parallax background

Plotting The Future of Big Data at Advancing Analytics

NOVEMBER 8, 2017

Data Analytics Insight Marketing
by Vinay Samuel
CEO of Zetaris
Follow me on LinkedIn & Twitter
In mid-October, Zetaris were proud to be the Principal Program Sponsor for Advancing Analytics National Conference. Staged by the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia – the largest analytics community in Australia – the conference offers unparalleled professional, educational and networking opportunities. The event brought together some of the best and brightest in analytics from across the country, covering a variety of industries including finance, social networking, energy, real estate and health & wellness, demonstrating the breadth and the versatility of the discipline.

Taking such a prominent role in the Advancing Analytics 2017 National Conference was of significant interest for Zetaris. IAPA’s extensive network makes them a key industry partner for our organisation, helping us expand our brand awareness and product offering, reaching new clients and new markets. The values, goals and networks shared by Zetaris and IAPA made Advancing Analytics the perfect opportunity for Zetaris to demonstrate the depth of our knowledge and the efficacy of our solutions to key target audiences including potential industry and technological business partners.

Zetaris was recommended to the Advancing Analytics event organisers by Director of Global Analytics and Artificial Intelligence for SEEK and Chair of the IAPA Antony Ugoni. Zetaris’ strong connections with SEEK date back to the beginning of our company, when they became our first customer, leveraging machine learning technology to provide Candidate-to-Advertisement matching capability. We are proud to work closely in this capacity with such a respected and successful organisation.

Currently, Zetaris is strategically focused on growing our local and international partner ecosystem. Advancing Analytics drew some of the most dynamic machine learning, data science and analytics experts and organisations both across Australia and around the world, alongside high-level business and technical attendees, making it an ideal outreach opportunity at this stage of our business growth.

In the hot seat: Extracting the signal from the noise
Zetaris was well-represented at the day, with VP of Sales and Operations James McCarthy offering a brief introductory speech in the morning and participating in an afternoon discussion panel, while Zetaris customer Westpac shared their journey in a customer Q&A.

The customer Q&A proved particularly enlightening. Led by Antony Ugoni, Westpac’s Head of Fintech and Data Analysis Scott Miller explained how Zetaris’ data analytics solutions have helped them overcome product innovation challenges. Scott explained the journey that Westpac – and Westpac’s customers – took to where they are now, as they mutually explored the opportunities, challenges and risks that big data analytics provided.
In response to a question about overcoming suspicions of new technology in the conservative and careful Australian financial services industry, Scott expounded on how Westpac reassured their customers of the value that big data offered and the safety that could be baked into it. A particularly insightful moment came towards the end of the Q&A, when Antony asked Scott what could go wrong when Westpac introduced big data analytics.
“We had a couple of different reactions, some customers were very much in their infancy around using data and data analytics, some had to get their own house in order and some thought it was almost witchcraft in terms of the insights we could gain.

“It was about getting them comfortable and not committing too much to what we could do, and proving ourselves out and creating beachheads with customers, building their confidence and moving onto something bigger.

“A lot of the issues we had to manage and a lot of the things we had to overcome were things around data privacy – that’s paramount at Westpac, that’s just non-negotiable. We obviously worked very closely with our legal and risk teams, we even went outside and got extra legal counsel around what we can and can’t do. That then gave our customers comfort around what we provided and the insights we were providing.”

Scott Miller

Scott said that one of the key risks was scope-creep. The insights that the service offers can be so persuasive that the client will be hungry for more, leading them to dig deeper into the information and put strain on their relationship with Westpac. There’s no easy answer for that one other than being clear about the rules around engagement with the data, making sure the client thoroughly understands what’s included – and more importantly what’s not included – as part of the service.

Discussion panel: The value of data
Zetaris was represented by James McCarthy on an afternoon discussion panel, alongside leading experts from the Crime Statistics Agency and business intelligence software vendor Yellowfin.

One of the more exciting questions asked was how companies as diverse as Zetaris, Yellowfin and the Crime Statistics Agency could show value to customers beyond data monetisation. One possible solution that was broached was in its ability to contribute towards broader product development and the business’ broader goals, which James expounded on with reference to our work with Westpac:
"It is really exciting time because we’re discovering how many different ways in which that data can be prepared and the myriad data assets that can be produced.

They’d frequently be asking ‘well, we have some data sets here, what is that worth?’ – is that just as data, or in terms of the value that can be derived from these data sets.

And that can be a challenge for a lot of our customers who wonder ‘what should I pay for this, and what should I sell this for?"

James McCarthy

Valuable questions such as how to show the value of data to people outside analytics were explored, with James talking about his work with a client who processes insurance claims. Zetaris helped them move from manually inputting everything into spreadsheets to integrating their data into a sleek, easy to navigate dashboard that allows them to review claims faster than ever before. The value comes in helping them move beyond those manual processes that slow down their core business activities.

Zetaris had ample opportunity to connect with like-minded and similarly passionate individuals and organisations, learning much that we can apply in our own service delivery from some of the discipline’s leading lights. Overall, Zetaris found the event to be a successful one and we look forward to contributing to future IAPA conferences in the future.

Read more about how Zetaris has helped Westpac's big data innovation