Automating the data analysis process

May 02, 2019 11:31
Machine learning has become a must-have technology in the big data era. Photo: AFP/Reuters

In 2013, I embarked on two projects at Alibaba: how to use data to drive each business unit, and how to automate the data analysis process. Many were skeptical initially, but it turned out that huge benefits could be derived from the projects.

Since businesses are struggling with complex sources of massive data, it's no longer adequate to rely on manual processes. We need to apply artificial intelligence to the data production process itself.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a research project called "Data to AI", which focuses on how to build large-scale AI systems to spot useful data patterns.

Machine learning has undoubtedly become a must-have technology in the big data era. I suggest that companies focus their efforts on two entry points.

First is how AI can be used to assist in the decision-making process to make it more efficient.

Second is how AI can be used to help staff to get a better understanding of complex business issues.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 30

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Venture Partner of Sequoia Capital China, former head of the data committee and vice president at Alibaba Group.