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Vlog: Data, Insights & Analysis in the modern world

7 March, 2019 | 

In this video series, Pureprofile’s resident Data Scientist, Dr Uwana Evers, talks about Data Science and the value it has for our members and clients. Dr. Evers delves into her predictions for big data in 2019 and shares a glimpse into The Values Project, and the pertinent findings from the first year of this landmark study.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and experience?

My background is psychological research and what fascinates me is why people do what they do, what motivates them, and why they make the decisions they make. I have a PhD in psychology and degrees in business research, commercialisation and teaching. My research focuses on consumer behaviour largely, and more recently on how personal values impact consumer choices.

How would you explain what data science is to the average person?

In a nutshell, data science involves a process of the acquisition of data, exploration and analysis of the data. Then applying some sort of domain expertise and specific knowledge to be able to interpret what the data means. Finally and importantly, applying that interpretation to make good business decisions.

How does data science provide value to Pureprofile members?

It’s not just what that data is but how we store and manage it,  and how we can better utilise what we know about our members to provide value back to them. I think it’s really great that at Pureprofile we care about giving this value exchange so it’s not just that members give their opinions and data and get nothing really in return. Part of my role is understanding what’s important to our members so we give back some value to them.

How do you provide value to Pureprofile clients?

I’ve already had the opportunity with one of our big FMCG clients to participate in some brainstorming sessions where they wanted to test some new product ideas. Along with some colleagues, I went to see this client and within the space of a few hours we brainstormed their new product ideas, developed concise surveys and put them live to our members. We had data back from their target consumers in a short space of time. After these short sessions, our clients already had an idea of which product ideas were viable in their target market (and which were not) so we could move forward so quickly.
Something else I’m involved in is delivering workshops to our clients on understanding data sets and basic analysis. This helps when we work together with the clients but also in their everyday roles – if they have an understanding of being able to read data and understand even at a basic level what it means, then I think that they can do their job a little better. Overall, I think I bring credibility to Pureprofile’s consumer insights and over time I will be developing some values-based products and services that will really benefit our clients.

Can you tell us a little bit about The Values Project?

The Values Project is the reason I am at Pureprofile. It’s a big government-funded research study. The Australian Research Council funded this collaboration between Pureprofile and The University of Western Australia and it’s been going since 2016. When I joined this project I was an academic at The University of  Western Australia working on the research side and now I’m at Pureprofile on the industry side.
What this project is all about, is looking at people’s personal values and what’s important to them in life and how this affects their consumer decisions taking into account their age and life stage.

There has been research on values and consumer behaviour before but, generally, it’s a snapshot in time based on one sample, a cross-sectional study, and therefore we can’t really look at change over time. What The Values Project study enables us to do is three yearly data collections from people aged 18 to 75. We have 7000 Australians in this study. From this data, we can start to look at and pick apart how values impact people’s behaviour, how they spend their time, how they spend their money and a whole range of other consumer behaviours.

What are your predictions of the impact of big data in 2019?

From my perspective our industry is really good at sourcing, collecting, and storing big data. We’ve got that down pat and we’ve been doing that for a long time. The gap is in analysing and interpreting this data and then applying that knowledge from big data to make practical decisions. This is where we can learn from the tech industry, they’re already doing this really well – using automation and artificial intelligence to comb through massive datasets from multiple sources.

How can we get more females interested in data science?

The education options have changed dramatically over time. When we look at primary school education now kids are interacting with technology all day every day and they’re learning to code from a young age. I think now it’s not so much about having gender stereotyped professions. Girls and boys, men and women are choosing the things that they are just inherently interested in and not because they’re a girl or a boy.

If you’re interested in learning about data and understanding and interpreting people, I would really recommend pursuing data science. There’s a lot of options. So even if you’re an adult in a different profession there’s a lot of ways you can upskill and learn about data science. It goes without saying that data science (and all of the skills involved) is only becoming more and more in demand as a profession. If that’s something you’re interested in, I would really encourage you to go out and educate yourself, go and talk to people and learn more about data science.

Learn more about The Values Project. 

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