CNME Editor-in-Chief Mark Forker managed to secure exclusive interviews with Dataiku CEO Florian Douetteau and his counterpart Gregory Herbert, SVP and Managing Director, EMEA of the artificial intelligence company to learn more about their mission to “democratize” data.
Dataiku has established itself as the world’s leading everyday AI platform since its inception in 2013.
The artificial intelligence and machine learning company said it was about “democratizing”.
Essentially, this means in a nutshell that the company is committed to empowering everyone within an organization to tap into, understand, and use the data at their disposal.
Dataiku says its platform provides “accessibility” to data for everyone within an organization, it’s no longer an exclusive club for data scientists and analysts.
I started the conversation with Dataiku’s Gregory Herbert, on-site at their Everyday AI conference in Tobacco Dock, London, by asking him what barriers stand between truly democratizing data at scale.
According to Herbert, the veil surrounding accessibility has been lifted in many cases, however, establishing use cases is key to enabling greater democratization within enterprises.
“As we engage and speak with our customers, it has now become quite clear that the barrier around data accessibility for people within organizations has been removed. Data is still governed and secure, but most of our customers have invested heavily in the infrastructure to make this data available, however, the challenge now is to identify, document and map the issues that employees face on a daily basis into a full-fledged use case that can be augmented with data,” Herbert said.
Herbert acknowledged that levels of data literacy within companies are naturally very varied and asserted that many employees will need to be coached.
He highlighted the key role played by “data translators” in bridging this data literacy gap.
“There will be individuals within the company who have the skills to know how to accelerate and infuse their business with more data – but the rest of the employees will need to be coached. We are now talking to many customers who are building teams called “data translators” or data ambassadors. They sit within the organization to match the difficulties and challenges of the business with what is possible with the data. To be frank, it is building the right operating model within the organization It’s critical to move away from a very centralized organization when you have a data scientist building the models that everyone can consume,” Herbert said.
The conference Dataiku hosted at London’s Tobacco Dock was called “AI Everyday”, but that’s a pretty broad concept and might be considered by some to be quite vague.
“AI Everyday” is a concept and mission statement driven by Dataiku, but what does AI Everyday really mean?
“AI is the ability for everyone to use data to make better decisions or to automate business processes. Once you deliver datasets that are secure and governed again, people will use analytics to make better decisions in real time.It is important to point out that many companies still rely on their own judgment and experience to make decisions, but this is not conducive to running a successful business in the new digital economy,” said Herbert.
He added that once companies better understand how to use data, any skepticism towards AI is diminished and replaced by trust.
“Once this trust is established with data and algorithm, you will see a real acceleration in terms of the complete transformation of day-to-day business operations. Companies will start delegating repetitive tasks to AI, which in turn will empower people. workers, and that’s what I mean when I say business process automation. It’s everyday AI. It’s basically giving data to everyone and empowering them. opportunity to harness the power of data to make better decisions,” said Herbert.
Herbert also highlighted the challenge that still exists when it comes to unstructured data – and highlighted how Dataiku’s platform allows companies to centralize all their data, which inevitably makes it easier for employees to access.
“Dataiku offers businesses the ability to be a central hub, which is essentially a layer that comes on top of any data infrastructure. However, the fact remains that in many organizations data is still unstructured, find in different systems and are very siled. However, a tool like Dataiku helps to centralize everything, and it allows companies to think more about the models they want to build. Dataiku also provides tutorials on highly configured algorithms to help people to start building the data models that will help them make better business decisions,” said Herbert.
CNME was then allowed to speak to Dataiku founder and CEO Florian Douetteau.
Their Everyday AI conference coincided with the announcement of new updates to their Dataiku 11 platform.
Asked about new features being added to their platform, Douetteau said he wants Dataiku to be the platform where users can do anything data-related, but most importantly operate in a space traditionally occupied by data scientists. .
“We have continued to add new features to the platform in a visual way to enable our users to do more with their data. We are in the business of empowerment. Some of the new features that have been incorporated are based on computer vision and business truths, which allows business users to actually put data to work without seeking advice or support from data scientists,” said Doutteau.
The CEO of Dataiku also pointed out that although their platform is all about accessibility, he pointed out that they have always been mindful of the fact that they want data scientists to be able to leverage the power of the platform and are not excluded from the trip.
“As a company, we have always been very careful in our efforts to ensure that data scientists can still use Dataiku as their data platform. We have integrated more and more open source technologies, which allows really data scientists to leverage our platform as a data platform a way to focus on what they do best, like getting into technical projects or building reusable components and supporting the whole activity as data scientists should,” said Douetteau.
Douetteau also talked about the new capabilities being added to the platform in terms of governance, which he said fosters an environment that ensures responsible use of AI.
“We’ve added new capabilities around governance, and there’s been a lot of writing about responsible AI. It’s not just about creating more AI, it’s about creating AI that is scalable and empowers users to understand AI performance, AI bias – and ultimately who is responsible. of AI. The features we’ve added to governance allow users to keep track of your projects and models with tracking and signing features,” said Douetteau.
Another key piece of Dataiku’s armor is their partnership with Snowflake.
Again, collaboration is geared toward accessibility through centralization of data.
“Our partnership with Snowflake is a very important collaboration for us. They have evolved over the years and engaged with us in terms of the integrations we have brought to the platform. This allows our customers to push more and more computations to Snowflake, and it has only improved their machine learning capabilities. We are seeing more and more traction of our platform alongside data warehouses, as we believe data warehouses are de facto replacing existing on-premises data warehousing, reducing costs and increasing the amount of information available,” Douetteau said.
He concluded a great interview by saying that it was now realistic and not too ambitious that every organization could access most of their data.
“In my opinion, we now live in a special time when it is possible for every organization to have 80-90% of their data accessible and centralized – and the partnership between Snowflake is finally fueling this movement that is creating so much accessibility,” concluded Douetteau.