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article imageQ&A: A unique look behind Experian DataLabs activities Special

By Tim Sandle     Mar 1, 2021 in Business
Businesses need to see data as 'the new gold', the essential aspect that will enable expansion. To draw meaningful inferences from data, businesses need to embrace data science and supportive technologies.
Each month that passes sees the importance of data for businesses increasing. According to Experian DataLabs data is considered the new gold. What does this mean and how can companies maximize the usefulness of data in order to both 'run the business' and also to 'grow the business'?
To gain an insight, Digital Journal spoke with Christer Dichiara, who is the newly appointed Senior Vice President and General Manager of Experian DataLabs, North America.
Digital Journal: What is the Experian DataLabs?
Christer Dichiara: As the research and development arm of the company, Experian DataLabs is continually addressing the disruptive forces within the market that can benefit from the fusion of raw data and machine learning. As part of this, we help businesses solve strategic marketing and risk-management problems through an advanced data analysis process and research and development. Focusing on innovating new data sources with an emphasis on financial services, telecommunications, and healthcare.
DJ: Congratulations on your recent promotion as head of the North America DataLabs. Can you explain your new role?
Dichiara: In 2010, Experian took an informed chance on data science. Since then, we were able to deliver proven ROI leading to a total of four labs throughout the world. These include Labs in the United States, UK, Brazil and Singapore. We opened the door to world-class scientists – from the most prestigious schools in the nation – who are taking groundbreaking approaches to analytics.
We were able to get the formula right, which put people before technology. As a company, Experian did this by creating a truly inclusive culture in which everyone has a real sense of belonging, knowing they can show up every day and be who they are, professionally and personally. In my role as the general manager of the North America DataLab, I help to lead a multidisciplinary group of data scientists with Ph.D.s and applied research practitioners with expertise in advanced analytics and machine learning, applying cutting-edge data science to real-world business situations.
DJ: Are there any interesting projects that you can share with that the DataLabs are currently working on?
Dichiara:Using breakthrough data experiments to create a better tomorrow for our clients and consumers, we have numerous interesting projects ongoing. Most of our work is R&D and more often than not cloaked in secrecy until brought into market as a product or service. That being said, we most often partner with other Experian Business Units to bring new capabilities to market. One to call out is Experian’s Sure Profile product. Our team built the underlying algorithms for the product/capability to support higher resolution and detection of probable synthetic identity fraud in the Financial Services space. We are excited that this capability can help our clients avoid getting burned by bad actors.
DJ: How does AI play a role in the work?
Dichiara:You might consider AI to be the broad field and ML as the application of AI. ML plays a role in almost all of our work. We use machines, computational horsepower, and algorithms to help us automatically recognize and learn patterns and classifications in the data through supervised and unsupervised learning methods. We are committed to being early adapters of any technology that might improve the power of data for our clients.
DJ: Some people claim data is the new gold. Why is it so valuable?
Dichiara:Philosophically, data is a representation of occurrences over some time duration, whether the data represents truths or non-truths. A collection of occurrences enables better informed decisions by humans and machines. In our line of work for example, drawing a conclusion from a single data point is an opinion at best. Occurrences of data, or rather patterns in data, enables us to help our clients and consumers make confident and informed decisions. Our clients depend on this insight to solve problems and discover new opportunities.
More about experian, Data, data science, digital data
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