Data and AI: Could AI change your business?

It is September 10 as I write this; a new moment for everyone, especially when you organize an event during the COVID-19 period, with several serious regulations in place. In May, we at Ematters decided to move forward with our event, “Data and AI,” honoring the regulations and guidelines. To manage this and make it work, we organized the event side by side with the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam, to create a safe and good environment. If I may say so, we achieved this goal, thanks to all of the preparations we made and the cooperation and participation of our audience, who respected this new way of working.

In the Amsterdam Arena, we offered several presentations to update and inspire our audience. The goal of the event was to inspire everyone with information about data and artificial intelligence (AI).

In our opinion, you can’t just start by plugging in an AI tool and going with the flow. You need to have the basics right in order to start an AI project. For example, you need to think about your data, the data landscape, the data mart, and all the data processes. In addition to these processes and structures, you also need to you know which kind of data you need to realize; for example, a conversion. To continue this idea about structured data, there is another question to consider: how can you update your data and keep it updated? So, for example, what does this mean for the customer journey, if you work in a customer-centric way? During our event, we gave several examples to combine the theoretical with the practical part of data and AI.

With one of our clients, Opel, we started the customer intelligence project. A part of this customer intelligence project is to structure the data and keep the data updated with the latest information, as I mentioned before. Another next step within the project was the implementation of the AI module, which we achieved with the Marigold Recommendations module. Together with Selligent, we achieved several goals and projects so we could make this happen.

Selligent Vice President of Innovation, Alexei Kounine, presented and shared what the Marigold Recommendations AI module looks like and how it works. He gave a nice deep dive of the algorithm and the behavior of Marigold Recommendations. With several great practical examples, it was much clearer why you need to start right with the basics of data and a good structure of the internal processes. The results from the examples Alexei presented were very efficient and effective. Indeed, when you read this blog, you will probably wish that you had attended this event, as well!

To get some more practical information about data, we invited two more guest speakers to present their experience and learnings to the audience. One of the guest speakers was a special senior data analyst from the Amsterdam Johan Cruijff ArenA. They are also based in Amsterdam, along with our Ematters headquarters, and they have very interesting solutions concerning their data experiences. We were very glad that he presented his expertise on how the ArenA works with several kinds of data. For example, they receive data from the material side (football field, energy storage) and they also capture a lot of data from their audience/visitors. With this data, they can manage the traffic of public transport, as well as managing the traffic flow of the internal public traffic. Both have one goal: to create, every day, a more efficient process.

To stay with the football theme, we invited another guest speaker, Bas Nijhuis. Bas is a true respected referee within the national and international football professionals. He presented his learnings and way of working in relation to the data he receives. To give you an idea, within one football match he receives a lot of information and data from the line referee and the VAR (Video Assistant Referee). Very often he needs to decide within seconds, based on several pieces of information/data which he receives from several devices. Utilizing some practical slides, he inspired the audience about the do’s and don’ts of decision making with this kind of data.

Indeed, to wrap up our experience, we had an event with an always-interesting topic, “data and AI,” which was presented both in theory and in a practical way. And of course, this event will not be the last one. It is a fresh start for several new events to inspire you all in person.

We look forward to seeing you at our next Ematters event. To learn more, please view the events section on our website or via our newsletters. If you have a question in the meantime, do not hesitate to contact us.


Thanks to Jeroen de Graaf for sharing these reflections on this outstanding event. To learn more about the Sellligent Partner Program, click here.