How Many Data Tests Is Your Organisation Running?

Monday January 21st, 2013

I first saw Dr Manu Sharma (Principle Data Scientist @ LinkedIn) speak at Teradata Partners in October 2011 when he gave a presentation on Data Science at LinkedIn.  I recently read that Manu drew a crowd of 1200 at TiE Mumbai which just shows how popular both Data Science & LinkedIn are.  Across both talks, Manu reinforced a few concepts that I’ve subscribed to in my career, namely:

  1. Data gathering, statistics and modelling need to be blended with curiosity and intuition to solve business problems.
  2. Good business analysts (now commonly called data scientists or ninjas!) should drive the business (assuming the organisation wishes to be data-led).
  3. More data is better than less data & raw data is better than processed data.
  4. Simple models are always better than complex models.
  5. It’s better to fail fast, iterate and test…test…test.


At any point in time there are 100’s of A/B tests running on your LinkedIn page, which Manu describes as one of the key techniques leveraged to move data up the value chain towards wisdom.  It is interesting that LinkedIn leverages A/B testing to this extent whilst other more complex organisations (with significantly more products & channels) run far fewer tests.

So, let me leave you with a couple of questions:

  1. How many tests are you running across your organisation?
  2. Are you serious about being data-led (or just paying lip service to the data science trend)?

Mark Hunter is a Financial Services Industry Consultant with Teradata Australia & New Zealand.  Mark has 15 years of banking experience gained in the UK and Asia. He has extensive experience in developing analytical capability to drive data-led decisions. He has worked across the entire customer lifecycle with specialist knowledge in Marketing and Risk.

Mark spent 11 years in the UK working for Barclays Bank & Royal Bank of Scotland in various roles. He then relocated to Beijing to head up the Analytics function for the RBS Bank of China co-operation and latterly took up the role of Regional Head of Decision Management for RBS Retail and Commercial businesses, based in Hong Kong.

Join and follow Teradata Australia and New Zealand via Twitter @TeradataANZ and the TeradataANZ Linkedin Group.

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