From Statistics to Data Science: The Evolving Role of Data Analytics within Consumer Science

Frank Rossi
Director of R&D
PepsiCo / Frito Lay

The very nature of Consumer Science has been evolving over the last 30 years. The definition of a large dataset has gone from hundreds of consumers in the 1980s, to thousands with the emergence of internet studies at the start to the 21st century, to millions and more with the advent of social media. More powerful computing and increasingly sophisticated data analysis tools give us the opportunity to perform analyses that were once unthinkable. Though this brings seemingly endless possibilities for consumer insights, organizations will need to build strategies for big data collection and analytics. Inherent in this is a well-defined problem statement, a determination of what data will be relevant and choosing analytic methods that will most likely produce meaningful information. Without thoughtful consideration of these elements consumer scientists risk drowning in the big data pool.