Analytics India Magazine https://analyticsindiamag.com Data Science, Machine Learning, Big Data & Artificial Intelligence Fri, 23 Feb 2018 10:21:49 +0000 en hourly 1 https://analyticsindiamag.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/cropped-AIM_Logo_RGB-e1453181584369-32x32.png Analytics India Magazine https://analyticsindiamag.com 32 32 85812292 AI-Critic Elon Musk Quits Ethics Research Group OpenAI https://analyticsindiamag.com/ai-critic-elon-musk-quits-ethics-research-group-openai/ Fri, 23 Feb 2018 08:44:35 +0000 https://analyticsindiamag.com/?p=22015 Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is letting go of his spot on the board of ethics research group OpenAI to prevent a future conflict of interest. In a blog post, OpenAI announced that the decision had been taken to preempt any conflict of interest as Tesla is becoming more focused on artificial intelligence. However, […]

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Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is letting go of his spot on the board of ethics research group OpenAI to prevent a future conflict of interest.

In a blog post, OpenAI announced that the decision had been taken to preempt any conflict of interest as Tesla is becoming more focused on artificial intelligence. However, Musk will reportedly continue to donate money and offer advice the organisation.

The tech billionaire had previously spoken against artificial intelligence, claiming that it presented more risk than North Korea.

In 2014, Musk also said that artificial intelligence his the biggest existential threat to humanity. “I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I had to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful,” Musk had said. “I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish,” he had added.

Musk and Y Combinator president Sam Altman co-founded the $1 billion company in 2015 as a non-profit organisation with a aim to study ethics and safety of artificial intelligence.

The company also added that it was broadening its base of funder in order to ramp up investments in their people and the computer resources necessary to make consequential breakthrough in artificial intelligence.

In the coming months it would articulate the principles and layout policies needed to ensure that AI ‘benefits all of humanity’, OpenAI said in its blog post.

The company also announced new donors, including co-founder of Stellar Jed McCaleb, video game developer Gabe Newell and Skype founder Jaan Tallin, among others.

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Tavant Hires Former Samsung SDS Vice President Dr Atul Varshneya As Its New AI Head https://analyticsindiamag.com/tavant-former-samsung-vice-president-atul-varshneya-new-ai-head/ Fri, 23 Feb 2018 07:45:23 +0000 https://analyticsindiamag.com/?p=22005 US-based solutions and digital products company, Tavant has roped in Dr Atul Varshneya to head its AI division. “We are thrilled to welcome Atul to our team,” said Manish Arya, CTO and co-founder of Tavant, on Dr Varshneya’s addition to the Tavant team. Dr Varshneya, who was Vice President Technology, Artificial Intelligence R&D at Samsung […]

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US-based solutions and digital products company, Tavant has roped in Dr Atul Varshneya to head its AI division.

“We are thrilled to welcome Atul to our team,” said Manish Arya, CTO and co-founder of Tavant, on Dr Varshneya’s addition to the Tavant team.

Dr Varshneya, who was Vice President Technology, Artificial Intelligence R&D at Samsung SDS Research America, will to concentrate on the reduction of time-to-implementation and applied innovation for AI-based platforms and  solutions. A PhD holder from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, Dr Varshneya has also had senior leadership roles in companies such as Motorola, AGNITY and BayPackets.

“My experience in AI will accelerate Tavant’s vision of providing sophisticated solutions for customers in the face of rapidly changing business conditions, ” Dr Varshneya commented on his new role.

Tavant will try to leverage Dr Varshneya’s extensive knowledge of software technologies, and artificial intelligence and machine learning and his experience of successfully contributing to its application to business problems. Dr Varshneya was involved with the Samsung SDSRA AI engine which helps provide business solutions to companies with the help of AI.

“His extensive experience in reinforcement learning and deep learning and his passion for technology innovation will help transform outcomes for our customers,” added Arya.

Tavant, which was founded in 2000, is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. It  provides AI solutions and digital platforms to clients manufacturing, media and lending industries across Asia-Pacific, North America and Europe. The company offers solutions in critical business scenarios such as credit risk, customer retention, lead forecasting, sales conversion, hyper-personalisation, fraud management and equipment failure prediction.

Earlier this month, it was also reported that Tavant had entered into a collaboration with Naylor Association Solutions to help progress its future-ready eCommerce marketplace, Naylor Marketplace, which facilitates integration of immediate third-party software with Naylor association management software (AMS).

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Is It Time That Indian Companies Increase Their Analytics Budget? https://analyticsindiamag.com/time-indian-companies-increase-analytics-budget/ Fri, 23 Feb 2018 05:51:28 +0000 https://analyticsindiamag.com/?p=21999   Analytics in industries, especially in finance, retail, healthcare, e-commerce, Consumer Packaged Goods companies have evolved beyond the usual set of projects to become a true discipline and is reshaping the way businesses work. Today, businesses have gone beyond the usual analytics advantage to adapting new analytical techniques to create new product lines, drive personalization […]

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Analytics in industries, especially in finance, retail, healthcare, e-commerce, Consumer Packaged Goods companies have evolved beyond the usual set of projects to become a true discipline and is reshaping the way businesses work. Today, businesses have gone beyond the usual analytics advantage to adapting new analytical techniques to create new product lines, drive personalization and create new products correlated with customer data.

Consumer-focused data analytics has become the norm today – when it comes to product strategy and product development, applying advanced analytics to consumer data has become core to the strategy.  Today, consumer-facing enterprises have a good understanding of the scope of big data demands from users and have put in place a robust infrastructure, however a major concern would still be meeting the data security standards and how to keep the customer’s data private.

Measuring the uptick in analytics spending in enterprises over the last two years

A recent survey pegs Big Data as a job engine with 46 per cent of funding coming from the IT budget. According to a joint study by EY & Forbes Insights, Indian enterprises are outperforming their global peers in leveraging advanced analytics for business initiatives and have emerged as frontrunners with a well-established analytics strategy. The report hints the growing adoption of analytics as a service with 34% of Indian organizations citing their advanced analytics strategy being viewed as a key strategic priority, edging out the 30% of global peers that share this viewpoint. When it comes to analytics maturity, Indian enterprises are again ahead of the global pack with 26 per cent of Indian executives citing advanced analytics have completely changed their business strategy.

One thing is abundantly clear – there is a growing financial commitment to data and analytics (now viewed as central to overall business strategy). The EY study noted that around three-quarters of companies surveyed would have invested $10 million or more for data and analytics resources.  

And one of the major reasons of the uptick in the analytics adoption is senior management sponsorship, asserted Krishnakumar Ramasubramanian, Senior VP & Head, BI & Analytics CoE, Max Life Insurance sharing how the reason the company was so successful is because of sponsorship from top-level executives. Vijay Kumar, former Head of Analytics at SBI also seconded the view in an earlier interview, “The acceptance and adoption of Analytics will automatically improve, especially when there is sponsorship of Analytics initiatives at the highest levels of the organization.”

Finance sector leads the race in analytics spending

There was a time when adoption was high among finance & banks, e-commerce and healthcare – billed as the sunrise sector with IDC predicting banks leading the IT spending in analytics. Our 2017 study, titled Analytics India Industry Study 2017 revealed the numbers in terms of sectors contributing to analytics revenue, with finance and banking continuing to be the largest contributor standing at 37 per cent of the total amounting to $756 million in revenues. There is a 31 per cent increase compared to last year. Others that follow are marketing and advertising, e-commerce, pharma and healthcare.

Let’s outline the reasons why companies should increase analytics budget:

1) Validity of investment in analytics: One of the biggest challenges for enterprises for the tight budgetary constraint and an inherent culture of cost containment. The most commonly cited reason for a cautious budget in analytics is the return on investment is not measured, which makes the unproven ROI as a significant barrier. In the case of marketing analytics, CMOs, mostly from B2C group quibble about lack of the ways to quantify the impact of analytics.

Stakeholders should get more visibility into the budget to ensure that spending translates into success. One of the ways this could be tackled is through a human element, such as in-house insights manager who can connect the dots between the analytics usage and result. Also, the leadership should attempt to bring a larger share of expenditure under their control to get more visibility in total spending.

2) Analytics Budget competes with other factors: According to senior management executives — analytics budget, part of the IT budget competes with headcount/staffing and market research for leadership attention. And the top brass is under intense pressure to show performance in line with an increased analytics budget.

3) Overcoming piecemeal deployment of analytics: Unintegrated and uncoordinated deployment of data and analytics into a company’s existing operations is perhaps the biggest stumbling block in growth. Often, piecemeal deployment of technologies can lead to a fragmented success and senior management should come up with a formalized strategy to broaden the scope of analytics function. This requires an increased funding. 

4) Want to adopt AI, analytics can pave the way: For enterprises that are in a mature analytics stage and want to capitalize on Artificial Intelligence and other forms of predictive models to find better outcomes, an increased funding is vital for success.

5) Let’s talk about the data element: According to former Head of Analytics at SBI Vijay Kumar the biggest challenge for banks continue to be the low availability of high-quality, up-to-date and well-integrated data. Scattered, missing and erroneous data presents its own unique governance challenge. He further added that not being able to present the insights in a timely fashion at the point where it is consumed is the greatest hindrance. Enterprises should put into practice a framework for data integration to ensure data is integrated across all lines of business and service channels. This challenge can be resolved only when data integration is perceived as important function.

6) Bringing on the right talent: Given the exposure the field of analytics has received over the last few years, there is no dearth of data science professionals who are well qualified to execute complex analytics projects, shared Aldrin Luiz, Vice President, Time Inc. However, the real challenge is finding individuals who bring with them the right balance of analytics skills coupled with core business domain knowledge i.e., the ability to look at and apply data from a business perspective. Enterprises that wish to succeed should bring on board the right talent and create a larger spending for hiring analytics talent.

7) Govt’s clarion call for Digital India has also led to ramped up budget: interestingly, most companies, and even SMBs have taken the cue from PM Modi’s vision for Digital India and are embedding analytics in some way in their business function. SMEs have been restructuring their tech knowledge and infrastructure to leverage large-scale benefits of big data and analytics. The availability of cloud computing is also enabling small businesses to deploy analytics solutions. Most SMBs start with a pre-built library of best practice reports and dashboards.

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FourKites Raises $35 Million In Series B Funding, Plans To Double Its Engineering Talent Pool https://analyticsindiamag.com/fourkites-raises-35-million-series-b-funding/ Fri, 23 Feb 2018 05:16:41 +0000 https://analyticsindiamag.com/?p=21995 Predictive supply chain startup FourKites, on Thursday announced that they had raised $35 million in a round led by August Capital. The Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm led the round, with additional investment from existing investors Bain Capital Ventures and Hyde Park Venture Partners. Eric Carlborg, general partner at August Capital, is set to join the FourKites board. […]

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Predictive supply chain startup FourKites, on Thursday announced that they had raised $35 million in a round led by August Capital. The Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm led the round, with additional investment from existing investors Bain Capital Ventures and Hyde Park Venture Partners.

Eric Carlborg, general partner at August Capital, is set to join the FourKites board.

Arun Chandrasekaran, co-founder and CTO at FourKites said in a statement, “The funding will further fuel the company’s plan to double its engineering talent pool and also build new teams by the end of this calendar year, 2018. We are going to be heavily investing in research and development, product and engineering. This includes omni-modal tracking, end-to-end visibility solutions and our predictive analytics capabilities.”

Powered by the industry’s largest network of real-time shipment location data, Chicago-based FourKites uses connections to more than four million GPS devices and a proprietary algorithm to provide precise arrival time predictions and real-time recommendations. Enterprise shippers use deep analytics from FourKites to make immediate decisions that improve on-time delivery rates, strengthen end-customer relationships and optimise supply chain operations.

The company also has a research and development centre in Chennai.

Mathew Elenjickal, founder and CEO at FourKites said, “Our goal since day one has been to deliver measurable value for our customers by reimagining the way technology can transform their global supply chains. This new funding accelerates the pace with which we can develop the next generation of predictive supply chain solutions.”

FourKites has reportedly grown its revenue by 400 percent over the last 12 months and signs about one large shipping company each week.

The company recently signed international deals with Unilever for supply chain tracking across Europe, and with AB InBev in South Africa. Other FourKites customers include many of the world’s largest shippers — Best Buy, Conagra Brands, KraftHeinz, Nestlé, Perdue Foods, Smithfield Foods and US Foods, among others.

The company has also added robust analytics and benchmarking capabilities to provide shippers with actionable business insights.

While FourKites has grown its customer base and network exponentially, it has also expanded tracking coverage to Europe and South America, and to include shipments moving by ocean, rail and parcel, in addition to truckload and less-than-truckload (LTL), as well as real-time trailer temperature and condition monitoring.

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Priyank Kharge Launches Asia’s Largest Tier4 Data Centre In Bengaluru https://analyticsindiamag.com/asias-largest-tier4-datacenter-bengaluru/ Thu, 22 Feb 2018 12:46:52 +0000 https://analyticsindiamag.com/?p=21991 Noted data company CtrlS launched Asia’s largest Tier4 data centre in Bengaluru on Thursday. The data centre, which is located in the Electronics City part of the metro, is set to provide mission-critical operations to India’s leading internet banking, insurance, and other clients. The data centre was inaugurated by Priyank Kharge, Minister of IT, BT and Tourism […]

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Noted data company CtrlS launched Asia’s largest Tier4 data centre in Bengaluru on Thursday. The data centre, which is located in the Electronics City part of the metro, is set to provide mission-critical operations to India’s leading internet banking, insurance, and other clients.

The data centre was inaugurated by Priyank Kharge, Minister of IT, BT and Tourism for Government of Karnataka, Margarent Anderson, senior VP of SAP Labs India, Sameer Garde, president of CISCO, along with other noted other industry leaders.

According to their statement, the new CtrlS data centre will provide India’s growing tech giants with reliable, robust data management and distribution networks, with 0 percent downtime and 100 percent redundancy.

Kharge was excited to see that Bengaluru was taking shape as a global software hub. He said, “I’m happy that CtrlS latest datacenter is being situated in Bengaluru. Our city, which is already the leader in software services is also fast becoming a hub for global organizations and I’m sure the CtrlS datacenter will be the start of an ecosystem.”

As internet usage increases across India and as more and more users adopt to mobile internet and content creation, the requirements for an “always-on” data centre is keenly felt. Organisations such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media providers need to ensure 0 percent downtime for their services. Similarly, with growing e-commerce and online payments for products and services, including online food delivery apps and websites, a reliable, robust backend support is essential, said the statement.

The new Tier4 data centre in Bengaluru will serve the country’s banking, insurance, e-commerce, and internet organisations which are data sensitive and security conscious.

According to reports, a Tier3 data centre usually faces about four hours of downtime in any year. However, a Tier4 data centre has advanced infrastructure and design features that reduce downtime to less than 30 minutes.

CtrlS’s Tier4 data centers have established industry record as they have faced no downtime whatsoever over the last 10 years.

Sridhar, chairman and MD of CtrlS, commented on the green-certification of CtrlS, and said, “Our Datacenter has been awarded a Platinum LEED certificate by the US Green Building Council, making it the only data centre in the world to receive such certification… A lot of data flows through the silicon city. The future plan is convert all our DCs to be solar powered in the next five years.”

Prakash Mallya, MD South Asia for Intel said, “The amount of data generated in India is more than anywhere in the world. This is a collective challenge that is being addressed here, and solutions like this make possible a lot of data innovation and AI solutions.”

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Artificial Intelligence Is Being Increasingly Mentioned In Earning Calls https://analyticsindiamag.com/artificial-intelligence-increasingly-mentioned-earning-calls/ Thu, 22 Feb 2018 11:53:28 +0000 https://analyticsindiamag.com/?p=21986 The trend of companies following big data has been fading slowly in the past two years. In 2015, $122 billion was spent on big data and similar business analytics software. Although, the technology is rising, it is seeing a slouch in growth in the recent days. More companies are looking at Artificial Intelligence (AI). Here’s a […]

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The trend of companies following big data has been fading slowly in the past two years. In 2015, $122 billion was spent on big data and similar business analytics software. Although, the technology is rising, it is seeing a slouch in growth in the recent days. More companies are looking at Artificial Intelligence (AI). Here’s a look at how AI is being referenced in earnings call in various listed corporations.

The Shift To AI:

CB Insights, a market intelligence research company based in New York has analysed 10 years of earnings calls data from popular public companies. They have found out that AI was discussed around 791 times. They also mentioned that AI found a prominent presence at pharmaceutical companies’ earning calls. On the other hand, big data came up only about 200 times in the search terms in the same study. AI has helped in obtaining more efficiency in company functions such as marketing and advertising.

Amongst AI, areas such as machine learning (ML), neural networks, deep learning, natural language processing and computer vision, have a great influence on companies. An amount of $31.5 billion has been invested on AI from 2012 to 2017 spanning more than 3,000 deals across cos. Healthcare industry and cybersecurity providers stand at the top when it comes to these investments. With not just existing companies making the most out of it, AI startups are also roping in more deals and seeing a higher influx in investments.

Even newspaper publishers and media companies look forward to bringing AI into their arsenal. Popular media website Buzzfeed has incorporated AI in developing richer content. In mid 2016, US media company Tronc announced in an interview that they would bring more than 2,000 videos per day using AI. The digital era of publishing has certainly helped bridge the gap between consumers and the companies. Techniques such as prediction algorithms will help media giants to capture more viewership.

Tech giants such as Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft have been mentioning AI in their earnings calls since 2016. Recently, Nvidia in their fourth quarter earnings call briefed on the focus in AI. Their graphics processing units (GPUs) chipsets such as Tesla series, have set a baseline for deep learning and also training neural networks using ML algorithms. Its major customers include Amazon, IBM and Microsoft. In their earnings calls they mention that GPUs have largely formed the core component of data-centers.

Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, also remarked that AI is also penetrating in the field of robotics and autonomous vehicles. Their collaboration with FANUC and Komatsu can be viewed as an example of their footprints in AI. Nvidia also emphasised the growth of visualisation platforms with the use of their workstation processor Quadro.

Contrasting Opinions

Executives believe otherwise when it comes to implementation of AI in business. According to a survey conducted by Boston Consulting group and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 85 percent of the 3,000 business executive across the globe have suggested that AI offers better competitive advantage over other companies. It also shared the fact that one out of five companies are likely to use AI on a smaller margin. The survey also noted that one out of 20 companies exclusively use AI for their business.

Information courtesy : MIT & Axios.com

In an article by Erik Brynjolfsson, Professor at MIT Sloan School and the Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital economy, he emphasises on three viewpoints: Improved AI skills, faster and efficient hardware, and the availability of data in larger magnitude. The author highlights that companies willing to implement AI and ML will benefit the most by citing examples of AI startups and educational websites such as Udacity. The ups-and-downs of ML are also discussed in deeper detail in the article.

Conclusion

On an ending note, AI will definitely re-define the way work is done in industries. With earnings calls discussing the possibilities of business growth through AI, it may soon become the common phrase in meeting rooms across all companies.

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Free Online Resources To Get Started With Autonomous Cars https://analyticsindiamag.com/free-online-resources-get-started-autonomous-cars/ Thu, 22 Feb 2018 10:58:12 +0000 https://analyticsindiamag.com/?p=21982 Self-driving autonomous cars are coming to change the society we live in – probably revolutionise the way we travel in 21st century. The autonomous vehicles are being widely developed and tested and probably will become more dominant by 2040. Big companies such as Tesla, Google, Audi, Uber and Nissan, among others, are pouring millions of […]

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Self-driving autonomous cars are coming to change the society we live in – probably revolutionise the way we travel in 21st century. The autonomous vehicles are being widely developed and tested and probably will become more dominant by 2040. Big companies such as Tesla, Google, Audi, Uber and Nissan, among others, are pouring millions of dollars to get the cars on the road. The rush to develop self-driving are also fueling lucrative deals for startups that specialise in AI and robotics.

But are you wondering how to get the resources to get started with the self-driving autonomous cars? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here we list down few free resources that might help you get started:

MIT 6.S094: Deep learning for self-driving cars:

This online class is an introduction to the practice of deep learning through applied theme of building a self-driving car. It is designed for beginners and for those who are new to machine learning. The material for the course is free and open to everyone. The research group includes software engineers and research scientists and is backed by companies like Google,  Amazon Alexa, Nvidia, among others.

If you are interested enroll for the classes, here are few steps involved to get started:

  1. Create an account on the site to stay up-to-date.
  2. Join slack channel(deep-mit.slack.com)
  3. Watch the lectures and guest talks
  4. Interact with the instructor Lex Fridman on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or just subscribe on YouTube.
  5. And if you have any question, you can check out their FAQ Google Doc.

Computer Vision for Autonomous Vehicles: Problems, Datasets and State-of-the-Art

This lengthy survey paper provides a state-of-the-art survey on Computer Vision for Autonomous Vehicles. This survey paper covers several specific topics, which includes recognition, reconstruction, motion estimation, tracking, scene understanding and end-to end learning. The paper also discuss open problems and research challenges. It also provides an interactive platform which allows to navigate topics and methods, and provides additional information and project links for each paper. The paper is available online in PDF format. The survey claims that it bridges the gap between robotics, intelligent vehicles, photogrammetry and computer vision by providing an thorough overview and comparison which includes works from all fields. If you want to get up to speed in the field quickly and you want everything in one spot then this survey paper might prove to be a great help.

Kevin Huges’ Blog on Self-driving MarioKart with Tensorflow:

Kevin Huges in his blog explains how he was able to train an AI to drive a virtual vehicle using the same technique Google uses for their self-driving cars. He also says that with 20 minutes of training data, his AI was able to drive the majority of the simplest course. Kevin Huges used Tensorflow to train an agent that can play MarioKart 64. Kevin Huges was a developer at Shopify. He also worked on Artificial Intelligence at Queen’s University.

Python plays Grand Theft Auto V:

In a video series Harrison Knisley shows how to create a self-driving car using Python to play Grand Theft Auto V. He says GTA V is a open, sand-box type of environment that can be controlled and it makes a great development area. You can also check out his code here.

Udacity open source self-driving car project:

The open source code by Udacity is written by hundreds of students from across the globe. In here, you will be able to contribute code to a real self-driving car that will run on the road. Like any open source project, this code base will require a certain amount of thoughtfulness. You can also form a team and take the Udacity open source code challenges by joining Udacity’s slack community and then join the #challenges channel in Udacity. Each Udacity challenge will contain prizes for the effective contribution, you will also get an exciting learning experience.

Self-Driving car engineer Nanodegree:

The online teaching startup, Udacity offers a four-month ‘nanodegree’ course, which teaches you the skills and techniques used by self-driving car teams at the most advanced technology companies in the world. The only prerequisites for students interested in the intro class are some programming experience like C++, Python and algebra. Though enrolling for the course is not free and will cost some money.

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Healthcare Analytics Startup The Healthy Billion Raises $2.1 Million In Funding https://analyticsindiamag.com/the-healthy-billion-raises-2-1-million-funding/ Thu, 22 Feb 2018 09:29:22 +0000 https://analyticsindiamag.com/?p=21980 Gurugram-based healthcare analytics startup The Healthy Billion has raised $2.1 Million (₹14 crore) in a reported extended seed round. Some of the majority contributors are Blume Ventures, Healthquad, Fireside Ventures, Apoorva Patni, and Arpan Sheth, partner in Bain & Co, among others. According to reports, THB will be using the funds to expand its technical teams. […]

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Founders of health tech start-up The Healthy Billion

Gurugram-based healthcare analytics startup The Healthy Billion has raised $2.1 Million (₹14 crore) in a reported extended seed round. Some of the majority contributors are Blume Ventures, Healthquad, Fireside Ventures, Apoorva Patni, and Arpan Sheth, partner in Bain & Co, among others.

According to reports, THB will be using the funds to expand its technical teams.

The clinical research and data analytics start-up had earlier secured seed funding raised by Ajith Sukumaran, who was formerly with Nokia and Apoorva Patni, son of Patni co-founders Ashok Patni who has set up Currae Healthtech Fund. Reportedly, Kanwaljit Singh, former MD of Helion Ventures and a current investor had also participated in this funding round.

As of now, THB is also working on a slew of white papers and is in the process of publishing the findings of its research.

Patni evinced an early interest in healthcare technology and reportedly deployed ₹100 crore in the healthcare sector through Currae Healthtech Fund. Since 2015, Patni, has invested close to₹10 crore in seven healthcare technology start-ups and has plans to expand portfolio.

Set up in 2015, THB is a healthcare analytics start-up combines clinical research and data analytics offering personalised healthcare to patients. THB’s technology platform THB Clinytics — helps track and analyse patient data offering seamless services. The platform also aggregates data from diagnostic labs and perform clinical research through its analytics platform THB Externalytics.

According to the THB blog, there is tons of diagnostic data (data gleaned from labs) and patient data lying unused, waiting for research and analysis. THB sources this aggregated and anonymised data, cleans it up, and restructures it for use. Their team of biostatisticians perform statistical analysis.

Co-founder and CEO Akansh Khurana, who was formerly with Bain, management consultancy firm, had earlier revealed that the start-up was working on a series of algorithms to deliver smarter insights and personalised patient services.

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Challenge To Set Up Advanced Analytics Practices Began At Home, Says IL&FS Group’s Rajiv Diwan https://analyticsindiamag.com/il-fs-technologies-rajiv-diwan-interview/ Thu, 22 Feb 2018 06:47:26 +0000 https://analyticsindiamag.com/?p=21976 IL&FS Technologies Ltd. (ITL), part of the IL&FS group, has more than a decade of experience in providing the best-in-class IT solutions for efficient citizen service delivery and smart governance, through smart infrastructure. With established practices in E-Governance, Land Governance, Smart Infrastructure & ERP. They recently set up Advanced Analytics practice (in the later part […]

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IL&FS Technologies Ltd. (ITL), part of the IL&FS group, has more than a decade of experience in providing the best-in-class IT solutions for efficient citizen service delivery and smart governance, through smart infrastructure. With established practices in E-Governance, Land Governance, Smart Infrastructure & ERP. They recently set up Advanced Analytics practice (in the later part of 2015) to cater to other verticals such as BFSI, Healthcare, Background Verification.

Rajiv Diwan heads the Advanced Analytics Practice at ITL and is responsible for both customer acquisition and defining solution offerings of the Practice. He has setup the CoE on Machine Learning from scratch at ITL and has been instrumental in penetrating into new verticals for ITL; including BFSI and Background Verification. In an interaction with Analytics India Magazine he says that the advanced analytics practice was setup with two objectives in mind — firstly to leverage data science in e-governance solutions; thus providing value add to its customers and gaining advantage over competition. With a strong data science team, they are facilitating analytics and data science solutions to industries in lending, BFSI and smart governance; which was the second agenda – to penetrate into newer verticals & geographies. In this candid conversation, Diwan shares how they are helping organisations solve problems with a different approach; where solutions are not limited to addressing just technology problems, instead they focus on providing business outcome. “For instance, we suggest companies to use machine learning instead of conventional methods to solve technology problems. Where the focus is on generating insights from the data, and the data related technology problem gets solved as a by-product”, he shares.

AIM: Would you like to tell us about some of the use cases of how your clients have been benefited with your analytics and data science solutions?

RD: There are some interesting use cases in government. We worked with a state government to build models for several state departments including revenue, health, and education department. They were doing revenue forecasting in a very manual approach. What we did for them was do a POC and understand how they can use data science to develop model that does revenue forecasting based on past revenue data. We also suggested them to look beyond and leverage data from other departments as well. This way they could also keep track on other external factors like rainfall, industrial output etc. Our task was not just to get them to use data science as a new way of solving the problem, but also to setup a centre of excellence for data science. So, the output we gave to the customer was not just monetary development but also a report on road map of how intra-department data sharing and data exchange can happen.

Another use case is in BFSI. We built a model for a public sector bank where they wanted to understand why some of their high net worth individual customers were leaving them and they were noticing a decline in their CASA (Current Account Savings Account) ratio. We did a pilot for them and the data scope was limited to the internal transactional data they had in their data warehouse. We thought of going beyond and decided to not only tell them what are the factors and attributes that are common in some of the high net worth customers that are leaving them, but also build a model that could predict the likelihood of a customer churn.

In lending industry, we helped build a customer a model that could tell them about the credit risk, that is important to determine when a customer is applying for loan. Now, they don’t have to do the underwriting process manually as we have made it automated.

Going forward we would be investing in this space to build solutions that provides credit scoring for people who are under banked or low salaried income. It’s a challenge for banks to determine their creditworthiness. So our data science team is trying to build solutions that look at alternate sources of data and as we speak we are trying to tap social media, so that banks can have fair idea of applicants’ behaviour and their credit worthiness.

AIM: Would you also like to tell us about the tools that you and and your data science team use while facilitating these solutions?

RD: To build our model we mostly use Python or R. To do visualisation we use ggplot or Tableau. We work very closely with SAS. We are partnered with all leading analytics OEM, including SAS.

AIM: How big is your team? What are the skill sets that you look for while hiring for your team?

RD: Our team is split into two parts—one is practice team, that essentially drives the practice in terms of the areas to focus on, such as products and solution, which is five members strong. Then there is a delivery team where we have people with technical skillsets such as with Python, R, Java, SAS. This is about 15 members strong.

We are constantly looking to hire people in our data science team and we look for candidates especially from NITs and IITs, who are curious, enthusiastic and self driven. We give most amount of stress on the intelligence of the person. What I mean by saying it is that we want data scientist to be able to appreciate the business. A data scientist cannot be totally disconnected from the business, because essentially I feel they are the storytellers. They must have a deep understanding of the problem and be able to do extensive research.

AIM: What are some of the projects in smart cities you are working on?

RD: The current ongoing smart city project that is at Naya Raipur for NRDA, where we have implemented all the devices and components. Once we start receiving data from these components, it will roll down to integrated command control system. This is where city management team would be able to view what is going on across various functions in the Smart City, in a real time basis.

We are also working to build data science solutions, with an eye on numerous upcoming opportunities of implementing Smart City solutions. There is a separate data science team that is continuously working on developing ready solution for smart cities. Once these are developed, any third party can buy the solutions from us. Smart city is still fairly recent in India and while there are a lot of BI and analytics solutions that are readily available for it, but there aren’t any robust data science models that are available. This is largely due to the fact that actual smart city devices data isn’t readily available yet. We are trying to use our early mover advantage in the Smart City space and build robust data science models that has been built and tested with actual live smart city data.

AIM: What are the challenges that you have faced in your analytics journey? Would you like to highlight few of them?

RD: One if the most important challenges we face is in terms of geography. There are many organisations that do similar work as us but they usually work with other geographies in the developed regions, where there is a sense of maturity in terms of benefits of using data science and analytics. We have picked up perhaps a difficult geography i.e. India; where adaptation of data science solutions by businesses is still catching up with the rest of the world.

The problem began internally itself when I had to convince our own management that instead of expanding in data warehousing and BI, let’s explore data science. But it has been an interesting journey. Although the success rate in terms of percentage of revenue generated by Data Science is relatively much smaller than some of our other practices, but we are fairly encouraged with the response that we have received so far and the kind of problems that we have solved, which makes the struggle worthwhile.

AIM: What is the roadmap for analytics and data science for the year 2018?

RD: While we continue to service our customers in government, BFSI and lending space, our focus in 2018 would be at product development. As we have worked with customers in specific verticals and built solutions for them, we have identified the kind of products to develop. The broad areas we have identified are in credit scoring area in the lending vertical, where we aim to develop robust solutions that can work not only for customer with extensive amount of financial readily available data but also for the young professionals that are largely unbanked or recently banked or for people for lower salary bracket. The other area is Smart Cities. These are the areas we want to invest in. So, I would say 2018 is aimed at serving data science to our customers.

The post Challenge To Set Up Advanced Analytics Practices Began At Home, Says IL&FS Group’s Rajiv Diwan appeared first on Analytics India Magazine.

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AI Startup Capillary Technologies Raises $20 Million, Soon To Open Second Office In China https://analyticsindiamag.com/ai-startup-capillary-technologies-raises-20-million-soon-open-second-office-china/ Wed, 21 Feb 2018 13:42:38 +0000 https://analyticsindiamag.com/?p=21971 Cloud-based software solutions company, Capillary Technologies has raised approximately $20 million over the past year from its existing investors, which includes PE firm Warburg Pincus and venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, the company said in a statement on Wednesday. It will reportedly use the fresh round of funding to strengthen its new product development, powered […]

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Cloud-based software solutions company, Capillary Technologies has raised approximately $20 million over the past year from its existing investors, which includes PE firm Warburg Pincus and venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

It will reportedly use the fresh round of funding to strengthen its new product development, powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning catering to Asia and other upcoming emerging markets. The firm also said it will also invest money to build software for customers under its newly launched consumer goods vertical.

Aneesh Reddy, Co-founder and CEO, Capillary Technologies, said in a statement that more than 70 per cent of these funds would be used to fund AI and machine learning products.

The firm will also use the fund to strengthen its presence in China and Middle East besides penetrating further into Southeast Asia.

Capillary plans to open its second office in China this year. “We will soon be opening our second office in China at Guangzhou and then another at Beijing later this year.  Going beyond retail, we are expanding into adjacent industry – Consumer Goods (FMCG) which has a close affinity to retail. We are well poised with our solutions and innovations to help the consumer goods brands reach and effectively engage with their customers (retailers) and end consumers through digitization,” Reddy added.

Commenting on the investment, Vikram Chogle, Warburg Pincus, said, Since Warburg Pincus’ initial investment, Capillary has established a clear leadership position in the market and emerged as a preferred partner for brands and retailers throughout the region.  We are pleased to continue to be a part of the Company’s journey as the team further scales the business.”

Till date, the company has raised more than $100 million in funding, including the current round of funding, according to a report.

As of now, the firm’s technology have been used by more than 300 brands across 25,000 stores in over 30 countries including Walmart, Pizza Hut, KFC, Starbucks.

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