Takalani-Ashanti-AI-CEO_It all starts with data

It All Starts With Data

How to Create and Execute a Comprehensive Data Strategy

At the core of industry 4.0 is data.

According to the PWC South African Industry 4.0 report, 83% of respondents believe that data will be fundamental to any of their decisions. We cannot talk about artificial intelligence, data-driven strategies or setting up enterprise to take advantage of industry 4.0 without a clear data strategy. In addition, the volume of data and the increased complexity of data means that companies with a clear data strategy will be able to handle and exploit the data.
There are various considerations when developing a data strategy, chiefly among them should be the following components:

What business objectives is the data going to be used for?
A data strategy is not a standalone strategy. It exists to serve the broader objectives of the business. These objects could range from improving efficiency and understanding customer needs to create additional revenue streams.

Where will the data be collected from?
From understanding the business needs, the data that is required can be identified. The data strategy should define where the data can be sourced from. The strategy should note all the data that could be sourced internally and externally.
The strategy should also note the level of details that the data should have and how frequently it should be collected.

Where and how is the data going to be stored?
There are various technologies and tools that can be used to store or manipulate data. However, instead of focusing on the actual technology, the strategy should address challenges such as current data capability versus future data requirement, or how data will be consumed and stored.
The strategy can define whether a cloud solution or inhouse storage solution is required. Careful thought needs to be placed on this decision as going cloud is not always the best decision for every business.

The analytics that should be performed from the data
Some have argued that this is the most important part of a data strategy. It is the extraction of insights and the building of algorithms turns ensures that value is extracted from the data. There must be an alignment with what analytics are required to meet the business objectives, the availability of data and the business objectives.

Data governance and security
Given the increased value of data and increased threats of cyber security, it is important for the company’s data strategy to define security standards. This could be by means of tools, who should access the data, when should it be distributed and monitoring standards of the data.
Over the years, a number of roles (such as Chief Data Officer) have become prominent and have been tasked with being tasked with implementing the data strategy. However, to effectively implement a data strategy, a clear road map is required – one that is linked to the business’ KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
More importantly, the culture of the business should be changed to embrace the value of data. Without data, industry 4.0 is simply a distant concept.

By Takalani Madzhadzhi, CEO of Ashanti AI and Fellow of the Actuarial Society of South Africa

Ashanti AI team argility acquisition

Argility’s acquisition journey continues with investment in artificial intelligence solutions business Ashanti AI

Argility – a member of the Argility Technology Group – has revealed it has made a substantial investment in artificial intelligence (AI) solutions business Ashanti AI, a BBBEE level two start-up.

This is the enterprise software solutions group’s fifth investment in two years.
Argility CEO Marko Salic says due to the alignment of a mutual vision and mission, the company sees this as a strategic investment to bring Ashanti AI into the Argility ecosystem.
“This emerging business will be a strong addition to our current retail, supply chain, Internet of things (IoT) and fleet expertise, and we feel it will serve to drive our focus on combining analytics with trending 4IR technologies supported by our current products and solutions.
“The synergies between Argility’s vision and Ashanti AI’s mission made this investment very appealing to us and a good fit that will augment our goal of digitally transforming our core business focus arenas using intelligent software, data science/AI, and IoT. Ashanti AI assists companies to increase revenues, make decisions faster and improve processes using AI.
“Combining these strengths will serve to enhance the Argility Technology Group’s portfolio and thus expand our solutions and service delivery for current and future customers,” confirms Salic.
Ashanti AI CEO and founder Takalani Madzhadzhi is an actuary with a financial services background. He heads up a team of data scientists with a vision to provide the best AI solutions for partners and customers. The company’s current customer base includes a number of blue-chip corporates plus partnerships with strong international consultancy firms.
“We started as part of an incubation hub linked to a data science academy. Since leaving the hub, we have grown our client base and developed a number of proprietary solutions,” notes Madzhadzhi.
He adds that going forward, the company is focused on building predictive analytic products for the retail, supply chain and financial services sectors.

Ashanti AI, strategic partner & associate of Argility Technology Group

Source: IT Web

African tech startups winners at OCP

African tech startups winners at OCP mining challenge in Morocco

Four African tech startups have been named winners of a mining challenge run by Moroccan state-owned firm OCP Group, earning the chance to trial their solutions at one of the company’s mines.

The OCP Challenge was designed to find solutions faced by OCP Group, which sits on 70 per cent of the world’s phosphate reserves, including boosting maintenance capabilities, improving mined ore quality, managing mining equipment better, and improving safety during periods of low visibility.

More than 200 startups applied for the challenge, with 12 selected to go to Morocco and participate in a bootcamp, working with OCP experts to build a pitch. The bootcamp concluded with a demo day, where startups presented their solutions to the mine, and ultimately four winners were selected.

They included two from Morocco, project management platform PilliotY and GSTS, as well as South African AI platform for asset health and performance management Kriterion and Tunisian robotics firm Enova Robotics. These four winners will now implement their solutions at the OCP Benguerir mine during a three-month experiment phase.

The other eight startups that took part included four from Morocco, namely Peacock, Smart On, 100AI and Farasha, as well as Ashanti AI (South Africa), SolutionIQ (Senegal), InstaDeep (Tunisia) and Astral Aerial (Kenya).

For more information contact Ashanti AI on 011 712 1300,  info@ashanti.ai or visit our website www.ashanti.ai

Grindstone fifth cohort

Meet the 10 startups selected for Grindstone Accelerator’s fifth cohort

Venture capital (VC) company Knife Capital today announced the names of the 10 companies selected for its fifth Grindstone Accelerator programme.

The names of the companies — which include a data analytics and marketing automation tool, a startup in the mobility sector and an Internet of Things (IoT) point of sale solution — were revealed at an event held at Deloitte’s Green Room in Johannesburg (with attendees pictured above).

Grindstone, which is jointly owned by Knife Capital and Thinkroom Consulting, assists high-growth innovation-driven small businesses to become sustainable and fundable through a year-long programme. This latest cohort is sponsored by the SA SME Fund and Deloitte.

For perhaps the first time in the history of the accelerator programme, which was first run in 2014, black-owned companies make up the majority of the participants of this cohort.

The accelerator has run three cohorts so far. In November last year Knife Capital announced the names of those selected for a fourth cohort which is currently under way (see this story). So far all the cohorts have been run in Cape Town. This is the first time a programme will be run in Gauteng.

Knife Capital today announced the names of the 10 companies selected for its fifth Grindstone Accelerator

While Knife Capital launched a call for applications in March, which closed on 22 April, the VC’s partner Keet van Zyl today told Ventureburn that the 10 companies were chosen from 400 applications.

Here are the 10 companies that have been selected for the fifth cohort:

LeadRobot is a Joburg-based startup founded in August last year by Daniel and Devon Solomon. The startup has developed a data analytics and marketing automation tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to enrich, cleanse and predictively score incoming leads in real time to empower sales and marketing technologies and teams.

Crayon is a Joburg based talent-sourcing platform, founded in February last year by Derrick Carolin, is designed from the bottom up to ensure candidates leave feeling reinvigorated and employers hire right, first time.

Farosian is a Joburg based specialist social media company founded in 2015 by CEO Farhad Bhyat.

MSat Global is a Joburg based digital satellite and IP technology solutions founded in 2007 by CEO Zweli Mkhuma.

Lüla and its app (its name means “easy” in isiZulu) connects corporate commuters to private shuttles. Lüla was founded by Xabiso Nodada and Velani Mboweni (the nephew of Finance Minister Tito Mboweni). The Cape Town based startup is currently running a campaign to raise R2.5-million in return for giving up an 8.5% equity stake, through local equity crowdfunding platform Uprise.Africa. With nine days to go it’s raised R353 000.

Excel@Uni is a Cape Town based technology partner for universities and funders to help students excel at university. The startup was co-founded in 2013 by CEO Lungelo Gumede and CPO Ludwick Marishane, the man behind Dry Bath gel.

WizzPass is a Joburg based visitor management and contractor management system in Africa. Founded in 2015 by Bradley Hornby, Ulrich Stark and Tyron Fouche (who is no longer involved in the company), the startup got an investment of an undisclosed amount from the Barclays Seeker Fund in 2016, through the Barclays Accelerator in Cape Town, according to a report by tech site Disrupt Africa at the time.

Marc1 is an Johannesburg based Internet of Things (IoT) point of sale solution that tracks customer mobile and wifi footprint to help retail companies sell more. In August last year the startup won the award for best commercial IoT solution at the third annual MTN Business IoT Conference

Ashanti-AI helps businesses to solve their problems. The Joburg-based company mainly focus on data engineering, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).

LiquidGold looks at the sanitation with unique waterless technology and nutrient recovery solutions. The Johannesburg based company was founded by CEO Orion Herman and Simone Fillis in 2014.

*Correction: Crayon is based in Johannesburg, not Cape Town and was founded in February last year by Derrick Carolin, not Tracey Ashington as we had it initially. We regret the error.

For more information contact Ashanti AI on 011 712 1300, info@ashanti.ai or visit our website www.ashanti.ai

Source: Ventureburn