Achieving better analytics: the important role of asking questions

04 Oct 2018

The world of analytics and data science is a vibrant and ever changing space.

Beyond the day-to-day business as usual analytics efforts, there are new technologies and techniques (and new applications of known techniques) appearing regularly.

Take artificial intelligence.

With increases in the availability of compute power, machine learning and artificial intelligence are more possible than ever. But should we know how the ‘black box’ determines it’s output? For consumers and regulators, it seems the answer to that questions is “yes”. The recently introduced GDPR regulations across the EU (with equivalent regulations touted to be coming across the globe), and its requirement to be able to explain how a decision was made in layman’s terms, means we do need the ability to see into the black box. Explainable AI is one approach to articulate how AI has come to a final conclusion. A project of DARPA, Explainable AI (XAI) has been addressed by various teams and approaches. One team was led by IAPA Conference opening keynote presenter Dr Brian Ruttenberg.

Dr Ruttenberg will open the conference with an exploration of XAI and the driving forces behind making the black box transparent. His session includes a discussion on the impacts of explanability and interpretability in industry, including autonomous vehicles, healthcare and finance, and how to balance trust in AI-enabled systems. It will be an insightful start to the day.

Exploring new concepts and their impact on business continues through the day. PwC’s Chief Data Scientist, Matt Kuperholz, will delve into exponential technologies like IoT, blockchain and robotics, their future (potential) role in business and how you might harness these technologies in your analytics efforts and for your business. 

Bradley Scott from digital human company, FaceMe, will provide his view on the intersection of big data, AI and digital technologies and how that might transform customer interactions. Are digital humans -powered by algorithms and AI, the customer service humans of the future? Or even companion humans?

Sandra Hogan, Group Head, Customer Analytics, Origin Energy, will talk through her approach to analytics – one where the development of the analytics team and interaction with business is paramount.

As Sandra explained in a recent article, “at the end of the day it is people who make things happen. People are too hung up on the tools and the technology. I spend most of my time on people and process, and particularly people – just selling the story to the business and helping them understand where data and analytics can make a difference, and where it can’t.” Read more of the article

Throughout the day, other speakers will explain how their analytics efforts have opened new doors for the analytics team and the business.

The final session with Rayid Ghani, Director, Center for Data Science and Public Policy, University of Chicago, bring bias into sharp focus including how that bias can impact algorithms and analytics – many times unwittingly as unconscious bias is difficult to identify let alone compensate for.

And if your focus is to hear insights from global and local experts, network with like-minded peers and enjoy being part of one of the most dynamic and interesting sectors, then make sure you’ve marked 18 October in the calendar and booked your (and your team’s) ticket. I'll see you there!