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The data science game has always been the same: collect data, manipulate it, and translate that into a metric or model that will help businesses drive impact.
So why all the fuss about machine learning and data science now?
Put simply: more power. A lot more power.
While the algorithms and statistical processes being used today have been around for decades, the speed at which we can perform those processes is increasing dramatically. An algorithm can now be optimized by running a million adaptive statistical models over and over until they converge on that perfect equation to predict customer response, as an example.
So you can think of machine learning as using this massive computing power combined with advanced algorithms to automate the execution of existing statistical processes – it is the evolution of statistics in business.