If you ever walk by the desks of Data Scientists, you will hear words like Models, Outcomes etc.
Here’s how I understand them.
What are models?
In psychology and philosophy, you will see experts talk about mental models. These are models human beings use to see and analyze the situations in their lives.
– If I live in this neighborhood (Environment), I could get robbed (outcome).
– If I buy a house (behavior/action), I will stop wasting money on rents (outcome).
– If I approach this girl, she could reject me.
Humans create these mental models in their minds by learning from the things they see, hear, taste etc. In other words, our mind receives data through all our senses. Then it forms models using this data.
Similarly, companies collect a lot of data about their customers. This data could be used to predict future customer behavior.
A popular real world example comes from Target. One day a guys walks into a target store complaining that his teenage daughter has been receiving discounts and offers on products for pregnant women from that store.
Target goes back and verifies this first. Then a couple of days later when Target calls this dad to apologize, the guy revealed that there has been some unknown sexual activity in her daughter’s life. Because of that, she is now pregnant.
It’s crazy that Target was able to figure out that this teenage girl was pregnant even before she told her dad. Except it’s not crazy. It is data science.
- Does this patient have cancer?
- Should I go out to play tennis?
- When should I have kids ?