Companies employ various means of differentiation in order to gain a competitive advantage in the market. Traditional differentiators include network economies, branding, economies of scale, and so on. But the availability of data and compute resources, combined with the emergence of new business models, have enable data science to become a strategic differentiator for some companies.
Eric Colson explores what it means to differentiate by data science and explains why companies must now think very differently about the role and placement of data science in the organization. If data science is going to be part of your competitive strategy, it warrants rethinking how the company is organized, how it defines its roles, and how it attracts and retains top talent.
Eric Colson is chief algorithms officer at Stitch Fix, where he leads a team of 80+ data scientists and is responsible for the multitude of algorithms that are pervasive to nearly every function of the company, from merchandise, inventory, and marketing to forecasting and demand, operations, and the styling recommender system. He’s also an advisor to several big data startups. Previously, Eric was vice president of data science and engineering at Netflix. He holds a BA in economics from SFSU, an MS in information systems from GGU, and an MS in management science and engineering from Stanford.
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