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Make better business decisions with data.
Make better business decisions with data. Campaign Creators/Unsplash

Decision making is an essential art that may be as old as time itself. It involves selecting a choice or course of action among a number of other possible options.

A right, informed decision can mean big gains for you and your organization. A wrong, rashly-made decison, however, can spell disaster, especially in the midst of a global health crisis.

The good news is there is a way to help you make more good decisions and less of bad ones in the foreseeable future. This comes in the form of data science, which involves turning raw data into useful and meaningful information.

What Is Data Science?

First introduced as a separate discipline in 2001, data science is the process of gathering meaningful information based on large amounts of data or big data, using techniques such as machine learning and artifical intelligence to extract information and to predict future patterns and behaviors. It was described by Google chief economist and UC Berkeley information science professor Hal Varian as "the ability to take data -- to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it."

Data science utilizes tools from multiple disciplines, which include statistics, programming, data mining and machine learning, to gather a data set, process and derive insights from that data set. Meaningful data is then extracted from that set before being interpreted for decision-making purposes.

Data science was considered a "hot, sexy" career choice by many publications -- in fact in 2012, the Harvard Business Review described the role of the data scientist as the "sexiest job of the 21st century." So if the high base salary of $120,931 and over 4,000 job openings do not convince you to take a data science career, then nothing can.

Decision Making and Data Science

decision making
Decision making is an important part of business. John Hain/ Pixabay

Data science, as a skill, helps in making better decisions, noted the Australian Financial Review. Good decision making is key for your company or institution to run efficiently and overcome unforeseen obstacles.

Data science companies such as InData Labs provide decision-makers with needed help in making better-informed choices by shaping and filtering the data collected by the latter's organizations. Using that data will enable you to formulate future predictions according to what can happen if you take your organization in a new direction.

It should be kept in mind, however, that data science alone is not always enough: InData Labs' Irina Peregud explained that though data scientists analyze data to find insights, they need business leaders and managers to tell them what to find.

Data Science Courses

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Data science helps in making better decisions. Gerd Altmann/ Pixabay

If you are planning to improve your decision-making skills or just simply take a data science career, then you can start by enrolling in data science courses such as those offered by 365 Data Science.

365 Data Science trains aspiring data scientists around the world, with its industry-leading program helping students and young professionals begin their data science career -- without the costs associated with obtaining traditional degrees.

Its data science program offers lessons such as Microsoft Excel, statistics, SQL, Python, R and business analytics, and does not have prerequisites for any of its courses nor does it need prior experience or an academic degree. Should you choose to subscribe to its annual subscription plan, you can receive a certificate for every course completed, as well as a personalized, verifiable certificate of completion for the entire program that can be added to your resume, posted on LinkedIn, and sent to future employers.