Not only is this heavily time consuming and costly, but you are unable to target certain demographics. So, how can data science be used to solve this problem? This is where Natural Language Processing (NLP) can help out. This Artificial Intelligence (AI) can scan through reviews of your business as well as those of your competitors. In addition, NLP will analyze products, services, and brands from publicly-open data on social media and review sites as well as include company article mentions in both mainstream and industry-specific publications. To make this more accurate, we can also break this down into specific territories, age, sex, or other demographics allowing you to focus on the specific data sets that you are looking to target.

Following on from targeting specific data sets, how do you preempt future trends to ensure that you keep your business in the forefront of your clients’ minds and be viewed as industry leaders? We can do this by using supervised learning to understand the trends from previous time scales, which are linked to specific moments such as product launches, substantial events or comparing specific dates. This enables you to understand the past and how it affects the future. If we take a substantial event such as a recession, using supervised learning you will be able to understand how your sector reacted to that specific moment and how those companies continued throughout the period and how they managed to keep making a profit.

The final question can be crucial in understanding whether the country in question is in the right place for your business to expand or if you will encounter barriers such as new laws or changes to tax which will make it unviable or too costly to expand at that point. Previously, companies would try to overcome this hurdle by paying enormous amounts of money to lobby groups in order to gain influence within a specific government, however, the power of data science allows you to bypass these expensive and time-consuming endeavors to achieve a more reliable result. By commissioning a team of data scientists to work on a project, you will be able to predict the likelihood of this law passing based on elected officials’ previous voting history on the subject matter, the influence of the native media and the agenda of the government. Historically, this was a time-consuming process, but with the power of AI and a team of data scientists managing your project effectively, the turnaround will be more accurate and efficient than letting your analysts try their best to understand a country that they know very little about.

AnalyticsLab* are the world leader in providing bespoke teams curated from an exclusive and elite network of data scientists. Selected via a multi-staged vetting process, this creates a talent pool of the top 5% of all data scientists globally. Every data scientist is screened through a variety of logical, analytical, and presentation tests conducted by Dr. Samir El- Zein. These thorough tests ensure AnalyticsLab* has data scientists with a diverse range of backgrounds from disruptors such as Uber, Facebook, and Google, to those that have worked in early-stage startups and large investment banks. Teams are carefully sculpted to cater to your needs and will consist of CTOs, data scientists, analysts, and Project Managers. This means that we are able to deal with any size project within any vertical.

Opinion piece by Tom Griffiths, Managing Partner at AnalyticsLab*


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