From data to action: How to grow your data science capabilities and add real value to your business!

WOE 15:15 - 15:45

Zaal 5

Plenty of organizations have taken the step to incorporate data science into their business. However, most products fall short on delivering business value. This often isn't because of technical capabilities or a knowledge gap: anyone can hire a stellar group of individual data scientists that can do an amazing job!
In my 6 years as a data scientist, I have had various secondary roles depending on what was required to make my team grow. I have been the team lead on acquisition, project manager, innovation advisor, lead data scientist and more recently: business & data strategy developer. In these years, I have also seen plenty of implementation efforts (some successful, some not so much) for data and analytics come and go.
These challenges are not unique to the municipality of Rotterdam. Rather, any sufficiently large organization experiences these in some shape or form.

The major impediments organizations experience to make their data science team shine (and in a broader sense, any innovative technology team) can be captured in four categories: First: The existing IT-infrastructure is often built from a risk management perspective, and is mainly focused on standardizing and limiting the application landscape for standard users. This can clash with the agile, innovative "try 1000 things" approach to data science. Second: Allowing data science to grow and flourish requires trust and responsibility on a personal level, rather than trusting implemented processes. This is a difficult perspective shift to make for large organizations. Third: When you are developing cool data science products, don't forget that the true value lies in changing the way your organization does its business. Pay just as much attention to the product implementation, change management, and measuring the impact of your product as you do its technical development. And fourth: When you have your first few successes, start looking at the future: Develop a sound growth plan for your data science team that is strongly tied to your strategic plans.

In this talk, I will take you along the growth path of my data science team and explain how we overcame these challenges, sticking to concrete and pragmatic solutions you can implement yourself tomorrow to make your data science team shine!