Thought Leadership July 9th 2019

Paying more than lip service to big data

Today, artificial intelligence and big data are on everyone’s lips. However, the proportion of companies that truly use the advantages & insights big data can confer to inform their strategic planning is still relatively small.

Most pay mere lip service to the trend by buying the relevant software and equipment but then failing to interpret & correctly analyze the resulting data. Ekimetric was founded in 2006 in Paris by 4 university friends, set up with the aim of bringing big data to the front office. The ambition? To gather information that could be used as the basis for effective market strategies.

One goal for Ekimetrics: to empower the business world with Data Science! Its philosophy states that it is not companies that must adapt to data structures but, on the contrary, data that must fit the companies. Thus, data is a tool, a mean, and not a master. “All data is, of course, open to interpretation,” says Jean-Baptiste Bouzige, CEO & Co-Founder. “It is how we interpret the data that ultimately leads to success by helping us make the right decisions.” The decision to found Ekimetrics has also been proved right. Since 2006, the Data Science consultancy has grown rapidly: “today, we have 200 employees and we are planning to take on another 100 people in 2019,”  says Mr. Bouzige. “All of our employees are trained data scientists. They are the heart of the company, and we animate them to participate in frequent training seminars to keep their skills and knowledge up to date.”

Ekimetrics has grown its workforce, but has also expanded internationally with 4 worldwide offices: in London, Hong Kong, New York, and Dubai. “We are entirely self-financed. Our business model is still quite unique in the market and that gives us a significant lead.”

« As a knowledge company, the most important aspect of our work is combining Data Science with business strategy. »

Ekimetrics’ core activity is Data Science consultancy. Indeed, it uses data to advise companies in a range of key strategic areas. “Our customers are heavily investing in new technologies. However, this is only an asset if it is implemented correctly. That is when we come into action. We can develop the appropriate algorithms to correctly analyze the data & draw actionable conclusions. Nevertheless, this is rarely a linear process in which 2 & 2 always add up to 4. There are different factors at play, each of which has a distinct influence on the outcome. We can design our algorithm in such a way that these influences are factored into the final result.” For instance, price elasticity. The results of the analysis can be used to help customers answer questions such as which promotional activities to use, how to optimize distribution or which advertising channels to select. “We also monitor the impact of these decisions. Thus, we can then measure the effectiveness of the intervention & the ROI. By analyzing the data, we can see what works and what doesn’t, and change our approach accordingly.”

The insights gleaned through Ekimetrics data evaluation can even lead to fundamental changes to the client’s business model if these are indicated. “As a knowledge company, the most important aspect of our work is combining Data Science with business strategy. Most importantly, we then empower the companies we work with to use the technologies they have invested in properly & effectively.” Ekimetrics’ successful approach has won it numerous prestigious clients, with international players such as AXA, L'Oréal, Shell, McDonald’s, PSA, and Estee Lauder.

“When we started we were pioneers in the market. Today, there is much more competition, but no one that offers such a comprehensive portfolio. Our difference? A comprehensive approach of performance.” This year Ekimetrics will launch its first proprietary software product, marking a major step forwards in its development. The new job positions it is creating will also help it tackle even more ambitious projects. “We also want to be involved in major data transformation projects. These are projects worth several million USD and where our Data Science expertise can be a key accelerator for our customers’ businesses. That is our target for the coming years.”



Article published by the European Business, also available following this linkFor more information:

Thought Leadership June 19th 2019

How to combine business approaches, advanced statistics, and technology?

It is sometimes difficult to create a link between highly sophisticated statistical approaches and business reality. The transformation of data into value is an art that needs to combine three different pillars: business understanding, advanced statistics and technology. This triangular approach needs to be adopted by all machine learning projects.