Data scientists: how SMEs can turn data into sales


Controlling warehouse inventories, keeping an eye on risks, customising products: data scientists process existing digital data and provide SMEs with new ways of generating sales and achieving customer satisfaction. Data analysts are especially in demand in the fields of logistics, retail and health.

More than 62 percent of small and medium sized enterprises in Germany have set aside their initial scepticism about Big Data and business analytics. Now they are working together with data scientists. These analysts are specialists in machine learning and other data related skills such as processing, preparing and analysing. The findings data analysts come up with help businesses to improve products, optimise processes and reach customer groups as accurately as possible. For example: data science helps companies understand their customer groups and their habits better and produce customer-oriented advertising and customised products.

Important: Data science analyses only succeed if they are based on specifically formulated questions.

How data scientists provide the basis for growth
Purposeful data science provides a systematic foundation for every decision in the value-added process:

-40 percent of businesses use data-backed analyses to monitor their own business performance.
– 37 percent say they want to understand customers better.
– One in three companies uses the insights acquired to optimise the way personnel are deployed.

Not all SMEs have built up their own expertise in this area of business analytics and employed permanent data analysts. Many employers use outside analysts to supply initial statistics and set up processes, especially at the beginning.

This includes assessing possibilities for grants. The go-Digital scheme run by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) helps businesses with fewer than 100 employees and less than €20 million annual turnover by giving them up to €16,500 in grants for expertise in data science. This scheme funds 50 percent of consultancy services with a maximum daily consultant rate of €1,100. Grants cover a maximum of 30 days within a period of half a year.