Adventures in Data Science

Tales from the World of Information Management


The story goes that, as Archimedes lowered himself into his bath, he noticed that the water rose in accordance with the volume of his body. Having discovered the principle of displacement, and a method for calculating the volume of irregular objects, he leapt from the water and ran naked through the streets of Syracuse shouting “Eureka!” (“I have found it!”).

Discoveries made these days may appear less fundamental, and may not inspire the same level of excitement, let alone nudity; however, in the world of Data Science, nothing could be further from the truth.  Every day, statisticians the world over are plunging into data and making discoveries that fundamentally change the way organizations are run.  

Recently, an Adastra customer approached us with an interest in optimizing their field office locations, based on limiting the distance to be travelled by a field office agent to their furthest client.  Using Data Science optimization methods, Adastra provided a plan that significantly increased the number of clients covered with a fewer number of offices.  Leveraging Data Science techniques such as these can lead to your own ‘Eureka’ moments, as well as lower costs and improved productivity.

How is Data Science like Alchemy?

In times past, many of the world’s greatest minds (even the esteemed Isaac Newton) applied themselves to alchemy, the study of transmuting base metals into precious ones, such as gold. In modern times these ‘noble’ pursuits have been, for the most part, relegated to antiquity.Today’s data scientists, or modern alchemists, are enjoying much greater success stretching and molding the base materials of the information world (data) into new, precious resources: valuable, revenue generating business assets.

More and more businesses are approaching consulting organizations such as Adastra to help them identify new ways to drive revenue from their vast data stores.  Adastra leverages its business acumen, broad industry knowledge, and Data Science methodologies to transmute their clients’ data from useless bits and bytes into directly saleable information assets.  When new revenue starts coming from your data warehouse, it might even cause you to change your definition of a ‘golden record’!

Thar be gold in dem dere hills!

The word ‘prospector’ might evoke an old, weather-worn man panning for gold in some sun-beaten gorge or beside some forgotten lake.  Today’s prospectors, however, are not just limited to digging and sifting through sand; nor are they adorned not with flat caps and overalls, but rather suits, shirts and ties.  These prospectors go by the more modern term of ‘Data Scientists’, but their job is often just as challenging and certainly no less rewarding.

At Adastra, our Data Scientists sit on the edge of our clients’ data lakes in focussed Data Discovery sessions filtering through the sands of information.  It can be a dirty job: data quality is often poor, with missing attributes, mislabelled or misused fields, and inconsistencies across the records.  Profiling and cleansing the data, however, soon make the nuggets of gold shine through.  By knowing what to look for, our Data Scientists have been able to spot previously unrecognized patterns, trends, and correlations in our clients’ data which can have dramatic business impacts.

In one such Data Discovery exercise, Adastra worked with a retail client’s data.  Our Data Scientists demonstrated a regional bias towards a specific product line.  By leveraging this new information, the client was able to more adequately stock that item in that area and manage the demand more effectively.


Data Scientists wear a variety of hats.  They are the inventors, the alchemists, and the prospectors of the Information Management world.  With the right tools and experience, this emergent breed of mathematicians and statisticians are the pioneers driving your business forward.  They can lead you to new opportunities and help you optimize your existing processes.

Adastra’s team of dedicated Data Scientists has the right methodologies, the technical knowledge, and an understanding of the business challenges faced by nearly every industry vertical.  With our wealth of experience, we can quickly build and test hypotheses relevant to your organization and lead you to new ways to improve your business.

Talk to an Adastra representative now to learn about how you can engage our expert team and start down the path of discovery!