While we are almost surprised to come across a digital player that does not announce a big data or machine learning project, it is even more difficult to meet pure players in data science. The arrival in Marseille of a Euranova subsidiary, a Belgium-based company specialized in big data, is therefore an interesting news.
I recently met Thomas Peel, their local manager, to discuss data science at the metropolitan level. « What struck me was that we are almost the only ones to interface academic research with customers, we try to participate ourselves in a lot of research, » he explained. The Marseilles subsidiary has the particularity of being both a profit center, relying on data science consulting, and an R & D center. A positioning that is not a coincidence, Thomas Peel himself having previously obtained a doctorate in machine learning at AMU before leaving France, to work for Euranova in Belgium, and then relocating in 2016 in the region. The company also has a CIR accreditation, which allows its customers to integrate Euranova’s services into their research tax credit.
Euranova is working with two major types of companies interested in data science. « On the one hand, there are techno companies by nature. There, we can move very quickly. We developed predictive click algorithms for an online advertising company. And there are companies that start in the field, for which our support is almost at the strategic level. With them, the two main issues are the quality of the data and the provisioning of these data. The GDPR will also help them to organize themselves. »
Of course, since we are talking about big data and machine learning, the next word that comes to mind is artificial intelligence. There, Thomas Peel is much more cautious. « We are going to see more and more intelligent algorithms, but I wouldn’t talk about artificial intelligence … One of the biggest barriers, for example, is that we are still very far from having found an algorithm which works in all cases, able to drive a car as well as to target clicks « .
With the rise of data science and machine learning needs in the metropolis, we will have the opportunity to talk about Euranova again in 2018.
[Version française: La data science en mode R&D d’Euranova]