Broadly speaking, optimization is a process used to either maximize or minimize an output value by selecting the right input values. In data science, this process involves creating a mathematical model that can identify the right input values to reach a desired outcome. Examples of optimization might include marketing campaign optimization (i.e., allocating money to the right channels for the best results) and supply chain logistics (e.g., optimizing transportation options to maximize speed and sustainability). Machine learning models can be used for this kind of optimization.