Data Alchemy: The Science of Success in Execution

Data alchemy success in execution for data-driven decision making

The complex process of converting raw data into golden knowledge is today an undeniable need for any business or company. Failure to take this course of action could mean missing out on an invaluable opportunity for strategic decision-making. In this publication we tell you what “revealed data alchemy” is all about and how Scraping Pros deploys all its multifaceted application actions in its services related to data alchemy.

We are currently in an era of technological advancements and experiencing an exponential increase in data utilization. And while what we need is practical knowledge, everywhere we get is raw data. Hence, the metamorphosis of raw data into practical, value-added knowledge has become the basis for more informed, truly strategic decision-making. It is the magic wand that is reshaping different industries by pushing companies towards a competitive advantage.

A powerful example of the value of data alchemy is related to COVID-19 and the Canadian health risk assessment company BlueDot, which foresaw the pandemic before anyone else (using Web Scraping and data mining methods, the company compiled the latest data from a wide variety of sources, from media outlets in 67 languages to animal and plant disease reports, blog posts, airline ticket statistics, and social media). When the company processed all this data through machine learning algorithms, they detected patterns and correlations that would otherwise be impossible to see.

When BlueDot’s algorithms indicated unusual patterns of activity in Wuhan, China, the system automatically brought them to the attention of the company’s epidemiologists. On December 31, 2019, a week before the first official report from the World Health Organization, the company published a warning about the COVID-19 virus and its possible impact.

A huge opportunity for any company or organization

The ability to build a business based on data alchemy was once attributed to exceptional human genius and was considered unusual. But now, companies across a wide variety of industries can deploy a similar capability to detect unusual correlations and act on them immediately, accessing professional services linked to the data.

What do we talk about when we talk about “data alchemy”? Simply put, data alchemy refers to the process of converting raw data sets into actionable insights. It covers various stages such as data collection, cleaning, pattern finding, and analysis to develop actionable insights. In today’s digital world, the rise of data tools and business intelligence has re-emerged with the potentialities of data alchemy.

Today’s business world is made up of a diversified workforce. The advent of data trends changes business perspectives. As a result, data-driven ways of making business decisions have become a top agenda for all businesses.

Some of the cases of companies that have resorted to this methodology demonstrate almost guaranteed success in their execution.

  • Unilever: Around 2015, Unilever’s Ben and Jerry’s division set up its AI-based marketing system to track any references to ice cream in popular culture or on the web. The search seemed dubiously broad and unfocused until the company found more than 50 popular songs whose lyrics referenced “ice cream for breakfast.” Suddenly, an idea emerged that no one had recognized, with a built-in market, and the company used this knowledge to introduce its line of breakfasts. After two years, their competitors started doing the same thing.
  • Mars + Tmall: When global confectionery business Mars partnered with the Tmall Innovation Center (the market research arm of Chinese e-tailer Tmall), Mars used an AI-based approach to analyze consumers’ consumer data from 500 million Tmall users in China, to reduce the risk of failures in product development. An analysis of historical snack purchasing data alerted Mars to trends in local consumer preferences, so the company launched the Spicy Snickers chocolate bar. It was an immediate success
  • British Airways: Another main example is the predictive analytics system that British Airways built with the Alan Turing Institute (the UK’s national data science organization). When COVID-19 hit, the airline was already prepared for one of the most sudden existential crises any industry has faced in history. Not only did airlines lose 75% of their passengers overnight, with no clear idea of when customers would return, but old flight scheduling methods quickly became obsolete. Through “dynamic forecasting” British Airways can reroute its flights and adjust its ticket prices, according not only to customers’ existing travel requests but also to the probabilities of newsworthy events, responses to past price changes, and a wide variety of other proprietary and publicly available data.

How to turn raw data into actionable knowledge and the value of Scraping Pros

What is the process to convert this data extracted from various sources into golden knowledge? The reality is that insights useful for business decisions can only be extracted once data sets are properly cleaned. Data alchemy refers to cleaning and converting raw data into insights that become the true support for a company’s decisions. This process takes place in several steps:

  1. Data Preparation: Taking into account the requirements and needs of each client, at Scraping Pros we take care of the cleaning and preparation of data in an appropriate format for processing, according to the client’s requirements. When multiple data sources are combined, there are many opportunities for data to be duplicated or mislabeled. It’s crucial to establish a template for your data cleansing and preparation process so you know you’re doing it the right way every time. At the same time, we ensure that the data is structured so that it can be processed and analyzed correctly.
  1. Data Translation: Dealing with models that contain data is complex enough on its own. The quality of the final result depends on the effectiveness of data transformation and enrichment, making data transformation a critical step. At Scraping Pros we take care of performing an error check, homogenizing the variables of the models, and validating the data to guarantee that it is accurate and complete.
  1. Data Processing: Once data translation is done successfully, all the attention is focused on data processing. During this stage, we take care to review the raw data to identify errors, inconsistencies, or missing values. This process allows us to offer reliable and high-quality products. Our actions focus on:
    • Apply top-notch data cleaning techniques to correct errors and fill in missing values.
    • Convert data to a standard format to ensure consistency and compatibility.
    • Eliminate duplicates and irrelevant data.
    • Perform data validation to ensure that it meets standard requirements and specifications.
    • Store the cleaned and processed data in a specific format, such as a database, data warehouse, or cloud storage.
  1. Data Delivery: Once the previous steps are completed, we deliver the clean product and processed data to our client. To deliver data correctly, our service considers
    • Export data from the storage format used during the extraction and processing phases.
    • Verify that the data is accurate and complete.
    • If necessary, we compress the data into a manageable file size.
    • Provide our client with the data in the specified format.
    • Transfer data to the client using a secure and reliable method.Provide our client with any necessary instructions or documentation. to access and use the data.

This process ensures that we deliver the data to our client in a timely, accurate, and secure manner and that the client can use the data effectively. At the same time, we offer periodic support and maintenance so that company executives do not have to worry about technical problems that may arise during the implementation and can concentrate all their efforts on meeting the company’s strategic objectives.

Why Data Alchemy is be the Solution for decision making

In the coming years, the level of uncertainty and unpredictability in the business environment is unlikely to decrease. Data alchemy will not be a short-lived trend. Because it enables faster, more granular, and more precise decisions, it will surely lead to permanent changes in decision-making mechanisms, for both established companies and digital natives.

Across your organization, identify important decisions where the level of accuracy has recently decreased, due to the unprecedented speed and magnitude of change you have been facing. This is a key indicator that a shift towards data alchemy would be valuable. If you truly identify this need, chances are your competitors will too. And since data alchemy can become a source of competitive advantage, it is urgent to act before others.

Which benefits does Scraping Pros offer you in this context?

  1. Lead your business segment: With our exclusive delivery of personalized data, we guarantee accurate and updated data that perfectly aligns with your objectives, giving you a competitive advantage in the market and the possibility of being able to anticipate your competitors.
  2. Business growth in real-time: With the Scraping Pros methodology our clients can get to know the real problem about the risks, the scope of growth, and the changing dynamics of the market. Without data alchemy, these indicators are almost impossible to map. All this will help you design better strategies.
  3. Know your customers and make decisions prepared for the future: Nowadays you practically cannot make decisions without practical knowledge to develop strategies or action plans to guarantee an upward trend. By hiring the services of Scraping Pros you will not only be able to make these decisions but you will be able to better understand the expectations and needs of your clients.