Software is eating data science, to paraphrase Marc Andreesen, or at least nibbling around the data scientist edges.
Several years ago McKinsey in a report on data and analytics said the U.S. would need 140,000 to 180,000 data scientists. Accern, which has more than a library of use cases available for immediate deployment across asset management, banking and insurance, says templates can reduce the need for data scientist-led analytics.
“We have a no-code AI platform which we sell to financial services firms including asset managers, insurance companies and banks. It allows business analysts and data analysts to build sophisticated AI without writing code,” said Kumesh Aroomoogan, co-founder and CEO of Accern. “A lot of organizations use our platform to fail fast and identify which use cases might actually work. Rather than waiting six to nine months, they can get an answer in one to two days…you can create a prototype with the click of a button.”
The company has more than 400 ready-made templates such as real-time know-your-customer (KYC), underwriting for mortgages and life insurance, or ESG screening, that firms can use, and users are developing more all the time.
“Our models are trained specifically for financial use cases,” the company says on its web site, and adds that common deployments include data extraction, automated classification and recommendation models.
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“A customer can go on our platform to look into our use case library. If there is a use case that meets their requirements they will start using and testing it. If there is not one, they can build their own use case by selecting data sources, filters, different types of analytics and delivery methods, and we can add the templates to our library —it is all just meta data; they are contributing, nothing proprietary.”
Standard Bank in South African uses Accern for small business lending, Aroomoogan said.
“Previously they didn’t have the data but because we track billions of public records, we can get the data and feed a credit risk model. As a results, hundreds of small businesses in South Africa can now get a loan from Standard Bank.”
A life insurance company uses Accern to perform KYC on any foreign nationals who apply for a life insurance policy. Accern automates the translation of documents in more than 100 languages, using a dictionary of financial crimes to do a quick match.
“We have access to almost every publicly available web site and can use NLP to parse those web sites in a native language and link to any criminal actions in milliseconds. The big value to financial firms is they can onboard customers faster, and the customer experience overall just feels better. Instead of taking a few days, the onboarding time is now 15 minutes max.”
With a no code platform like Accern financial firms can accelerate innovation because the tools and templates allow less technical people to build very sophisticated AI tools without writing a single line of code. On its web site, Accern lists Jeffries, William Blair, Next Alpha and Allianz as users.
“Next Alpha used Accern’s AI models to validate their automated AI trading system, allowing them to save $10M and 4 years not building it in-house,” Accern says in a case study on its web site. “In addition, they were able to bring a 42% return to investors.”
Accern will use funds from a Series B funding round to build up its marketing and sales teams, he added, and it may also pursue growth through acquisitions.
“We want to get into multiple verticals like health care and government, and one of the quickest ways is to acquire a company already in one of these verticals.”