This week, the Conservative party conference is being held in Peak’s home city of Manchester, UK. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the topic that is dominating proceedings, visitors to the city aren’t only those attending the conference, but those protesting it. That topic is, of course, Brexit, which split opinion almost exactly in half last year and about which there are still impassioned arguments for and against being made.
Today, the media is awash with stories about how artificial intelligence (AI) and robots might make us all redundant in the future. If you're a taxi driver, for example, the emergence of driverless vehicles must be daunting. But having been a passenger in a driverless car recently, I can confidently say that, given the option of being driven by a human or a computer, I’ll always choose human. And not just for the 'witty' banter with the driver.
London, 11 September 2017 – Data analytics company Peak has secured £2.5m in Series A funding in a round led by London-based Venture Capital firm, MMC Ventures. Peak’s data analytics-as-a-service model helps companies of all sizes use data, machine learning and AI technologies to drive growth.
The best bit about knowing when you’re going to make a sale is when it actually happens and you’re fully prepared to bathe in the glory. Sadly, as humans, we’re pretty terrible at judging this. In its 2016 sales enablement optimisation report, CSO Insights put win-rates for forecasted sales at less than half (46.2% to be precise). Alarmingly, that’s actually eight percentage points less than a year earlier. At that rate, no businesses will be closing any forecasted sales within six years!
For those of us who can’t see into the future – so seven billion of us or so – making predictions has traditionally relied upon experience, judgement and instinct. Humans are geared up to do a lot of things adequately, constantly processing information to make day-to-day decisions like managing finances, interacting with other's and navigating the complexities of modern life. Of course, we often fail at tasks like these on a regular basis. Some tasks are beyond the capabilities of even the brightest individual. Highly specialised tasks, like crunching data, are best left to systems that are specifically designed for that purpose.
Some words and phrases at work make people’s eyes glaze over. “Presentation,” for example, and “expenses form,” amongst other things!
“Analytics” is in danger of becoming one of those phrases. When it comes to predictive analytics, perhaps calling it “magic fairy dust” would attract more interest in the field. But then, no-one wants branding advice from a statistician.