What thought crosses your mind as soon as you hear the word ‘Public Relations’?
A group of men and women in polished suits discussing big ideas with millions of prospects and a never-ending list of numbers and links to dial and click on?
Well, all of this leads to a mammoth amount of data being accumulated which is popularly called the Big Data, a collection of the hard work put in by all the employees of the organization.
Even after knowing the importance of communication as an ‘art’, we cannot turn away from the role science plays in this very creative and artistic field famous for its plethora of ‘soft skills’.
Science in Public Relations
Science or specifically Data Science is the process of extracting knowledge from ‘Big data’. With the rise of start-ups and multiple agencies in every media field, we are constantly bombarded with clients demanding clear answers as to the success of our strategies. A list of the number of likes, re-tweets or the number of press releases published in newspapers is not enough to measure the change in the mindset of a target audience.
What is needed is something more comprehensive and efficient in measuring the success of the PR campaign as a whole. That is where Data Science comes into picture.
A field mastered by guys who can scrutinize data like artists analyze the tone of colors, Data Science is more than accumulating large amount of data. A data scientist has the skills and power to fill the void or delete the obstacles towards the growth of a company. To lend credibility to the above definitions and importance of Data Science in the growth of organizations let us take a glimpse into the thoughts of Gaurav Bajpai.
Gaurav Bajpai, popularly known as the Spin Doctor is an expert in the IT field. After having worked in Dell for a period of 10 years, he started his own creative establishment which uses technology for unique brand makeover solutions http://www.gauravbajpai.com/
We had the privilege of interviewing him by posing him with certain questions related to Data Science which helped us in elaborating about the field in India.
Q. Taking India into consideration, what is your take on the need of Data scientists in creative establishments?
A. Google India could very well advertise about Nike and Puma, but rather thrives on the Big Data that it collects from its homepage. But here is the catch you need a good digital scientist to work on it.
In this world of aggregator model “dotcom(s) for everything”, the most precious resource is data scientist who can derive permutations out of data. These are digital entrepreneurs of the future who use available wheels (tools) and not re-invent it. Using available Research on Demand web tools such resources can give a new solutions & analytics in a jiffy!
Q. Are the Indian corporates open to such an addition in their organization?
A. YES. Not just Indian, the world is open to it. Flipkart’s Creative Head offers statistics on when to serve beer in workplace to celebrate success of its new shopping app based on the collected data and its analytics.
After all it facilitates key decision making based on trends, operational bottlenecks, and consumer habits. In fact, according to McKinsey & Co., a company that itself makes good use of data scientists,
- only 18%* of companies are confident that they have the talent to use data effectively
- just 19%* are sure their data operations contribute to sales effectiveness
- Some big companies with presence in India, which use data science to solve business problems and generate business insights for other companies also are Mckinsey, Cognizant, Accenture, TCS, and Genpact. And I think they are doing a great job.
Q. Does Data Science succeed in pushing the growth curve of a company?
A. Forget about growth, to even survive in this digital world a company needs someone who can look back at the board and comprehend.
Growth curve itself is statistics. Radio Damroo touches numerous lives that its Data Scientist can calculate from its app analytics. Companies are not shielded, their growth curves get impacted by threats. And such threats can be predicted and overcome by numbers.
Whether dotcom or not, you are as good as your analytics project you as on Google homepage.
Q. Is any company in India using Data scientists in their organization?
A. Start-ups were quick to understand that for business to grow exponentially, investing in Data scientists is very important. They are teaching “the giants” the potential of research & analysis done by dedicated data scientists.
The Future ahead
More and more PR professionals are understanding the importance of Data Science for the growth of their organization. As the amount of clients grow, so will the amount of data.
With the start-up culture adopting these techniques and benefiting from it, soon a large number of companies will inaugurate a department for the strategic Data Scientist in their organization.