“My biggest guidance is without a customer, you don’t have a company. I think one of the traps that I’ve been in– a lot of my failures in my startups — has been focusing on the technology and not the problem [for the client].”
Biarri is an Australian owned and operated company that uses commercial mathematics to build custom software solutions that empower businesses to make better decisions. The unique solutions Biarri provides combine mathematical engines with modern, cloud-based web applications to help unleash a businesses’ full potential.
In this episode of Velocitize Talks, we sit down with Evan Shellshear, head of analytics at Biarri, to talk about the power of mathematics, the myths surrounding big data, and optimizing artificial intelligence.
Mathematics in the Marketplace (0:30)
“We are taking that complicated 10,000 years of the deep edifice of human exploration and knowledge and revealing it through web interfaces and digital tools online.”
Marketing has evolved drastically from its humble beginnings. Companies no longer make decisions solely based on intuition and generic principles. Today, data is king, and Biarri believes in using mathematics to extrapolate meaning out of numbers.
Less is More (3:03)
“You can collect as much bad data as you want, but if it is not of a decent quality you are going to be challenged to get anything out of it whatsoever.”
One of the biggest myths surrounding data is that more is better. That could not be further from the truth, according to Shellshear. In the case of data, companies should look for quality over quantity.
The Reality of Artifical Intelligence (3:35)
“I think a lot of people underestimate the effort involved to apply and utilize AI. People think it is a magic switch you can just turn on.”
Many different sectors are integrating artificial intelligence into their workflow, but it’s not as simple as it sounds. The effectiveness of artificial intelligence directly depends on the quality of a company’s data. If a data scientist can’t make sense of information, how will the code they build be able to?
Preventing Biases (8:48)
“What we are finding is bias is not necessarily in the algorithm itself. There is nothing about a neural network that is biased, but it’s the data sets that create that bias.”
Pristine code even falls victim to biases. At the end of the day, if the data collected has a bias, the output from the code will reflect that abnormal leaning. Knowing this, it’s on companies to think preemptively and negate those effects.
Always Create Value (10:17)
“Don’t forget you have to be solving someone’s problem and creating value.”
With three entrepreneurial endeavors under his belt, Shellshear knows a thing or two about starting a business. While creating for creating’s sake has its merits, at the end of the day, a successful company solves a customer’s problem and creates value. A business withers without a demand for its products.
What’s Next? (12:50)
“AI is just one part of a bigger picture. What we are seeing in AI is a part of a holistic solution and it’s only one part of that.”
Right now, AI helps predict. Its predictions can help businesses forecast and complete thorough “what-ifs” like never before, but it can’t tell you how to make the best next move. Could that be on the horizon? Maybe Biarri is already there.
Check out Biarri’s website and follow Evan Shellshear on Twitter at @eshellshear.
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