Data Science- The Go-To Tool for Solving Daily Problems and Taking Better Decisions

Sarthak Arora 06 Oct, 2020 • 6 min read
This article was published as a part of the Data Science Blogathon.


How can Data Science, besides helping you professionally, improve the quality of decisions you make daily?

Data science decision making

Data Scientist as a term sounds so intimidating, right? Like someone who invents data-related stuff to serve humanity. No! I mean Yes, obviously some people have done their doctorates in Statistics or Computing and who constantly work hard to come up with algorithms and all. But, do you know that ‘Data Science’ is a very generalized term which has been defined in the 21ˢᵗ century but has been out there since forever.

In fact, in the year 1962, John W. Tukey wrote in his book “The Future of Data Analysis”:

“For a long time, I thought I was a statistician, interested in inferences from the particular to the general. But as I have watched mathematical statistics evolve, I have had cause to wonder and doubt. I have come to feel that my central interest is in data analysis, and the parts of statistics which adhere to it must take on the characteristics of science rather than those of mathematics.”

We use data to come to conclusions daily. I entered college three years ago and within a few days, subconsciously categorized people whether they would good or bad for me to know which ones should I befriend. This is what is known as Biased Analysis. It was such a novice mistake- using 10 Day data-points to predict the behavior of people, who have lived over 20 years. A very small sample indeed!

I am still learning these techniques and while I am doing it, I keep on thinking and searching about how I can use them to make my life better, besides helping me to fetch a job. 😛

We waste a lot of time thinking about what to watch when we sit to watch a Movie/TV Show, or when you have to buy something. Well, whatever we watch or buy, it should be worthy of the amount of time or money we spend on making that decision.

In this article, I will talk about what tools you can use to solve the kind of problems I am talking about and how a beginner can apply them.


Here’s how you can Data Science for Better Decision Making-

  1. Personal Movie Recommender System

    Data science decision making

    It’s 9 P.M. I am not in a mood to study. Let’s watch a movie. But, I have to sleep by 12 as well.

    Many a time, it happens that I want to watch a movie, and when I sit down to browse, I spend most of my time browsing and by the time I pick up something, it’s time to sleep.

    Netflix recommends you watch new movies based on your viewing history. But, there’s a limitation. Netflix can only recommend the movies that it has in its library. Let’s create a bigger list of movies we have watched and

    By making a personal movie recommender system, you can avoid all of this hassle. This may be a bit complicated for a beginner.

    But, if you have an idea of basic ML models you can try this out in a different way. Create a dataset by feeding-in all the movies you have watched along with their IMDB scores, genre, major actors, language, director, etc. and give them a personal rating out of 10. Use this personal rating as the target variable, pick a validation approach, and then use the appropriate modeling technique on it.

    In a similar manner, gather a list of all the movies that you want to watch and using the above-fitted model, try to get the predicted ratings on each of them!

    What’s next? Start watching these movies in descending order and enjoy it!

  2. Doing a Self-Analysis


    Data science decision making

    I have always been this guy who would avoid his emotions and would distract himself if something serious would pop into his head. The pandemic made me realize how important it is to face your emotions, scrutinize them and then let them go.

    So, I am thinking about creating a journal wherein I would write the majority of things I did throughout the day followed by a review of the day. You can do this too!

    Learn some basic techniques on how to analyse textual data, also known as Natural Language Processing or NLP and let’s try to put it into action. A sentimental analysis can be done to understand how you were feeling when you wrote that message and how often do you feel like that.

    Here is a comprehensive guide on how to perform sentiment analysis.

    Also, you wrote down what you did throughout the day, right? You can associate those set of activities with the emotions you feel at the end of the day and then understand what kind of activities make your day better.

  3. Creating a Chatbot to answer your friends when you’re busy


    When this COVID pandemic outbroke, everything got affected, offices had to be closed because we were all supposed to stay inside our homes and of course call centres and service centres were closed as well. With limited number of people present at their disposal, companies had to look for alternatives which could make their jobs easier. Many companies used chatbots to talk to us and record our problems. If the solution was easy and could be solved without any human assistance, the chatbot itself would recommend some solutions.

    You can also make a chatbot that answers for you when you’re busy. Let’s say that you’re at office and someone texts you asking where you are, you don’t have to leave your work and sit back to reply to that person. The chatbot that you program can handle that effectively for you.

    You can check this out to know more about Chatbots and how to implement them.

  4. Researching efficiently before buying anything


    Data science decision making

    You are thinking about buying a smartphone and you google “Best phones under 35k”. You open the first link and the blog lists 5 choices for you, and the confusion game starts. Also, it doesn’t talk about the features that matter to you.

    To be honest, only you know what matters to you and those blogs are written from a generic point of view. So how do you choose the best (for yourself) among thousands of different options?

    Let me tell how an analyst i.e. you could do that job. Prepare a list of all kinds of smartphones available in the market along with the latest prices of the same. You could do this activity efficiently if you are aware of Web Scraping Techniques.

    Now, you have a structured dataset in front of you! What are you waiting for? Start Digging! Apply all sorts of filters on Battery, Storage, Price etc. and viola! You have ‘Best smartphones under 35k.’

    For these shortlisted smartphones, you can gather the top 500 or 1000 reviews and then analyse using NLP techniques.

    Here is how you can do that.

  5. Investment

    You have a great job but it is a task for you to save money. And to be very honest, your money will not multiply if you keep the majority of it in your Savings Account. To be honest, you will not be able to catch up with the inflation rate.

    Stock Investing sounds very fancy right? By the way, it’s not just for investment bankers. Anyone can do it! If you choose the right set of stocks, in just one month, you could earn an amount of money equivalent to what you would get had you put this money in a Savings Bank account.

    People do it by conventional methods- qualitative analysis, looking at charts etc. But, you’re comfortable with computers and have analytical skills too. Why don’t you try Algorithmic Trading? Where your computer does most of your job, analyzing the historical data and picking the right time to invest your money.

    Pick up various stocks, diversify your portfolio and make efficient use of your Data skills.


End Notes

These are just a few of the tangible things that can be done using Data Analytics. But, there are numerous benefits that you won’t even realize you’re gaining when you’re learning these skills.

You are developing structural thinking where nothing is chaotic anymore. Making rational decisions would become a part of your life. Indecisiveness would be a thing of the past.

Let’s keep this discussion going- Talk about how Data Science, besides helping us professionally, would help us in our day to day tasks?

You can connect with me by clicking here. Let’s talk about things that can be achieved with Data Science!

Sarthak Arora 06 Oct 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

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Responses From Readers


Apurva 08 Oct, 2020

Very informative

Prageesha Chawla
Prageesha Chawla 09 Oct, 2020

Such an informative article Sarthak ! I really liked how you described the use cases that we encounter in our daily routines. A great article for newbies and professionals as well.

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