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Take decisions for your company by using AI to go after data that's not obvious: Fractal Analytics' Sameer Dhanrajani

Sindhu Kashyap
9th Feb 2019
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At YourStory's second edition of Future of Work, Sameer Dhanrajani, Chief Strategic Officer of Fractal Analytics, made a compelling case for AI-driven decision making in the algorithm economy.

A noted name in the analytics and data science world, Sameer Dhanrajani, Chief Strategic Officer, Fractal Analytics, is known to have built and scaled Cognizant’s analytics and data sciences businesses, making it one of the frontrunners in the industry.

Sameer Dhanrajani, Fractal Analytics, Future of Work
Sameer Dhanrajani, Chief Strategy Officer, Fractal Analytics at YourStory's Future of Work event.

He took centre stage at YourStory’s second edition of ‘Future of Work’, at Bengaluru’s MLR convention centre, on Saturday. His talk revolved around how artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to transform how data can be analysed and business decisions can be taken. 

“On an average, human beings take 64 decisions in a minute, and several of these are driven by gut, intuition, friends and spouses. If these decisions are being taken by algorithms, it will change how we interact and make decisions,” Sameer said. 

Last February, his book AI and Analytics: Accelerating Business Decisions was rolled out within 60 days. It was a culmination of his blog series focussed on demystifying analytics and AI. Like his book, Sameer's talk brought his experience at Fractal Analytics to provide a comprehensive overview of the algorithm economy, and its potential in changing enterprises.  


ALSO READ: Of funding, acquisitions and growth - how 16-year-old Fractal Analytics became the big-data powerhouse of the world


Data-rich but information-poor

Sameer began his talk citing the example of Makoto Koike, an engineering graduate, whose parents are cucumber farmers in Japan looking to increase the yield. Makoto took 5,000 pics of the farm, built an algorithm that could look at different permutation and combinations, and came up with a solution to help yield. The first attempt hit a 72-percent rate; at third iteration the yield blossomed by 89 percent, increasing by close to 400 times. 

Sameer explained, 

“We are data-rich but information-poor. AI plays a strong role here. It is the engine today. It compels organisations to take AI-driven decisions. Democratisation of analytics and data as a service will lead to the creation of new marketplaces to buy and sell advanced analytics algorithms; the virtual algorithm taking decisions based on heuristic data. AI will eventually start mimicking the human mind. The error rate is already drastically reducing.”

Augment intelligence 

Sameer believes the idea is to go beyond sources of data that are not obvious. If there is an earnings report a CEO is announcing, AI can look at and map different data points like voice modulations and facial expressions - live, video, text and voice can be aided with AI.

A good example would be the Super Bowl in the US when companies spend millions of dollars on brand positioning by understanding their visibility by reading live videos.

Never send a human to do a machine's job

“AI is about the rebalancing of positions of humans and machines. Human beings can be more productive,” said Sameer. In the US, over 7,000 deaths were reported due to wrongful prescription of drugs, costing $14 billion in lawsuits. A company built a robotic arm that analyses the prescription and picks the medicines in three minutes. The pharmacist can, instead, focus on other aspects of her job. 


ALSO READ: Tech is a tool, not a master: Udaan Co-founder Amod Malviya on what differentiates great engineers from code monkeys


A big shout out to Future of Work 2019 sponsors – Deployment partner Harness.io, Super partner GO-JEK, our Women-in-Tech partner ThoughtWorks, Voice Tech partner Slang Labs, Technology partner Techl33t, AI/ML partner Agara Labs, API Partner Postman and Blockchain partner Koinex.


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