An interview with Kurt Muehmel, Vice President, EMEA, Dataiku
The next edition of the prestigious I-COM Data Creativity Awards will be held in San Sebastian, Spain, between April 9-12, at the I-COM Global Summit 2018. The Awards showcase the most creative people and companies around the world, which are achieving business value and competitive advantage by leveraging value from data. Nominated by an official jury, the shortlisted finalists have the opportunity to present their projects in front of an outstanding community of practitioners and researchers at the forefront of data marketing revolution.
I-COM spoke to Kurt Muehmel, Vice President, EMEA, at Dataiku, about his experience at the Summit 2017 and also the importance of being awarded as the I-COM Data Creativity Awards General Category Winner. Besides the General, there are other 9 categories: Artificial Intelligence, Attribution, Content Marketing, CRM, Data Visualisation, Mobile, Programmatic, Social Media and Video.
Referring to the Summit as a fantastic experience, Kurt says: “What is unique is that you have a clear impression that the other delegates are looking to build a community. It's not something that you see at other events. I am happy to say that I am still in touch with some of the other delegates that we met!”
Although very proud of the project presented, Kurt expressed a good bit of surprise over the win. “I didn't let myself hope that we would win, and certainly not in the General Category. When it was announced, I was in an interesting conversation with my neighbor at the table and had to ask others if they had really called my name. This surprise quickly turned to great pride, it was an amazing feeling to receive the award from Andreas. So amazing, in fact, that I forgot to have my photo taken afterwards!”
About the winning project named “State-of-the-art Recommender System using Picture Recognition”, a collaboration between Dataiku and Voyage Privé Groupe (France), Kurt explains that it consisted in setting up a system that combines a neural network and a recommendation engine in order to recognize image content and present appropriate content to website visitors. “For a given product, different users would see different images, each tuned to their interests. It is a step towards visual identities for sites and products that are fully customized to the interests and preferences of individual users.”, he says.
Besides the honor of being amongst the I-COM Data Creativity Award Winners, Kurt recognizes that participating at the I-COM Global Summit is a great opportunity to network with peers and establish business partnerships. He continues: “The award dinner was where the closest relationships were forged. In addition to great food and entertainment, you have an opportunity to have fascinating discussions with the other delegates around you.” It is not an easy ride, he mentions, but the jury is fair and the ambience is simply fantastic.
Even after missing the opportunity for the official winner’s portrait, he carried the award around, a rather heavy traditional tile from Porto, Portugal, “adding a few kilos to my already overloaded bag”, Kurt mentions. But according to him, it paid off: “I was able to find Andreas and a photographer on the last day after the last talk, and the resulting photo is one of my all-time favorites.”
If you are interested in entering the I-COM Data Creativity Awards for a chance to be recognized as one of the top forward-thinking creative companies in the marketing industry, please visit http://www.i-com.org/data- creativity-awards-how-to-enter-2018.