SparkBeyond’s problem-solving platform is not just for data scientists. An important goal for the company has been to democratize AI and make it more accessible. Traditionally, working with complex data sets has been the domain of scientists or engineers. But SparkBeyond wants to empower everyone to be able to work with data—whether a data scientist or business user.
Doubling down on value with Microsoft
The ease-of-use and overall value of the SparkBeyond platform has attracted many big brands, including a number of Fortune 100 companies, who came to the company for help with their AI projects. It also caught the attention of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who became very interested in the Azure-based machine learning platform after hearing about it via a joint customer in the spring of 2018.
That interest led to the forging of a strategic partnership between Microsoft and SparkBeyond, to expand the AI value to their joint customers. “Over the last twelve months, we’ve combined the amazing value of the Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure and cognitive services with SparkBeyond’s platform to bring clients something really unique,” says Solomon. Customers who wish to deploy specific Azure cognitive services can automatically stitch those services together using the SparkBeyond platform, accelerating the business impact from those solutions. That combination opens Azure cognitive services for access by both business and technical roles.
“SparkBeyond has done an amazing job illustrating the power of business impact to our joint customers. We are in a time of great transformation, with many of our customers struggling with how to achieve digital transformation in a way that drives real business impact. SparkBeyond’s approach has made those goals both accessible and actionable,” says Peter Martin, Partner Development Manager, Microsoft. The partnership was celebrated at Microsoft Inspire 2018.
Getting real on transformation at Zabka
Making digital transformation tangible is top of mind for many of SparkBeyond’s customers. One example is the Polish convenience store retailer Zabka, who is the largest pure-play convenience store in Europe. Having steadily increased its market share year over year, Zabka realized it needed to be more deliberate in how it approached its next phase of growth. It wanted an analytical, data-backed transformation, and turned to SparkBeyond for help getting there.
Zabka’s goal was to double their footprint by opening 600 new stores in the next year. To maximize success, they wanted to optimize revenue per store, which required having a clear picture of revenue forecasts, more efficient management of stock, and optimizing new store locations. SparkBeyond used its problem-solving platform to analyze a variety of structured, disparate, first- and third-party data to generate millions of hypotheses and identify the patterns with the most actionable impact. Through this effort, they were able to pinpoint optimal locations and get more accurate predictions on financial forecasts.
“Being able to forecast revenue accurately months in advance adds not only great strategic value but also improves Zabka’s overall supply chain.” said Tomasz Blicharski, CFO, Zabka.
“SparkBeyond’s focus on solving business problems through AI and ML aligns with the Microsoft customer-centric approach to Data and AI. I am really excited about the potential in the partnership, where we are bringing business, technology, and ethical aspects of AI to create broader business, social, and economic impact,” says Simran Sachar, AI Partner Lead and Sr. Strategy Manager, Microsoft.
Pushing further with Microsoft on AI
In the past year, SparkBeyond has helped its clients generate over USD1 billion in impact through AI-powered ideation. But for SparkBeyond, that success is only the beginning of its AI journey—the possibilities are limitless.
Looking ahead, SparkBeyond’s suite of solutions will extend beyond data to knowledge, equipping global strategy leaders with next-generation decision support systems for whitespace innovation. And as the company continues to work with Microsoft, they will continue to broaden the reach of their front solutions, making their vision of empowering everyone to be able to do more with data, closer to reality.