Machine learning company DataRobot Inc. today made another acquisition, buying Boston Consulting Group’s artificial intelligence technology platform.
The companies also announced they’re entering into a strategic partnership that will combine DataRobot’s intellectual property with Boston’s consulting services.
DataRobot is a well-funded startup that has raised more than $400 million in venture capital to date, most recently securing a $206 million round of funding in September. The company makes software that developers can use to create custom AI models without having to write any code.
Specifically, the company automates the process of creating machine learning models so that its customers can better leverage their data. It provides a simple drag-and-drop interface designed to accommodate users of varying technical backgrounds.
Users can upload the files they wish to process, highlight the elements of interest — such as sales numbers in a financial dataset — and let DataRobot find the most suitable algorithm. It can then be baked into any application to provide new analytics capabilities.
By acquiring Boston Consulting’s Source AI platform and partnering with its consultancy teams, DataRobot said, it’s hoping to address the growing number of unsuccessful entering AI deployments. Too many enterprises lack the ability to build, deploy and monitor machine learning models that can actually produce results and a deliver a return on investment, the company said.
As such, DataRobot and Boston Consulting will partner to help their customers build what they call “industrial grade” AI platforms. Boston’s Source AI platform enables data scientists to write “restriction-free code” that combines human and technical expertise.
The Source AI platform was recently used by BCG GAMMA, BCG’s data science division, to build a tool for decision support and planning scenarios that aimed to predict the impact of COVID-19 on customer demand. The Lighthouse tool combines real-time data, human expertise and analytics to predict how the pandemic is affecting customer demand and supply chains in various industries.
Boston Consulting said its approach to machine learning helps eliminate blind spots such as lag time and the lack of granularity that’s sometimes associated with sales data. The Source AI platform uses demand signals such as internet traffic and footfall to inform its decisions, and discovered that online demand for products and services is often a leading indicator of real-world sales transactions.
DataRobot said Source AI’s capabilities will be added to its own platform, which data scientists can use to experiment and train new machine learning models, then launch them into production. DataRobot also it’s partnering with Boston Consulting on industry-specific applications meant to facilitate the adoption of AI at large scale.
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