Big Data

Data Science Projects – Value Comes First

Frank Coleman By Frank Coleman Senior Director, DELL EMC Services January 27, 2014

Most companies are investing in some sort of Big Data capabilities but just having these capabilities isn’t enough. They’re cool but if you can’t provide business value your investment dollars will dry up quickly.

Working for EMC, I can’t resist using an Albert Einstein quote:

einstein strve

It’s very easy to get caught up in the “sexiness” of Data Science /Advanced Analytics; it’s cool but coolness costs money. Properly targeting your Data Science teams at projects to have a quick win or short term impact will help the funding discussion if you are just starting out.

If it costs you $500K to get a $20K return for the business, your funding will dry up quickly. I’m a business guy first; all decisions need to start with what is best for the businesses. There are always trade-offs but when in doubt go with value. Value doesn’t always have to be a dollar ROI, but can be a change in the way we work or look at the business. Most of these should translate into improved customer relationships, product design, or efficiency; Value.

My recommendation for communicating this value is best explained by another Einstein quote:

einstein explain
Keep your explanations of the work simple and in business terms. Know your audience; we often have several decks with different levels of detail. You want to show the business impact and highlight the value or lack thereof.

Not every project will be a home run; you may fall short or even fail. I’ve said in prior posts how I use MythBusters as part of my executive readouts to highlight that fact. You can also use Albert Einstein quotes : )

einstein mistake
If you’re trying to get started, EMC Education Services has a great course, Data Science for Business Leaders, that’s worth checking out.

If you have an established data science team, I’m curious if you found this to be true you or if you had a different angle to your success.

Frank Coleman

About Frank Coleman


Senior Director, DELL EMC Services

Frank is a Senior Director of Business Operations for Dell EMC Services. He is living the world of Big Data in this role, as he is responsible for using advanced data analytics to improve the customer experience with Dell EMC’s services organization.

This role keeps Frank immersed in Big Data, and he is at the cutting edge of using Big Data to solve real business problems. Frank has a strong blend of technical knowledge and business understanding, and has spent the last nine years focused on the business of service.

Under his leadership, EMC was honored in mid-2012 for the third consecutive year with the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) STAR Award for “Excellence in the Use of Metrics and Business Intelligence.” Prior to joining EMC, Frank worked in various fields and remote technical support roles.

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One thought on “Data Science Projects – Value Comes First

  1. Great post, Thanks Frank! One of my favorite Einstein quotes is, “Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” —Albert Einstein