Dun & Bradstreet is transforming its own internal AI and analytics operations, even as it helps customers with their analytics and machine learning transformations.

SwissCognitiveHow does your organization compare to its peers in terms of artificial intelligence implementations today? Do you feel as if you are behind? Rest assured, even if you don’t have a program in place today, you are in good company.

If you are looking for a clear picture of where enterprise organizations are in terms of artificial intelligence implementation today, you’re going to get a very mixed picture. Some organizations may be very advanced. Others may be struggling to get control over their data management and governance efforts. And, there’s a range of companies that fall in between those two extremes.

Nipa Basu , Chief Analytics Officer at Dun & Bradstreet, has an insider view to what companies are doing with their analytics operations. She leads the AI transformation at Dun & Bradstreet, and she also works with many of Dun & Bradstreet’s customers, large and small, in different vertical industries. She shared some of her perspective at the recent H2O World 2018 conference in New York, and she also spoke with InformationWeek in an interview.

AI reality check: One size does not fit all

One of the important lessons for organizations that are getting started with AI is that one size does not fit all. Basu told InformationWeek that companies need to focus their AI efforts on the elements of the business that are core to what they do.

For instance, Dun & Bradstreet’s core mission includes performing advanced analytics better than anyone else does. Basu said that her team of mathematicians, econometricians, statisticians, and data scientists are focused on the analytics and not on building a software or platform for AI. Her team doesn’t have data engineers.

But the system that her team uses can’t just be a platform that lets you click a button and get the answer, because then her customers would be able to do the same thing. Providing advanced analytics insights is core to Dun & Bradstreet’s value proposition.

Similarly, Basu said, another presenter at the H2O conference was a large accounting firm. That firm does not provide analytics services to other organizations as its core mission. But it does apply advanced analytics technologies to the things that are its core mission. Determining financial risk versus value was a core part of that firm’s mission, for instance, so that’s where that firm should focus its machine learning and artificial intelligence efforts.  […]

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