How much should good data science cost an e-commerce company?

Customer retention isn’t something that can be left to chance. You can’t launch campaigns based on hunches and you can’t expect to fully engage and convert your customers without a solid understanding of what makes them tick.

That’s why e-commerce sites rely heavily on analytics programs that measure traffic, clicks and conversions. These numbers give you insights on what’s working and what isn’t, thus enabling you to make smarter business decisions.

However, in this day and age, tracking just a handful of metrics (i.e. site visitors, CTR, etc.) won’t cut it anymore. Consumers are interacting through numerous channels and touch points and in order for you to get a complete understanding of your customers, you have to collect and analyze data coming from all these different directions. Once data, such as transactional, behavioral, demographic and social, has been collected and analyzed, you can segment your customers by those likely to churn, highest value and the best time to send campaigns to.

The high demand for data scientists

That’s where data scientists come in. Dubbed “The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century” by the Harvard Business Review, people in this line of work specialize in harvesting data and deriving insights that businesses can put into action. Data scientists have three main roles. The first is to collect and process data so it can be analyzed. Second, they need to study the information and present it in easy-to-understand formats such as graphs or charts. Finally, data scientists must be able to spot trends and insights from the data and deliver it to the company’s decision makers so they can put the knowledge into good use–such as creating a tailored email campaign or making product recommendations.

As you can see, data scientists have a lot of responsibilities. Finding one person who can competently perform all of them is next to impossible. In order to make data work for your business, you need a team of data scientists.

More and more companies are starting to recognize this, which is why in the past few years, there’s been a huge growth in the demand for data scientists. So much so that the McKinsey Global Instituteestimates that the US would need to increase the number of graduates by up to 60% in order to meet the demand.

The cost of building a data science team

So how much will it cost companies to build a team of data scientists? According to career website Glassdoor.com, the annual salary of a data scientist can range from $80,000 to $148,000. Fortune even estimates that it can go up to $250,000 per year. And that’s just the salary. We’re not even talking about benefits and the time you need to spend finding, vetting, and orienting your new hire. Also remember that you would likely require more than one data scientist on board. As previously mentioned, effectively levering data for your business requires at least three data scientists.

Yes, the cost of data science isn’t cheap, but as expensive as it is, not investing in it will cost your company even more. Don’t have the budget to build an in-house data science team? Consider working with a big data solutions provider such as Retention Science instead, where you can tap into our data science prowess at a fraction of the cost.

Retention Science offers you a team of data scientists to collect and analyze your core data and a predictive retention engine to automatically disseminate highly targeted campaigns. Get in touch with Retention Science today and let’s talk about how we can fulfill your company’s data science needs.

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