Data science community platform Pivigo launched a marketplace to connect data scientists with company with projects that require their skills last week. It was set up so that data scientists can participate in the gig - or on-demand - economy, giving them the opportunity to share their skills and experience with companies on a freelance, short-term or medium-term basis.
“What we're trying to do is connect our global data science community with companies, SMEs and startups to work on projects anywhere, at any time and to any complexity,” said Kim Nilsson, founder and CEO of Pivigo during an event the company hosted on 24th January, “Bring your data to life in 2017”. The marketplace went live the same day.
Through the marketplace, company owners can sign up, create a company profile and post a project. Data scientists can also log in and create a profile, look at learning resources to improve their skills and decide which of the company projects they would like to take on. Data scientists on the platform have the ability to network and connect with their peers.
Nilsson said that she wants the platform to work for highly-skilled worker in the same way that Uber and Deliveroo work for their drivers and riders, by giving them the opportunity to mix-and-match their careers. “We will not have a career for life or be loyal to one employer,” she said of data scientistist in the gig economy. “We want to wear many hats, we want to be able to freelance when we want to and get a job when we want to.”
The number of people employed in London’s gig economy grew by 72% to 65,300 in the six years to 2016, according to research from the New Economics Foundation. She gave an example of the type of data science project that might be posted on the marketplace. Pivigo has worked with Ravelin, a machine learning, fraud detection and prevention company on cybersecurity. “Our team came in and worked alongside the existing data science team within Ravelin on the core machine learning algorithm to identify fraudsters,” she said.
By the end of the project, Nilsson said the combined team had come up with a model that identified 80% of fraudsters with an error rate that was six times better that current industry standards. Other Pivigo data science projects have centred around recommendations, pricing, exploration, sales optimisation, route optimisation and risk optimisation. The organisation, which has a team of 11, has also worked with Marks and Spencer on creating a chat-bot.
Nilsson said data is powering the digital revolution that is changing how we live. In the near future, she could envisage a smart world where many futuristic things could happen. A smart home could detect problematic changes in a person’s breathing pattern while they sleep, a smart car pod could drive that person to hospital and smart record keeping would allow the doctor to see the patient’s entire medical history before personalising their treatment.
Pivigo was set up five years ago as a hub for the data science community. During her presentation at the conclusion of the event, Nilsson said that launching such was platform was necessary because adopting data science early on will give companies a strategic advantage.
She said that we are undergoing a digital revolution, similar in magnitude to the industrial revolution, that will change everything. “It will absolutely change how we live, how we work, how we stay healthy, how we have fun and might change our relationships with robots. Certainly we know that it's coming and it's going to change our world.”