Discovering Lowe’s AI and ML Prowess

The webinar focused on Lowe's capabilities and latest advancements in AI/ML, work culture, career opportunities at Lowe’s and more
Discovering Lowe's AI and ML Prowess
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Leading home improvement retailer Lowe’s Companies, Inc. recently concluded an exciting and engaging webinar as part of their TechSprint series, in collaboration with Analytics India Magazine. 

Curated by Isaac Mathew, senior director, technology (DACI) and Swaroop Shivaram, director, data science, at Lowe’s, the webinar focused on the company’s capabilities and latest advancements in AI/ML, besides touching upon some of the challenges, solutions, work culture, and career opportunities. 

Impact delivered by Lowe’s using AI/ML solutions 

Mathew began the webinar focusing on data analytics across retail operations. With businesses trying to provide a personalised experience with an omnichannel approach, Lowe’s enhances customer experience through data assessment. “AI and ML have become very integral in all decision making. We help businesses make decisions in a way they can have intelligence embedded in all their products,” Mathew said. 

Lowe’s has been in the analytics space since 2014 as a GCC in India. From an enterprise, analytics function has swiftly evolved over a while to encompass multiple functions — the use of data analytics at Lowe’s cuts deep and wide. The company’s goal is to ensure that the business makes timely and intelligent decisions that are powered by data. The team is also working on simulators that present the outcomes and let the business have its own inputs. 

Highlighting the way the computer vision team at Lowe’s solves retail industry challenges, Shivaram said data is the key and procuring data in itself is a challenge. “We have our own internal active learning pipeline to take care of these challenges. The next important thing for any computer vision solution is once we deploy the models to get feedback. We leverage our associates when the model gives a false positive. We use that as data to feed it back, and then it uses it to improve the model accuracy,” he added.

“AI and ML have become very integral in all decision making. We help businesses make decisions in a way they can have intelligence embedded in all their products.” – Isaac Mathew

Team culture and career opportunities at Lowe’s

Being a Fortune 35 company, building a people-centric and growth-conducive workplace is a non-negotiable for Lowe’s. “We invest a lot in our people and enable them to chart their own careers,” Mathew said. Lowe’s sponsors many internal and external training and certifications, including degrees for their associates. An in-house career-navigation program, The Lowe’s Compass allows associates to take charge of their careers and explore newer opportunities within the organization.

“Data is the key and procuring data in itself is a challenge.” – Swaroop Shivaram

“For the past three years, we’ve followed the ‘transition career path’. Just because someone has landed in a particular role doesn’t mean they must be stuck there. Instead, we allow our associates to explore different roles,” he added.  

The company has a data science transition career path currently underway. It allows associates to experiment in a buddy and mentor system to upskill themselves. It also gives them a self-paced way of exploring options. Due to the programme, the company has witnessed data scientists move into product roles and the system has been appreciated by the employees, said Mathew. 

The way forward 

Apart from the recognition from the stakeholders, Lowe’s India has bagged several industry awards that validate the company’s inclusive workplace and the impact it creates. “It is a testament to Lowe’s quality and calibre. AIM recognizes firms like us, which is a good sign,” Mathew said. 

AIM recognised Isaac Mathew as one of the 100 Most Influential Leaders in 2022.

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Tasmia Ansari
Tasmia is a tech journalist at AIM, looking to bring a fresh perspective to emerging technologies and trends in data science, analytics, and artificial intelligence.

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