CDS Welcomes NBC Universal

At the CDS Company Information Session, NBC Universal explains how media broadcasting is harnessing the power of data science.

At last week’s Company Information Session at the NYU Center for Data Science (CDS), NBC Universal introduced our students to job opportunities available for data scientists in media broadcasting.

Although several industries have been quick to adopt data-driven strategies, media broadcasting has been slower on the uptake — meaning that there’s ample room for data scientists to apply their skills in this industry.

Predictably, the way that broadcasting companies typically distinguish a “good” television show from a “bad” one is by measuring the average number of viewers of each series.

A similar process is used for measuring whether particular episodes fly or flop — only instead of tracking the average number of viewers, they observe how many viewers change the channel over the course of an episode.

But the advent of online streaming and torrenting has raised some exciting new challenges for tracking this data.

For example, now that televisions are not our only medium for watching shows — we have our phones, laptops, and other gadgets — how can we track viewership data more accurately? Should we find ways to feed all the data from each external source back to the broadcasting company, or do we deploy resources outward so that we can capture the data ourselves?

And, how can we aggregate all of our content data to build models that will be able to predict whether viewers will enjoy an episode or change the channel — before they’ve even seen it?

Whomever can solve these questions stands to make major gains in the entertainment industry. (And, perhaps it will be one of our CDS students!)

by Cherrie Kwok

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