Ivan Pech Escalante
Director
Datateam Consulting
/
View from the Top

Making Data Analytics Effective and Accessible

By Jan Hogewoning | Wed, 04/01/2020 - 13:11

Q: What added value does Datateam Consulting provide to clients?

A: We are an analytics company that helps clients take advantage of the data they have at their disposal. Apart from providing a mechanism to make decisions based on actionable data, we also aim to make it possible for people without advanced knowledge to use these systems. We do not think that the only people who should be able to use this technology are those with a Ph.D. in computer science. This would defeat the purpose of data analytics, which is to help companies understand their business better.

Many of our clients are in the financial sector. We work with big banks, for example. These companies have a lot of data stemming from billions of credit card transactions. Banking is a service that touches almost everybody. Banks are feeling the heat from rising fintech companies, so they need to continue improving their products and services. They need to analyze data faster to provide effective feedback, develop products and reach people faster and be more user friendly. This also applies to other sectors like insurance. This used to be an industry of mammoths, without much movement. Now fintech is challenging the entire insurance system and its traditional way of doing business. Reliance on technology is growing. As a result, companies now have chief innovation officers, chief technology officers or chief analytical officers. 

Q: Why is data analytics making such a difference for businesses?

A: Data insights are useful at every level of the company. You can ask an executive how their company is doing and they will give you a picture, but when you ask for details they often do not have the information. To have that detailed picture on standby is not an easy feat. Without the proper instruments, an executive can ask a question about their company and the answer will come in the form of a report, a week, a month or even three months later. The answer to that question should be there the moment you need it. Our goal is to close that gap. We step in at any part of the client’s operational chain, providing models that are adapted to their needs.

Q: How do you provide predictive insights for your clients?

A: At Datateam Consulting, we use Data Robot and Tableau, which are platforms designed to help you see and understand data better. To provide predictive information you need a scripted basis based on indicators and patterns from collected information. Over time, and with the help of machine learning, this capability becomes more intelligent. Patterns can lead to more anticipatory decisions. A bank, for example, lends credit to people. Banks want to know if you are going to pay it back, so they need a model that can predict the likelihood of this.

Q: Why is Datateam Consulting a necessary partner to implement these mechanisms?

A: If a company decides to build their own model or hire a big conventional consultancy to do it, it often takes about four to six months to create a probability model. This is just for one model, but companies need multiple models for their business. Amazon, a fully data-driven company, runs on over a thousand machine learning models. With DataRobot, we can create machine learning models in a week. The difference in the development time is crucial. When models are built, they need to be updated after a time to adapt to evolving conditions. Companies do not want this to take a lot of time either.

We provide the platform, the tools and training for staff at the client company. This makes them self-sufficient in managing and upgrading the systems at a fast pace. Because we are faster in providing the model and a company can take it over from there, the investment is also far more beneficial.

Q: What is holding Mexican companies back from implementing better data analytics?

A: There are two primary reasons that hold companies back. The first is that they do not have the tools to collect data. If you are not collecting data, you can also not see the actual issues your company has. Second, there is a lack of understanding of how data analytics can help you. Some companies are wary of the investment this requires. If they do not get an immediate benefit in terms of higher returns or more clients, they get skeptical. Our job, therefore, is to convey the  immense benefits of this technology and to provide the right strategy to adopt it. Some companies want to solve everything at once, which blurs their ability to identify where to act first. 

Q: Apart from the financial sector, where do you see most opportunity for your consultancy?

A: The retail sector represents a major opportunity. Retail companies require better inventory management, which is essentially based on managing and using information more effectively. Our company helps clients save a lot of money. For example, we worked with a telecommunications company. The backbone of their data were new subscribers. By being able to anticipate subscriptions, the company is able to predict what investments were needed to improve the service. If clients know where and when they will need to spend, they can use that information to leverage better deals with partners by buying everything in bulk instead of over multiple purchases. This is just one of the ways in which data analytics can transform companies.

 

Datateam Consulting is a data analytics consultancy that builds predictive models for companies using machine learning and artificial intelligence. Their goal is to provide the tools and the training that result in self-sustainable data-driven operations

Photo by:   MBP
Jan Hogewoning Jan Hogewoning Journalist and Industry Analyst