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Beating the algorithms in the era of big data

Why your company needs a Chief Algorithm Officer

Christophe Thibault
big data
© Shutterstock / LANTERIA

Is your company’s algorithm completely optimized? It’s more important than ever to remain on top of the equations that keep the internet running. In this article, Christophe Thibault explains how enterprises should invest in big data algorithm officers for both product development and commercial strategies.

With artificial intelligence expected to create 2.3 million jobs by 2020, it’s vital that both new and existing revenue models rightly recognize AI as an essential component of strategy; necessitating vision and executive leadership.

For technologists, big data has become the key informer when it comes to product development and commercial strategy. The potential for this is underpinned by complex algorithms, governed by equally complex rules, which all need to be managed effectively to ensure the quality of data. In order to be faster and more effective than your rivals, algorithms are driving the race to provide the most compelling, innovative technological offerings possible.

By appointing a Chief Algorithm Officer (CAO), businesses are able to tap into this world of big data analytics, uncovering data-driven insights for a host of enterprise-wide decision-making processes around customers, products and services. Furthermore, the CAO will lead the development of AI and machine learning algorithms, ensuring they are the best fit for the data available to the company – both technologically or commercially. By consolidating these two responsibilities, the CAO’s goal is to ensure that the business has a solid data infrastructure, a complementary set of data technologies and analytic tools, and the right human resources to collectively tackle the business analytics challenges.

A good CAO will also work closely with the Chief Data Officer (CDO) in order to improve the quality and quantity of the data their algorithms manage. However, as good as a CAO and the algorithms that they are using can be, if the data they input is “trash”, then the output they get will be “trash” as well. This is why having complete, accurate first party data is vital.

As a partner to the CDO, the CAO will soon become commonplace across the whole technology sector. Here’s how analyzing big data could help differentiate your business from key competitors:

SEE ALSO: Understanding the relationship between IoT and Big Data

Improves overall performance

The overall performance of a company can be significantly improved through analyzing data to tailor customer experience; from predicting delivery times, testing customer preferences and analyzing repeat customer behavior, to tailoring your strategy to suit users’ needs. The key here is tapping into consumer behavior and to then respond effectively.

A CAO differentiates your business by allowing you to focus on customer loyalty and engagement through providing better customer experiences. It is vital to ensure that you are using your data to improve performance in the most efficient way possible, and if you fail to do this, you risk losing your competitive advantage. Consumers can and will go to competitors who offer a similar service and who are using data to personalize and improve services.

Informs product development

The CAO alters data to change algorithms and ensure that it is more targeted. And the more tailored the experience, the more customers expect. The CAO will lead the development of AI and machine learning algorithms, ensuring they are the best fit for the data available to the company. If, for example, specific data reveals that users prefer a dating app that filters on common hobbies, you can ensure that you tailor your product to this. Facebook is currently using dogfooding to test out their new dating platform and will use the data to ensure that it is giving customers exactly what they want.

A CAO differentiates your business here through guiding your research and development to create the best product possible for consumers. Your business can make great returns simply by ensuring that the you are giving customers exactly what they want.

SEE ALSO: What role will Java play in the future of Big Data and IoT?

Ever changing customer needs

With tailored systems, customer needs become more demanding and as such, systems have to adapt to keep up. A simple shopping trip has now become an opportunity to receive recommendations based on your specific build and style. This means that businesses need to test their data, tweak algorithms and make sure that they are constantly adapting their technologies. This results in both greater security needs and safety threats, and data officers need to ensure that their companies algorithms aren’t contributing to these. This is where A/B testing comes in and keeps you one step ahead of customers. You can test several strategies, gather data, and tweak algorithms for whichever works best. This differentiates your business, ensuring that yours is a brand that can keep up with changing consumer needs – especially in the fast changing world of technology.

A CAO can help to differentiate your business from competitors in the age of big data. They ensure that overall performance and customer experience is optimal, increasing brand loyalty and customer engagement.

beat the heat

Author

Christophe Thibault

Christophe Thibault is Chief Algorithms Officer at Ogury.