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Non-Traditional Approach To Data Analytics Helped Us Stay Ahead In The Game: Ajay Agrawal, Happiest Minds

Non-Traditional Approach To Data Analytics Helped Us Stay Ahead In The Game: Ajay Agrawal, Happiest Minds

Happiest Minds Technologies

Headquartered in Bangalore, Happiest Minds Technologies Limited was founded in 2011. In less than a decade’s time, the company has become one of the most sought after organisations that provides digital transformation services to enterprises. Happiest Minds offers services that include digital solutions, product engineering, and security and caters to automotive, BFSI, e-commerce, and edtech, among other industrial sectors.

To effectively render these services, the company leverages technologies such as artificial intelligence, analytics, blockchain, IoT, robotics and others. 

Ajay Agrawal is the Senior Vice President & Head of CoE, AI/Analytics at Happiest Minds. As the head of this group, he lends his leadership prowess and guidance around AI, data science, and data engineering. He has also been an entrepreneur in the past and founded Silicon Valley-based startups like Verismo Networks and Cupola Technology, that were funded by the likes of Intel Capital and Philips. His most recent venture Cupola Technology, an IoT Engineering Company, was acquired by Happiest Minds in May 2017.

Analytics India Magazine caught up with him to better understand the AI and analytics-based processes and services at Happiest Minds Technologies.

Use Of AI & Advanced Data Analytics

Speaking of the analytics and AI offerings of Happiest Minds Technologies, Agrawal said they work on, “… the implementation of advanced analytics using artificial intelligence, machine learning and statistical models, engineering big data platforms”. 

“Our analytics CoE (centre of excellence) helps customers to gain valuable insights from the massive amounts of enterprise data leveraging big data and AI tools and techniques, leading to increased revenues and operational efficiency. Our AI and data science expertise help build solutions by leveraging the latest deep learning and machine learning techniques with simultaneous use of automated machine learning and machine learning operations to accelerate data scientist’s productivity,” he further explained. 

A few of the solutions offered by the analytics CoE include:

  • Stream analytics to generate insights for businesses using data generated online
  • AI and analytics-driven cyber and behavioural analytics to prevent threats and attacks
  • Service Catalog-based big data service offering
  • In-store analytics for retailers to understand their customers better
  • Social computing technologies for better customer engagement
  • DataAccel Unified Analytics platform for storing and analysing the company data

Further, speaking on the data side of the services, Agrawal said that the focus at Happiest Minds Technologies has been to develop state-of-the-art data platforms using big data technologies and supplementing them with tool-based solutions for data management and visualisation. 

“We have built petabyte-scale data and AI solutions for leading media, education and publishing, retail and industrial businesses, resulting in increased revenue and cost savings for our clients. We are an AI Inner Circle partner of Microsoft and have partnerships with AWS, Tableau and Looker. We offer pre-built solution accelerators for, among others, image, video and NLP analytics, bot frameworks, streaming analytics and anomaly detection,” told Agrawal.

“Staying Ahead Of The Game”

Agrawal says that the companies focus on having a dedicated CoE on Analytics has helped them focus on innovation and ‘stay ahead in the game’ through its ‘non-traditional approach to data analytics’. “With our focus on building AI-based accelerators, we have recently acquired a couple of IP led deals in the conversational AI and Vision Analytics segments,” he said. 

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He also informed that investments and a greater focus on Analytics have helped in doubling its revenue in the last two years. The Analytics CoE alone now drives more than 13% of the total revenue of the company.

Some of the large end-to-end projects led by analytics, which have been already successfully implemented by client companies are:

  • Implementation of a near real-time data pipeline that ingests information in real-time to provide personalised customer engagement. This helps in improving revenue and detect customer sentiments.
  • An AI/ML-driven data platform to get a 360-degree view of the brand’s performance across online searches and retailers.
  • IT Helpdesk AI chatbot and customer service desk chatbot for internal and external customers, respectively, to reduce wait time and resolve issues on time.
  • Enterprise data warehouse to control data consistency, data governance and access. This helps in enabling 360-view, elimination of duplicate/manual report generation, a solution scalable to multi-region deployment.
  • Data Lake implementation to consolidate data silos, enable data as a service and provides a common analytics platform that ingests data in real-time.

Wrapping Up

“AI now is not only an enabler but also a game-changer for many products and engineering. AI today is helping in operational as well as top-line growth. In the coming years, we will see AI and data layers to be the foundation rather than just a feature,” says Agrawal on the potential of AI. 

Speaking on its impact on the service industry, he said that now is a good opportunity to collaborate and enable organisations to drive their digital strategy. According to him, combining the in-depth domain knowledge of product organisations along with broader/deeper technical expertise can be a gamechanger.

As a professional with over two decades of experience in the technology industry, Agrawal’s word of advice for beginners is to ‘upskill rapidly’. He rightly points out that the technology landscape will continue to evolve rapidly. “It’s a must that we inculcate the culture and discipline to upskill ourselves continually. Invest in building the right attitude, focus on the bigger picture and use your skills and learning to perform,” said Agrawal before signing off.

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