Data is everywhere– from Tinder algorithms that match you with supposedly (but not really) random people, to information wars waged by politicians. It is of no surprise to anyone these days that every single thing we do is closely monitored, including your internet search history and whatever you might be up to offline too. Something catch your eye when you were passing that sports store? Just wait for the ads to start appearing on you social network pages. Tell a friend at work what your cat’s been up to and suddenly there’s dry kibble and cat litter all over your feed.
This is where the more impressionable of us might become more than just a little paranoid. But it’s not the data that’s to blame. It’s all about whose hands it falls into. There are many myths when it comes to data analysis, and “data scientist” is one of the “sexiest” and most promising professions of the future. My aim with this book is to debunk these myths and tell things how they really are. And I hope that you, the reader, will find yourself on the “light side” of the Force alongside me.
I graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in the early noughties before going on to head up the analytical department of the online store Ozon.ru, where I created analytical systems from scratch. I have provided consulting services to investment funds and retail and game industry giants. Eight years ago, Ico-founded Retail Rocket.ru, a marketing platform for online stores. During that time, we have become the undisputed market leader in Russia and have expanded our operations to Chile, the Netherlands, Spain and Germany. In 2016, I gave a guest lecture on hypothesis testing at MIT in Boston, and in 2020, I was nominated for the CDO Award.
They say it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master in one’s field. I’ve been doing data analysis since 2002, when it wasn’t such a hot and talked-about profession. Have Iclocked in those all-important 10,000 hours? Well, let’s do the maths: 10,000 hours / 4 hours a day / 200 days a year = 12.5 years. Looks like I’ve actually posted one and a half times this figure! Ihope this is enough to have produced a book that the reader will find useful.
This book is about how to turn data into products and solutions. It is not based on academic knowledge, but on my personal experience of data analysis over the past 20 years or so. There is no shortage of courses on data science and machine learning these days, but, as a rule, they are highly specialized. This book is different in that it does not bog the reader down with unnecessary details. Rather, it provides a big picture perspective, offering insight into:
- data-driven decision making
- how systems should work
- how to test your service
- how to combine everything into a single whole in order to create a
- “conveyor belt” for your data output.