Citi Ventures Invests in DataRobot for Pioneering Automated ML
Citi Ventures, the innovation arm of Citibank, saw DataRobot as the clear leader in the market for empowering data scientists and business users to realize dramatic time-savings in the modeling process – and ultimately focus their talents on solving complex business problems.
AI and ML: Game-Changing for the Financial Industry
Citi Ventures, the innovation arm of Citibank (Citi), continuously scans the market for emerging trends in technology and financial services that will help solve Citi challenges and those of its clients.
Since it formed in 2010, Citi Ventures has invested in more than 100 different companies to augment Citi’s products and services. The company sees AI and machine learning in particular as game-changing for everything from the customer experience to fraud prevention.
“At Citi Ventures, we believe that artificial intelligence and machine learning will be pervasive in everything that we do as a society,” said Vibhor Rastogi, Global Director of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Investments at Citi Ventures. “It will drive how consumers interact with a business, in delivering personalized experiences, and in being able to offer the best products to them at the right time, at the best price.”
DataRobot: AI for Everyone
When seeking AI investments, Citi Ventures immediately recognized DataRobot as a leader for extending AI and machine learning well beyond data science teams.
Citi Ventures invested in DataRobot because they created this category of automated ML. DataRobot was the first to understand this phenomena that the world needs data science, but not everybody’s trained as a data scientist. This is a huge differentiator in the market.
Citi Ventures values that DataRobot has continuously expanded its AI platform to cover the entire modeling lifecycle, from data preparation to deploying into production to model monitoring and risk management. Additionally, Rastogi sees DataRobot’s partnerships with Snowflake and Databricks as enabling customers to get more out of their investments in AI and machine learning.
And finally, the AI platform empowers Citi data scientists to focus more on interpretation rather than setting up models.
“We looked at the market and found DataRobot AI Platform to be one of the best solutions in the market for helping our data scientists develop models faster,” Rastogi said.
AI: Supporting Decisions Across the Financial Institution
At Citi, a 200-year-old financial institution that serves millions of customers across 90 countries, current and potential applications are spread across the firm. AI can help in several ways:
- Governance — Model governance can scale deployments and provide legal and compliance reports.
- Fraud prevention – AI and machine learning can help identify potentially fraudulent credit card transactions.
- Customer personalization – Insights help Citi tailor the customer experience, whether that’s communicating via preferred channels or offering just-right solutions.
- Customer retention – The AI platform helps Citi understand customer interactions and sentiments so the company can take steps to improve satisfaction and retention.
- Credit underwriting – The platform aids in underwriting decisions, making calls on straightforward cases and leaving the more sophisticated cases to experienced team members.
- Hiring – Augmented intelligence assists in screening candidates and matching them with ideal jobs within the company.
- Equitable decision-making – Rastogi sees promise, too, in using AI modeling to overcome some of the tough challenges around discrimination and bias.
Automating 80% of the Modeling Process
With DataRobot AI Platform, Citi data scientists and other business users cut much of the data prep and monitoring associated with modeling. Instead, they can use their talents to build models that solve business challenges.
“Eighty percent of the challenge in a data science project is preparing that data and making it ready for ultimately business intelligence and machine learning, and the AI platform has solved that problem,” Rastogi said.
The solution narrows down models that may be the best fit, helping them more quickly move into production. Plus, Citi may tap into hundreds of millions of models across all DataRobot customers.
“We want to make sure that data scientists are spending their time on what they love to do, which is solving very hard and complex business problems,” Rastogi added.
Ultimately, DataRobot AI Platform makes data scientists 10 times more productive than they would otherwise be.
Rastogi looks forward to seeing what additional business value the platform can help Citi unlock.
“What’s really exciting about the future of DataRobot AI Platform is how it can impact revenue, cost, and ultimately risk and compliance for a financial company,” Rastogi said.