It is the best of times, and the worst of times to be a data scientist (apologies to Charles Dickens). It is the best of times, because, like never before, we have access to data, computing power, and rapidly evolving tools to create insights and applications with the potential to revolutionize business and the world at large. It is the worst of times because firms are only just beginning to crack the code on how to unleash this potential – most of it currently goes unrealized despite the valiant efforts of many data scientists.
My name is Kjell Carlsson and I recently joined Forrester as a Senior Analyst covering data science, machine learning, AI and advanced analytics along with my analyst colleagues Mike Gualtieri and Brandon Purcell. My mission, as I see it, is both to help technology and business leaders realize how the incredible, untapped potential of these technologies apply to them and lay out a path to unlock that potential.
To do this, I bring a unique blend of data science, strategy, and management consulting expertise stretching back over the last decade-and-a-half. I did my doctorate in Business Economics in the Strategy Unit at the Harvard Business School and have worked as both an internal and external management consultant advising companies primarily in data storage, IT security, and financial services. Most recently, I led a team of data scientists and analytics associates at a healthcare SaaS EMR vendor (athenahealth). There I led the development of applications that applied predictive modelling, text analytics, speech analytics, clustering algorithms and neural networks to unlock business value across Sales, Marketing, Customer Care and other parts of the business. Throughout all of this, I have never ceased to be amazed at the ever-growing opportunity in front of us to leverage data to make better strategic decisions, to augment performance across the business, and deliver new, high value products and services faster than ever before. It’s not that there is money left on the table, it is that there are billions of dollars left on the table (see Insights-Driven Businesses Will Steal $1.2Tr In 2020).