The Data Scientist’s Guide to Subscription Businesses

The Data Scientist’s Guide to Subscription Businesses

In this article, we will focus on a dominant model: subscription-based businesses, with particular emphasis on how data science helps to optimize these businesses.

Any data science project you propose will impact the business, unless you happen to be working on data science research. A data scientist is expected to understand the business in order to develop effective solutions. She must also be able to communicate her work effectively to stakeholders.

There are various ways data science could impact the business. First, the product can be made more data-driven using techniques from data science. One example is recommender systems within the product to provide timely and related content to product users.

Second, statistical models can directly optimize current internal processes, thereby making business and engineering processes more efficient and reducing operational costs. Statistical models can help in logistics by forecasting inventory levels at a warehouse, for example.

Third, data science can help with marketing and product discoverability efforts, essentially getting the word out there to market segments that have yet to know of a business’s product. Models that segment the customer base, predicting customer actions, and models that generate copywriting for call-to-action (CTA) dialogs come to mind. Something as minor as surfacing a product feature to a user based on their action on the platform helps with observability of said feature.

These examples are a non-exhaustive list of data science applications, of course. All of these initiatives, however, ultimately affects a business’s key metrics. There are many definitions of business metrics, some very specifically tailored to the individual business itself. Fortunately, many key business metrics are simple to understand and don’t require an MBA.

There are many business models out there, but in this article, we will focus on a dominant model: subscription-based businesses, with particular emphasis on how data science helps to optimize these businesses.

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