We talked to Michalis Michael of DigitalMR about AI backed consumer insight, and he had the following to say:-
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Michalis Michael: Doing good. I enjoy the focus and routine the lockdown has imposed.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded DigitalMR.
Michalis Michael: I am an aerospace engineer by education but entered the world of market research instead, as they were not hiring any astronauts in Cyprus when I graduated. After 20 years as a hired gun, I saw a gap in the market around Digital market research and harvesting unsolicited customer opinion from social media and took the plunge.
How does DigitalMR innovate?
Michalis Michael: We have carried out 7 R&D projects around using AI for the accurate analysis of unstructured data (e.g., text & images) partly funded by the UK government and the EU. Even when there is no grant involved, R&D is in our DNA.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Michalis Michael: We have pressed a reset button back in May and became a pure SaaS and DaaS scale-up by saying no to offering professional services. So in a way, the pandemic had a positive impact on our trajectory.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Michalis Michael: Yes. See above. Perseverance is the lesson.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Michalis Michael: Meditation, running, boxing, sleep tracking.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Michalis Michael: Mainly social media monitoring vendors. We need to raise funding and increase our distribution platforms to establish a global positioning.
Your final thoughts?
Michalis Michael: Unstructured data makes up more than 95% of all recorded human knowledge. Every organization needs to be in a position to accurately annotate and combine customer opinion from sources such as social media, call centers, focus groups, answers to an open-ended question in surveys, etc. It is not enough to include solicited customer opinion and behavior in your discovery process for actionable insights.
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