Analytics VP: AI projects must be built on a good data foundation

Artificial intelligence is coming, but only companies that have laid solid groundwork are going to reap the rewards of this disruptive technology.”It’s like when you see a skyscraper; you’re impressed by the height, but nobody is impressed by the foundation. But make no mistake, it’s important,” said Akshay Tandon, vice president and head of strategy and analytics at LendingTree Inc. “You have to have good data management to take advantage of AI.” LendingTree is investing heavily in customer analytics and AI projects that will enable the financial services company to sharpen its customer interactions. Teams are currently using predictive analytics to better target marketing campaigns and to determine the financial products for which customers might qualify. Algorithms also score the likelihood of a customer accepting an offer. Right now, a lot of the analytics work is being done in a cloud-based tool from DataRobot Inc. Business analysts use it to develop models for their specific areas. Additionally, the company has a team of data scientists using open source tools like R and Python. The data scientists are currently planning AI projects and investigating how such projects could sharpen existing customer-targeting initiatives. It may be a while before those efforts bear…

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