Data Science Consultant

Data Science Consultant

As data science consultants, our job is to assist companies in advancing decision making using the proper technologies.

Many large companies and organisations are now adopting data science tools to generate recommendations for business strategy, or automate their operations.

However, data science expertise is not always available in-house, or the in-house data science team may not possess the specialist skills in a niche area such as natural language processing. Many companies are not necessarily tech-focused. For this reason, corporations large and small are increasingly turning to data science consultants to fulfil their needs in this area.

Data Science Consultants at Fast Data Science

Our analytics expertise can help you extract value from large amounts of unstructured data, in order to better plan your business strategy. We can analyse your data and present it in a jargon-free way using graphical techniques, and move on to building explainable predictive models. For example, if you want to understand the causes of customer churn or employee attrition, we can identify key correlations and postulate causes and strategic actions, and even train and deploy a machine learning model which can highlight any employee or customer at risk. Our main area of focus is natural language processing (NLP). The manager, Thomas Wood, studied a Masters in 2008 at Cambridge University in Computer Speech, Text and Internet Technology and since then he has been working exclusively in machine learning and data science. In 2018 he founded Fast Data Science to deliver data science consultancy services.

What does a Data Science Consultant do?

Examples of what a data science consultant can do for a business include:

  • Developing an AI strategy
  • Helping to collect big data
  • Analysing the data collected
  • Figuring out business strategy based on data-driven approaches
  • Identify strategic blind spots
  • Analyse unstructured data using techniques such as natural language processing

Data Science Consultant 1 Some of the results a data science consultant can achieve for a business

How do Data Science Consultants work?

We always begin with the question you want to answer: why are the customers leaving the business? what is the major cause of breakdowns in my manufacturing process? how can we identify the most at-risk students? Following a rigorous and numbers-based approach, we proceed to find answers to the question using statistics and machine learning algorithms. At all stages we keep you on-board and provide easily interpretable visualisations of our findings, complete documentation, and interactive handover workshops. We work with both traditional machine learning techniques as well as the state of the art such as neural networks. We normally use Python for our data science consulting work, but can adapt to your technology stack. We will not use unnecessarily complex or over-hyped models. If another data science consultant tells you they will solve your problem using a Transformer Neural Network connected to Blockchain, come to us instead and we might be able to give you a model you can work with on pen and paper! We prioritise simple models (Occam’s Razor) and make sure that the client is onboard with all the technology used.

Fast Data Science - London

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Is your data unstructured?

In many industries such as healthcare, insurance, pharmaceuticals and legal, it is common for large amounts of the data to be stored in an unstructured format, for example PDFs, Excels, and other documents, which may be stored on the cloud, on on-premise servers, on employees' laptops, or even physically. These kinds of documents are particularly difficult to analyse but we have a proven track record of extracting useful information from gold-mines such as this for a series of high-profile clients. Our area of focus is natural language processing, which allows us to analyse data in free text, or even in a multitude of languages. Imagine you are an executive in an insurance company and you have a collection of a thousand ship inspection reports, which are written in plain text, submitted in Word or PDF form, and by people of different nationalities, in highly technical language. You want to know how many vessels failed the fire safety inspection. Do you:

  1. read the reports back-to-back for a month?
  2. hire a data science consultant who can give you a visualisation of key statistics from the reports, and even develop a drag-and-drop tool which lets you drop a PDF or group of PDFs and immediately spits out the vital statistics (inspection result, causes of failure, location, company name, etc)?

Data Science applications in healthcare

Natural Language Processing applications in healthcare Natural Language Processing applications in healthcare

Data science is being increasingly adopted across the healthcare sector. This technology is sometimes called healthtech or MedTech.

As an example, machine learning models can predict workforce attrition, patient outcomes, or A&E or emergency room demand. Natural language processing can be used to analyse clinical data in text form and categorise information by MeSH terms.

We have worked on a number of healthcare data science consulting projects, such as:

Data Science technologies at Fast Data Science

The technology we use for your project depends on you and your organisation’s preferences, but all other things being equal, we will choose the simplest tool to answer your questions in an efficient and explainable way.

  • We work with Python as this is the lingua franca of data science, however we can use other languages and frameworks on request.
  • We are happy to use TensorFlow, Hugging Face, spaCy, NLTK, Scikit-Learn, and any of the other widely used machine learning and NLP frameworks.
  • We are happy to work with any of the following cloud providers:
    • Google Cloud Platform
    • AWS
    • Microsoft Azure
  • We can also use cloud machine learning (no-code) interfaces such as Azure ML.
Topic detection is an NLP technique that allows you to discover common themes in a set of unstructured documents.

What value can data science deliver for my business? Isn’t it all hype?

You’ll be pleased to find out that data science is one of a company’s operations whose impact is most easily quantified – after sales, of course!

Taking an example from one of our past clients, our data science analysis identified a key pain point in their customer sign-up form which was causing a percentage of the customers to drop out. We estimated from research that an improvement would result in a 7% increase in sign-ups.

The CEO of the company was sceptical, so we ran an A/B test for two weeks. Half of potential customers were presented with the old form, and half with the new form. After two weeks, the expected increase of 7% did indeed occur. The company promptly switched the website over completely to the new design.

How much would your company benefit from a data science consultant identifying quick wins like this?

Examples of past Data Science Consulting projects

Data science projects we have worked on for major companies include:

  • a dashboard to allow members of the public to explore and analyse survey responses for White Ribbon Alliance.
  • a machine learning model to predict the complexity of clinical trials.
  • a model to identify employees at risk of leaving their organisation.
  • a model to predict customer churn.

Please visit our Portfolio for more information, or simply contact us for a chat.

What we can do for you

Transform Unstructured Data into Actionable Insights

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