While most tinkerers, makers, data scientists and other visionaries already see the potential for a connected world and their benefits of understanding it to gain better insights, many enterprises are still cautious about investing money and people to gain an advantage. Why are they not open to our ideas?

Well, their employees are interested!

I’ve been talking to employees of Research & Development, Corporate Development and other divisions from multiple companies over the last year and almost everyone was very interested in doing projects regarding Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data and Advanced Analytics.

So it’s not a matter of excitement and after doing a few proof of concept (PoC) projects in this field myself I can also tell that it might be challenging but isn’t too difficult to find a team of experts to achieve a positive outcome if support is available from management. The challenge is not finding people to start these projects, it’s finding the right people and here lies a real problem that enterprises are often most scared about.

A fresh mind will disrupt!

If you ask someone from engineering about the purpose of their produced data most will answer that they just want to figure out if their sensors, algorithms, etc work properly and they just focus on the original purpose. The trick is to send someone to investigate if the data produced can also give additional information that was not intended in the first place.

But here is the problem that management is often very cautious about. These data scientists appear way to often as some kind of mad scientists. Letting them work on data with often expensive tools and very deep wide insight can be a risk on finance and also on security. Sending someone with no or only very little understanding of the company to work on the data appears like letting a chimpanzee doctor with your IT and production.

Surpassing this fear is a challenge and PoCs might be the right way to get cracks into the shielding bubble that management has against this kind of disruption.

But who’ll be best fit?

Finding the right person to investigate potential advantages insight might be not so tough. Like I mentioned above, your employees are already interested to improve. What is needed are guidance and disruptive character. A fresh mind often only comes from the outside and might not appear as the most fitting to do the job. But it exactly this what causes new insight.

If you are interested how your company can get an advantage through data science, feel happy to get in contact. I’ll just finish with one of my favourite quotes:

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  • Abraham Maslow

A Data Science consultant working at Materna. He occasionally blogs about data and related topics here and is the host of the Dortmund Data Science Meetup.