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How Fractal’s Trial Run uses AWS to power AI-based decision-making

How Fractal’s Trial Run uses AWS to power AI-based decision-making

Saturday January 18, 2020,

6 min Read

In the last decade, analytics has been at the forefront of an organisation’s transformation. From marketing to customer experience to augmented analytics to problem solving, Artificial Intelligence (AI), with its varied applications, has been driving effective decision-making for organisations. Founders are now looking for real-time analytics platforms to derive insights and make informed decisions.

Fractal Analytics, co-founded by Srikanth Velamakanni and Pranay Agrawal, is among the prominent players in the Artificial Intelligence space. Fractal’s mission is to use the power of AI to power every human decision in the enterprise to help the world’s most-admired Fortune 100 companies. Their products include to assist radiologists make better diagnostic decisions, to assists CEOs and senior executives make better strategic decisions, to improve investment decisions and to find anomalies in high-velocity data.

Fractal invests significantly in developing new products and platforms and one such solution developed inhouse is Trial Run – a cloud-based product that lets companies conduct business experiments on sites and markets. Trial Run was born out of a growing market need that Fractal noticed from customers, around taking confident data-driven decisions on new initiatives, ideas, concepts and changes at a low risk and low cost. This was required for companies to be innovative and stay ahead of the competition. Fractal saw an opportunity to create an advanced data science product to serve this need.

Providing actionable insights by running experiments in a real-world environment

Trial Run, Fractal’s proprietary solution is a unique cloud-based platform that lets organisations conduct multiple business experiments efficiently and affordably. It was created to reduce the number of uninformed decisions businesses make. By using advanced data science and a powerful synthetic control algorithm to automate the experimentation lifecycle, Trial Run helps organisations on what’s important – making informed decisions based on actionable insights.

Trial Run grew out of nearly two decades of experimentation at Fractal. Akhil Behl, VP, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at Fractal and Shivendu Mishra, VP - Product and Marketing- Trial Run along with their team have been focusing on how Trial Run can enable companies across verticals to test, measure and refine strategies before rollout, helping them make better strategic and operational decisions.

Partnering with AWS to support the Trial Run expansion

As Trial Run continued to expand geographically, the need of the hour was a partner who could ensure scalability and flexibility at the same time. When it comes to cloud service, AWS was on the top of their mind due to several reasons, including the fact that more than 90 percent of Fortune 100 companies and a majority of Fortune 500 companies are AWS partners; AWS is the market leader in the cloud space, and that their services fit into various verticals. Its global presence and availability in multiple regions, computing and storage services as per demands, flexible pricing model which optimises costs, highest security standard, huge customer base across verticals, and constant innovative offerings also made AWS the obvious choice.

“While we have built our solution on open source technologies, deploying on AWS has been a great choice. The wide range of services which AWS offers dovetailed perfectly with demands for an analytics-based platform like Trial Run. Overall, it was a complete package which acted as an enabler to our growth plans,” says Shivendu Mishra, VP - Products and Marketing, Trial Run.

Trial Run uses a range of services like Amazon EC2, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon S3, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, Amazon ElastiCache, AWS Lambda, Amazon Elastic MapReduce for data transformations, Amazon Identity and Access Management, among others.

Continuous support in operations and scaling

AWS helps Trial Run solve some of their critical issues by providing troubleshooting and architectural best practice support.

“AWS assisted us while we were building a secure environment for our application for various clients. They helped us identify the configurations of the Load Balancers, which in turn validated the source of requests as secured or unsecured,” says Akhil Behl, VP – AI and ML.

The biggest advantage is faster go-to-market as they can go live with an enterprise customer within 3-4 weeks. This means they can start realising benefits of Trial Run immediately. Also, auto-scaling ensures that the end-user is not impacted due to performance issues when bigger loads are running. He adds that with AWS in the picture, their development team can now focus on application rather than worry about the underlying infrastructure and dealing with its associated complexities.

It has been three years of live production environment with AWS where Trial Run has been running seamlessly on its infrastructure. There has been zero down-time, ensuring complete business continuity.

Business benefits and acquiring new customers

AWS's multiple services and pricing options helps Trial Run manage their costs and run the business smoothly. Auto scaling ensures that they have the appropriate resources to handle application load. They can also pick and choose services from to suit application requirements. “Services like Amazon RDS and Amazon Redshift helps you run enterprise-grade solutions at one tenth of the cost of on-premises solutions. Having AWS as our partner allows us to strongly focus on writing the code for our core application Trial Run, and how to make it better with each passing day,” says Shivendu.

He adds that with AWS’ global presence across various verticals, onboarding customers becomes easy.

The path ahead for Fractal with AWS

Fractal currently has over 1,500 consultants spread across 15 global locations including the United States, UK, and India. Going forward, they plan to tap into the target geographies and aggressively acquire more customers by leveraging on AWS partner networks. They are currently a Retail Competency partner and their AWS Digital Customer Experience Competency status is under progress. “There is a growing need for companies to be innovative and get empirical validation of their ideas before putting in significant investments. Trial Run will continue to add new customers to its clientele and will work to serve customers better by modernising the product and the underlying technology,” concludes Shivendu.