Architech’s Jan Scholz: ‘AI Empowers a Business to Think and Act Differently’

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Architech’s Jan Scholz: ‘AI Empowers a Business to Think and Act Differently’

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Architech’s senior Data Scientist, Jan Scholz recently did an interview with AI Business to tell us about how their company sees the development of AI, and where and why it is appliccable for businesses. Architech is an integrated strategy, design, and development firm that helps clients get their projects to market 87% faster. Architech combines cognitive technologies, human-centred design, and world-class engineering to create innovative business solutions for some of Canada’s most recognisable brands.

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Jan Scholz is a senior data scientist at Architech who leads a team of data scientists and developers that research, develop, and implement machine learning and deep learning into client solutions. He focuses on solutions that generate meaningful insights and empower a business and its employees to make better data-driven decisions and the creation of new business models. Jan received a PhD from the University of Oxford where he studied the brain using sophisticated imaging techniques and machine learning.

What made Architech decide to become a business powered by artificial intelligence?

“For years, companies have been capturing and storing data without leveraging it to help drive business decisions – it has been stored, but rather useless”, Scholz says.

“With the emergence of AI, and specifically business intelligence using Cognitive Analytics, we are able to see patterns in the data that help highlight new streams of products and services that businesses can implement, or even better, understand their own customers and what drives purchasing and/or business decisions”, Scholz explains.

“We work with our clients to unlock the data and provide useful business insights that can help transform their business”.

Architech has various use cases for their products and solutions, and we were keen to know what Scholz would deem as key enterprise solutions for their company? 

“Last spring we were engaged by a leading financial institution to help minimise loan risk”, he says. “Our objective was to accurately determine which individuals applying for loans would default, and to predict the particular dollar value of each default”.

Architech then built a random forest model to analyse over 100,000 records with 800 undisclosed variables per record, which enabled them to reveal that only 6 of the 800 variables were significant in determining whether someone would default on their loan.

“Overall, our algorithm is able to predict with 99.1% accuracy. Models like these are able to help financial institutions dictate the specifics of a loan, such as the particular interest rate, the term of the loan, the value in arbitraging the loan to a third party, and inputting it into a FI’s credit risk model”, Scholz explains.

What is your enterprise strategy for Architech in the short and long-term? Are there any particular industry verticals you are focusing on for your solutions going forward, or any particular applications on the horizon?

Sholz says that they are certain that AI and Cognitive Analytics will become increasingly important for the solutions they build for their clients.

“We see a trend across industries that focuses on using data to make a positive impact on their business”, Scholz says, saying that the business needs typically fall into:

  • Customer segmentation: is the customer base split into distinct groups that can be approached differently?
  • Customer churn: what distinguishes the customers who stay and spend from those that leave?
  • Recommendation/personalization: what offers increase conversion?
  • Detection fraud/network intrusion: what indicates malicious behaviour?
  • Sentiment analysis: are customers happy with the product/company?
  • Prediction/forecasting: what will the customer buy or view next?

“AI and Cognitive Analytics have the awesome capacity to empower a business to think and act differently, based on the insights learned from the data collected”.

In terms of implementing your products and solutions in the enterprise, have you come across any challenges? 

“Many companies have invested quite heavily in on-premise data centres, so it can be difficult for them to move to the cloud”, Scholz explains.

Scholz explains that often the cloud is only viewed as a way to reduce the costs associated with hardware and software management. However, the real value of moving to the Cloud lies in the fact that it makes the data that a company gathers naturally available to intelligent applications.

“Further, the often substantial processing requirements by intelligent applications can easily be scaled across multiple machines, such that results can be obtained when needed”, Scholz says.

As we are approaching a new year, what new products and solutions can we expect from Architech in the immediate future?

We are continually looking to help our clients innovate quickly and stay up-to-date with development and new immerging technologies, Scholz says. “As a custom solutions provider, we create solutions that make a real difference to our clients’ businesses”.

“We see a future where AI and Cognitive Analytics can support how businesses interact with their customers, and can also be leveraged to support the overall internal business process”.

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