There are two ways data science can give your business a competitive edge:
You have access to data your competitors don’t
You can analyse data in a way your competitors can’t
If you’re competing against Google, or Amazon, or Facebook you have no chance to beat them on data. But if you’re competing in a non-tech segment such as FMCG, fashion, tourism, or consulting services then you can most certainly compete on data.
If you’ve decided that data can give you an edge, the next decision is where to invest, and how big. It’s easy to think you need to hire at least a couple of PhDs and buy a huge tech stack. The reality is you can start small:
Leverage the low cost of entry cloud infrastructure on Google Cloud Platform or Amazon Web Services.
Outsource specific analysis problems to low-cost technical expertise via platforms like Upwork
The real key to unlocking value is to find data that tells you something new, that your competitors haven’t looked at. This requires a bit of lateral thinking but has the potential to create game-changing impacts for your business.
How can businesses create value through the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech? A lot of effort has gone into this over the last 5 or so years since the business community started trying to commercialise blockchain. However, the fact remains that nobody has really found the killer application of the technology.
In terms of business applications of crypto, there has so far not been any real application that could not have been solved with regular data management technologies. The three key factors that make blockchain applicable to a problem are:
The ledger 100% must require open sharing of data
All transactions have to be 100% public
The ledger must incentivise public nodes to participate in the network
Most commonly, business applications break all three of these requirements.
Solid for Business
Solid is an exciting new project led by Prof. Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, taking place at MIT. The project aims to radically change the way Web applications work today, resulting in true data ownership as well as improved privacy.
Despite its prestigious beginnings, Solid has a very small developer base which has tended to focus on ‘social’ applications. These applications will struggle to gain wide user acceptance, whereas business applications that create value for companies and users may be more able to drive user engagement.
Potential business applications for Solid include:
CRM where customers have control over their personal data in your system
Collaboration and Decision Making tools
Qualifications and Student Management
Health Records Management