Ever since the improvement of technology has led to businesses easily collecting Big Data, i.e. large volume, large variety, and high velocity of data, they are now drowning in data and will like to make sense of it.
This is when professionals such as data analyst, and data scientist comes into the picture with other "supporting" roles such as data engineer and machine learning engineer to come in and support, to help corporate "digest" the data easily and turn them into "gold".
If you take this perspective then the data professionals are part of the research function, similar to the academic research that is done in most universities. Academic research explores the world, pushing the frontiers of knowledge, whereas businesses perform research to understand their operating environment, both internal and external so that they can be effective and efficient.
Businesses, however, will need to take a another step as compared to academic research. Academic research very likely end with research papers being published. For business, they will have to implement the insights into their business process, for instance, adding in policy rules, or machine learning models into their automated decision processes. That itself will make it more challenging for business to realise value from their data.
In my opinion, I do not think that the Research function is solely the domain for universities anymore, but rather businesses who are planning or are collecting a lot of data should consider building up their research capabilities.
If businesses take that approach, just be mindful about hiring, because research skills are also not solely limited to researchers anymore. With the power of the Internet and search engine, the barriers of entry to conduct research has dropped tremendously as compared to last time where access to large libraries is critical for good research to be done. :)
What are your thoughts on it?
Consider supporting my work by buying me a "coffee" here. :)