Jonne Heikkinen, Manager of Data Science at Solita. Photo: Petri Mast
One no longer needs to do massive investments in servers and machines to be able to store vast amounts of data and create new solutions. Solita and its partners help companies realize their IoT and AI dreams.
What would a data platform of dreams be like? It would utilize artificial intelligence in data processing, be specially designed to meet the needs of customers and enable developing truly unified and personalized customer experiences across all channels – at least from digital business consultancy and digital service company Solita’s and telecommunications operator DNA´s point of view. The Finnish companies’ newly launched Data Platform of Dreams is also in the running to become the best Grand One 2017 digital media work in the usage of data category.
“DNA´s area of business is extremely data intensive. Various channels are generating customer data from actual storefront and web page visits to the usage history of mobile phones. What makes our solution so fantastic, is that it combines data cross-cuttingly over different customer touch points and enables accurate predictions about customer’s needs. The results are unique both in a Finnish scale but also in a Nordic scale,” explains Jonne Heikkinen, Manager of Data Science at Solita.
In addition to improved customer experience, DNA´s data analytics platform provides tools for better business management and marketing. DNA has now automatized 80 % of its tactical marketing operations and operational marketing can be done up to 300 times faster than before. The results of marketing activities have more than tripled and artificial intelligence is estimated to have brought 200 % sales growth.
Solita works with leading companies and public sector organizations, providing services from strategies and service design to digital service development and eCommerce, analytics, business intelligence, IoT, integrations, cloud services and continuous development.
“There are certainly interesting things happening in the field of AI at the moment, from chatbots to self-driving cars. However, it is still important to note that the artificial intelligence these days is weak. Artificial intelligence does not possess human-like skills, but rather is engineered against a use case,” Heikkinen explains.
The main reasons why utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning have risen from the research labs are open-source tools, cloud services and advances in deep learning. “Data will have an even bigger role in the future and decisions will be done more and more with the help of advanced analytics in every area of business. The gap between big technology enterprises and smaller players is now significantly smaller than what it used to be. The things they do become mainstream faster and faster,” Heikkinen says.
Also, the dreams about the revolutionary Internet of Things are in the running of becoming tangible and real. A recent example is Solita’s cooperation with Haltian, a Finnish company providing IoT devices and platforms. The mission of the collaboration is to offer customers a unified whole consisting of combining measurement devices, sensors, and an IoT platform with software, data analytics, and cloud services.
“The technologies and devices are now ready, and service providers have gained experience in making effective use of existing technologies and the business opportunities they provide,” says Janne Siltari, Head of IoT at Solita.With Haltian’s agile multipurpose sensors, it is possible to measure, for instance, temperature, air pressure and humidity, vibrations, and illuminance. Solita’s solution, for its part, collects and analyses data into a form that facilitates decision-making and development of new business operations.
“Through cooperation with Haltian, we want to make the building of solutions for our customers easier than ever,” Siltari adds.
Solita urges businesses of all ranges and areas to start experimenting with artificial intelligence and IoT as early as they can. “The sooner you start, the quicker you will learn how to leverage machine learning, artificial intelligence and IoT in your business,” Heikkinen states.
Forrester Research Group estimates that by 2025 about 16% of the workforce of U.S. will be replaced by artificial intelligence, which is somewhat of a sign that artificial intelligence is probably going to have an impact on various businesses in the near future. “One of the most interesting projects in the Finnish public sector is the digitalization of the public services across Ministries,” Heikkinen says.
However, applying artificial intelligence is not concerning only the tasks where humans are incapable of reaching the same processing speed as machines. There are also number of complex concepts that man is unable to efficiently perceive that can be replaced with new technology.
“As an example, Google dropped the data center energy consumption by 15% by controlling the consumption intelligently from 120 different factors such as fans, pumps and windows – which is impressive when the reference was built by world-class engineers,” Heikkinen adds.
Text: Pauliina Toivanen