Strategic partnerships key to facing data revolution head-on

Being ready and able to handle the weight of pressure on the business while tackling the daily data avalanche is easier said than done.  In today’s market, businesses face numerous challenges, not least of which is the need to add value, compete successfully and generate profit all the while handling messy data, having to understand the complexity of machine learning and dealing with fragmented business intelligence. Clearly, having an experienced expert will make all the difference.

So claims Fred Senekal, Head of R&D at Learning Machines, a leading consulting firm specialising in machine learning, big data engineering and cloud services.

Senekal says one of the most challenging issues most businesses continue to experience is ‘messy data’.

“Data is often distributed across many systems, it is often siloed, messy and unstructured. Exponential data growth and real-time ingestion are challenging for older systems,” says Senekal.

As if this is not enough, many businesses find themselves in over their head when it comes to data analysis infrastructure and solutions, specifically machine learning.

Learning Machines says emerging technology requires cooperation between data scientists, engineers and developers.

“Tracking and deployment of production level ML code is new to many organisations. That is a big challenge,” Senekal explains.

Another obstacle for businesses as they attempt to grapple with the dynamics of data applications, analysis, next-gen solutions and the like is that of fragmented business intelligence.

Senekal says that solid business intelligence is often lacking in many organisations, or is only reported on a subset of available data, which incapacitates decision makers.

To really benefit from analysis and make the data actionable or have the ability to make sound decisions, a business has to have reliable information and business intelligence, he adds.

In essence, many businesses are nowhere near ready to fully leverage the opportunities and technical advantages that machine learning, AI, analytics and big data offers, according to Learning Machines, primarily because they are having to pay attention to numerous priorities at the same time while having to depend on outdated infrastructure to handle the realities of data management.

“Enterprises often struggle with data governance, security and managing scalable, reliable systems, while having to contend with legacy systems and software. As data generation continues to grow exponentially, organisations often struggle to deliver value, due to the demands on data, technology and people. At Learning Machines, we understand these challenges and how to overcome them. We have implemented solutions for some of the largest organisations in South Africa.”

Learning Machines has embedded its value proposition, services (most notably big data, machine learning and cloud services) and solutions into several vertical markets, including insurance, banking, healthcare, retail, agriculture and manufacturing.

The company invites all businesses to make contact and explore the opportunities that lie in the deployment in next-generation 4IR infrastructure.  As experts will affirm, there is no time like the present to get ahead with digital transformation.


By Fred Senekel

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