Imre Szücs: Harnessing the Power of Machine Learning to Strategize Operational Excellence in the Digital World – Analytics Insight

Imre Szücs: Harnessing the Power of Machine Learning to Strategize Operational Excellence in the Digital World


November 23, 2021

Imre SzücsoptimAIze is established with the primary goal of helping customers to achieve operational excellence in the digital world by using the power of machine learning. This start-up is focused on developing machine learning-based services to optimize the ROI of digital marketing activities.

A Talented and Dedicated Leader

Imre Szücs is the CEO and Co-Founder of optimAIze Marketing Solutions. He hails from the field of physics and astronomy, who later took a transition into the IT and business world. In the first half of his career, he was a data scientist who developed several machine learning models in the fields of financial risk management, customer churn, fraud detection, and analytical CRM. In the other half, he worked in more strategic positions, such as a data science leader. 4

He is proud to have been able to set up the data and analytics teams in different organizations like start-ups and even in large enterprises from scratch, all across Europe. Now he is the leader of optimAIze, where he is utilizing his experiences to achieve success from what he learned in his journey. Besides that, Imre is also leading the ML initiatives in a large Hungarian enterprise.

Important Lessons that Laid a  Pavement to Success

One of Imre’s important findings was that with advanced analytics, he asserts that one can always find a way to deliver the real value.  Imre has been working in the financial, telecommunication, and digital business sectors in various roles like customer, consultant, or vendor. Earlier, he used to work with large enterprises and start-ups, and he now owns his own start-up. All this proves that data science can have a huge impact on businesses.

He also adds that to become a successful data science leader, the most important factor is to understand how one can support the short and long-term strategy with data science clearly. Imre focuses on 3 pillars: firstly, living together with the company by working on the daily challenges. Secondly, setting up the capabilities to support future growth. And finally, driving innovation and starting to work on new revenue streams.

Vanquishing all the Challenges with Confidence

Imre mentions, “As I was really in love with AI and statistics, it was a kind of personal challenge to see that my colleagues must be more experienced in certain topics than me.” At the beginning of his leadership journey, he learned to maximize the team’s performance and be more of a leader than a specialist.

Everywhere he went, he not only learned new data science techniques but he also made sure to learn the new domains within it. Imre stresses that the importance of domain knowledge should not be undermined, instead one must find a way to channel it into their activities. He states that he is still learning a lot by participating in computational genetics and IoT analytics projects where it’s necessary to be a bit of a biologist. Fortunately, he is always enjoying learning new domains.

Attributes that Make Up a Leader Data Science

Imre asserts that one of the main challenges in his career path was learning to balance between the strategy, fast-developing data science technologies, and the business itself. And none of them are less important than the other.

The data science field is developing extremely fast. Besides the traditional relational data, now text, voice, picture, video, genomic and sensor data, and a lot more can be processed even in the cloud, on high-performance computers, or edge devices, and Imre is an experienced data science leader comments that the data science leaders, must be able to make decisions or recommendations on the usability of all these new capabilities. Putting it in a nutshell, he also adds that the eager to learn attitude is vital.

“But even with the best data science tools, leaders cannot provide useful results without understanding the business challenges. Open and communicative leaders are more likely to succeed. And to make the data and analytics strategy in line with the business strategy, a strategic mindset is also necessary” Imre mentions.

Boosting Marketing ROI Using Disruptive Technologies

Based on his experience, Imre says that the companies can improve efficiency or increase the ROI by 10%-40% with AI compared to the traditional methods. At the same time, he also contradicts the statement claiming it to be just the beginning and that machine learning, along with big data can give the industry much more in fields like genetics, material sciences, computer vision, and many more. The possibility to use cloud-native services can radically decrease the time-to-market.

A data science leader must be able to get the broader picture, involve all the necessary experts to behave in an ethical and legally correct way.

OptimAIze mainly focuses on increasing the marketing ROI by using the machine learning-based optimization service firstly on Google Ad spend. The company is in a fortunate situation as the team could experience the detailed customer needs directly in the projects and then target exactly those needs. But as the digital world is changing rapidly, and the competitors are developing extremely fast, the team also has to monitor the market continuously and collect feedback from potential customers.  Flexibility, scalability, and customer-centricity on the other side are the main driving forces on the technological side along with disruptive technologies to boost ROI.

A Future Filled with AI Expansion

As the usability of AI is expanding, the market now has a better understanding of where to use cloud services, and it’s only increasing.

Imre envisions that digital transformation has started or almost had already finished in all the industries. He opines that the digital world brings us tremendous advantages, but also new risk elements, and a new way of operation.

“To be effective in this modern world sophisticated services are needed, and there is not enough time and resources to develop everything from scratch. In digital marketing the noise is already huge, to target the right audience is far more complicated than a few years ago. Nowadays a huge ratio of marketing spending is useless. He also believes that with the company’s proven, AI-based cloud services, optimAIze can be a trusted partner in digital operation to increase ROI” Imre adds.

A Piece of Advice for Budding Data Professionals

Lastly, he has a strong message for aspiring data professionals.  Imre says, “Depending on where are you coming from, keep in mind that data science is in between the statistics, technology, and business. Be open to continuous learning and development and build a team that can put all the necessary capabilities together.”  He advises that data science must be strongly connected to the business to successfully help it.

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