Introduce your business and what you do there.
We’re a multi-lateral bank. Our primary function is to lend money to governments to implement projects both on social and infrastructure projects. I’m responsible for a group who manages innovation and supports the VP sectors within the institution.
OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE
What challenges were you trying to address with ThirdEye Data?
We invest in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning and had an internal project that required us to analyze and find experts within the institution. We were using AI to search the information based on the curriculum of the employees, the type of work they had done in the past, and papers that have been published in order to identify specific skill sets that we need for some project engagements.
What was the scope of their involvement?
A lot of our staff implement projects in their regions, meaning there’s a lot of documentation regarding what they’ve done as well as information on our website. One of the challenges, when we were looking to start a new project, was to find people that have done a project like this in the past. ThirdEye searched and crawled those different project completion reports to find that information, using IBM technology. They used the Watson technology and Web Explorer, for instance, for the search capability.
They crawled this information and apply some of the methodologies, ontologies, metadata, and natural language to understand what the documents were all about. All those components gave us a rating in terms of the team leads and its ability to successfully commit the projects.
They then created a frontend application that allows to search for people using natural language. You can identify someone who has worked in a specific country, in a specific sector, with X amount of years’ experience. It identifies very specific things, which is where the natural language, the machine learning, and the AI came into place.
What is the team composition?
They had a team of five. There’s a data architect, the project manager, and people that were specialized in machine learning and data modeling.
How did you come to work with ThirdEye Data?
We found them through IBM as we use a lot of IBM technology here at the bank. ThirdEye also partners directly with them.
How much have you invested with them?
What is the status of this engagement?
We worked together from October 2015 until January 2016.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
Before we actually implemented or acquired the tools that are required, we decided to do a proof of concept with them to test the technology. That was very successful because we were really able to see the results.
They had to do some Python coding as well as use IBM technologies, in order to complement the solution. That was an element of surprise and a good learning experience. We knew that the technology wasn’t fully ready to do what we wanted it to do, but they found a solution by incorporating some extra code.
As a result of that, we’re scaling up now with more funding for the project. We have been approved for this year to scale up. We’re going to incorporate additional sources of information to have more robust and better results in terms of how to identify some talents, specialists, and expertise within the institution.
How did ThirdEye Data perform from a project management standpoint?
They provided us with a full technical architecture to show all the components and how they would interconnect or interact. We had weekly check-ins to review the progress and adjusting some things.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They have the ability to come up with additional solutions. They’re not just focused on one technology stack, but are very well versed in other technologies. They were very familiar with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Cloud, and IBM Cloud. They had the expertise and developers that could jump in with Python and Java.
Are there any areas they could improve?
It’d be helpful if they had somebody local to us. However, the fact they weren’t did not impact the project. The cost of travel increases the cost, but other than that, they did a fabulous job.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
It’s important to have a very experienced project manager as that made a lot of difference. We engaged directly with the owner of the company and he was very interested because of the type of institution that we are. I’m not saying we wouldn’t have had the same success had he not been involved, but he was very experienced and knew the different types of technology. If you could engage him in any project, that will be helpful.