The Rise of Machine Learning

Here's what you need to know to get the edge Big Data and machine learning can offer your business.

Big-Data-4-compressorSchneider Electric is applying machine learning to its growing Internet of Things platform to predict when its products—which range from sensors to programmable logic controllers—may fail, so that they can be serviced and avoid costly downtime.

The French company, which has U.S. headquarters in Andover, Massachusetts, also applies machine learning to its building-management systems to make structures more eco-friendly and comfortable for occupants.

Atlanta-based GeoDigital is using machine learning to apply its detailed three-dimensional models of the world to a number of industries. For utilities, GeoDigital can precisely locate assets as mundane as power poles and then use machine learning to recommend maintenance steps and schedules. Geo-Digital’s 3D-mapping programs also are feeding the revolution in the automobile business known as self-driving.

For vehicles to be truly driverless, yet safely complete their routes, they’ll rely on a cloud of data and a flurry of instantaneous communications that will keep them apprised of all the conditions around and within the vehicle—both static, like the contours of roads, and dynamic, such as traffic conditions and whether a pedestrian is darting in front of the car at that moment—and advise them how to respond.

“What used to be acceptable becomes an impediment if you need a vehicle to make decisions on its own about whether to make a maneuver immediately, or prepare for traffic conditions a few miles away,” says Anupam Malhotra, senior manager of the connected vehicle for Audi of America. “Machine learning is how we close the gap to make truly automated driving possible.”

Big Moves in Big Data
Machine learning is just one way to leverage Big Data. Here are examples of how CEOs are using a variety of tools with Big Data to advance their companies:

• At TransUnion, the Chicago-based credit-scoring giant, a new data-powered product called Credit Vision is providing lenders with more granular and nuanced assessments of a consumer’s risk factors, which is helping them unearth more high-quality prospects and make more sound loans.

“This also is helping us increase our footprint with the lenders we serve and boosting the ‘stickiness’ of our other products, such as fraud solutions,” explains TransUnion CEO Jim Peck. “That helps us maintain and grow our positions with our customers.”

•, the automotive-information web site, has been rolling out a new product called Car Code, which allows consumers to directly text dealers about vehicle pricing, availability, features and questions. Predictive analysis of the resulting millions of conversations turns up key findings that will help make the next texting exchanges more effective.

Big-Data-5-compressor“Some of our early analysis showed that if a text conversation included the words ‘wife’ or ‘spouse,’” reports Avi Steinlauf, CEO of the Santa Monica, California-based company, “the final outcome was four times more likely to be an actual sale. Big Data provides a lot of actionable information like that.”

• Neil Clark Warren returned to his previous CEO position and boosted the importance of data massaging to help another Santa Monica-based company, the dating site eHarmony, recover against key competitors such as Actionable insights from data analytics included the fact that dating candidates from outside the U.S. are more comfortable being matched with someone who smokes cigarettes or drinks booze than eHarmony’s American members are, so it broadened the matching algorithms for overseas users.


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.