“German companies are behind on the trend of using data to solve business challenges” – Interview with Dr. Jonathan Mall – Data Natives Berlin 2016
Data Natives Berlin speaker Dr. Jonathan Mall is a computational Neuropsychologist turned entrepreneur. Seduced by the opportunity to optimize consumer experience using machine learning, he led the Science team in a IBM Big Data Venture (gumbolt.com). Afterwards, he founded Neuro-Flash.com, a market research institute, using online experiments that illuminate the true drivers of desire and purchase behaviour. When he’s not combining Neuroscience and Big-Data to test innovative ideas, he eats burgers and trains for the next marathon. Connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn.
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What topic will you be discussing during Data Natives Berlin?
My talk is called “Brain + Data: How Neuroscience can increase data mining effectiveness” Neuroscience insights can guide Data Mining techniques, especially in terms of feature reduction. In other words, by predicting the impact of information on recall and associations, you may uncover better ways of finding the data that matters. My talk is of interest to data scientists across the board, because without understanding how our brains process information, just mining data becomes a discipline of amassing cold data with a bleak outlook on meaningful application for warm humans.
What prompted you to co-found Neuro-Flash?
Opinion and Market research is still wildly inaccurate with certain traditions being more akin to homeopathy rather than being evidence based. By combing more refined understanding of human behavior with the right kind of data, we strive to revolutionize the way that human behavior is understood and predicted on a grand scale.
How are you applying brain data to create change in the field of market research?
We started by applying the learnings from the last 10 years of cognitive research and experimental design to our online studies. We furthermore created and validated novel approaches to measure people’s unconscious preferences.
What do you hope to gain/learn during Data Natives Berlin?
I’m most fascinated by tapping into novel data sources for measuring and predicting human behavior. Talking to people with such ideas or solutions would make my day.
What data-driven technologies are of particular interest to you and why?
We currently invest in AI-driven creativity and statistical interpretation. Finding a better way to solve currently non-scalable parts of our business model.
Do you believe that Germany is a strategic market for showcasing data-driven technologies? If so, why?
No, I think that stereotypically speaking, German companies are lacking behind the general trend of using data to solve business challenges. Nevertheless, raising awareness in Germany about the benefits of evidence based business practices is a worthwhile goal.
How is Neuroscience driving the data revolution?
Generally, behavioral economics and cognitive neuroscience is challenging the way we understand the processes behind human decisions. It can offer explanations for unexpected patterns found in big-data analyses and open up hypothesis driven approaches to gathering and interpreting data.
Can you offer advice for others wanting to get involved in this particular field?
Challenge every assumption about yourself and the world. If you didn’t become terribly depressed doing so, continue exploring in this field.
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