Ulf Zetterberg: It’s almost like a knowledge management system because if these self-service systems are built the correct way, an intelligent user can leverage this as a knowledge platform and perhaps do advance queries. It becomes almost like a dialogue. There’s a big debate in the legal industry about the automated lawyer or the IT lawyer and how much of legal or lawyer can be replaced by machines. But you can probably replace lots of that in day-to-day work to speed that up. You can save the most sophisticated work for the best lawyers.
Sramana Mitra: I was talking to somebody form the manufacturing industry for our Thought Leaders in Big Data Series and this came up as well. A lot of manufacturing functions could become completely machine to machine, completely ruling out the role of the human being from the process.
Ulf Zetterberg: Absolutely.
Sramana Mitra: I think there’s still a lot of technology that needs to be built to get there. I think that’s where a lot of the digital decision making is heading.
Ulf Zetterberg: I agree. I and the rest of the team also share this. I think the ones that are going to be successful are the ones who don’t try to boil the ocean. I learned by prior mistakes not to be too ambitious but rather start on a specific business process or on a specific content type, and not try to think of this as a Holy Grail for all unstructured data. They’re going to get their early wins. They’re going to get encouraged by that, and then they’re going to go to the next.
There are areas today that you could go after and there are other areas for tomorrow. That is great growth grounds for entrepreneurs to understand key businesses and key verticals and what their challenges are and how you can use machine learning or real-time analytics to improve decision-making. That’s a massive opportunity. There are a lot of companies in the space today, but I think there’s hundreds of companies that are going to be really large companies ten years from now.
Sramana Mitra: This is one of the most exciting areas of business right now – data and machine learning-driven solutions.
Ulf Zetterberg: It comes down to a very simple thing. Fifteen years ago, there were some industries that said that information was not the number one asset. Today, name one industry that wouldn’t say that information is the number one asset. Information and the knowledge around information is the difference between making or losing money. There’s also that much bigger appetite. We need enterprise customers to see that they want to change and are looking for something else. There’s a big appetite and there are lots of people who are interested to talk to entrepreneurs to test new things right now because they know that is the future.
Sramana Mitra: Terrific. I enjoyed our conversation. Thank you.