In the digital age, two seriously conflicting interests are rapidly growing – the desire to push technology to its limits and create a world filled with innovative devices and programs and the fear of consumers who are worried about the dangers of a world overrun with advanced technology.
For this very reason, President and CEO of Excellent Management Systems Inc. John Weathington reminded tech entrepreneurs, especially those in the data science field, to make sure the market is actually ready for their ideas before they launch them.
Some consumers fear that crazy sci-fi movies may not be as far fetched as they once seemed and others hate the idea of their favorite apps, games, search engines and devices secretly keeping tabs on their every digital move.
Whatever the reason, data science leaves many consumers feeling spooked and uncomfortable.
For example, Facebook users subjected the tech giant to serious backlash after discovering that the site was manipulating thousands of news feeds and user behavior in order to collect data for a study.
As Weathington pointed out, this certainly isn’t something new, but Facebook was still made out to be a monster for taking part in a practice that is much older than the website’s existence.
“To data scientists, it may seem perfectly normal to mine through digital behavior to understand and ultimately influence future behavior,” Weathington wrote on TechRepublic.com. “Marketing groups have been formally and publicly influencing behavior for decades, so why are Facebook’s data scientists any different?”
It’s simply a different method and a different market—that’s the key.
Even the greatest of technological advances will flop if the market simply isn’t ready for or comfortable with it just yet.
“Innovation with data science is exciting, but it can be risky if your market isn’t ready for your next great idea,” Weathington added. “Work closely with your marketing department to understand not only if, but when your next brilliant analytic offering will be a big hit.”
Marketing specialists are able to conduct thorough research and see if the market’s current consumers would be open to your latest technological innovation. The problem is that some data scientists forget just how important the marketing team really is.
Opting out of bringing marketing specialists on the team is a huge mistake that many data scientists tend to make.
Instead, some tech savvy CEOs will assign the marketing tasks to their product engineers.
The problem with the reassigning of roles is the fact that a product engineer will never be able to objectively look at something they have spent countless hours developing and view it as if they are just a random consumer.
Data scientists should also be open to introducing a much smaller concept to the market before eventually growing it under the watchful eye of consumers.
It’s a lot less threatening to watch something grow over time, something that has already been a part of your daily life and has revealed its many advantages, than to have a big, scary new way of collecting data forcefully thrust onto the market and scaring off people who are still feeling a little uncomfortable with technology’s rapid growth.