ALBERT Co., Ltd. (hereafter, ALBERT) will form a capital and business alliance with SBI Holdings Co., Ltd. (hereafter, SBI Group) in June 2021, further focusing on the ” CATALYST Strategy ” to promote the utilization of AI and data between industries. announced.
The following seven items were announced as specific details of the partnership.
- Utilize big data and AI to upgrade existing businesses and plan, examine, and develop new services in the SBI Group’s advanced technology areas
- Consideration and development of joint planning for AI products and AI systems in the advanced technology area of the SBI Group
- Planning, examination and development of new business solutions utilizing big data targeting cross-industrial fields through collaboration between the SBI Group and ALBERT
- Further promotion of the “CATALYST Strategy” developed by ALBERT by utilizing the SBI Group’s track record and know-how in a wide range of business areas
- Business development support for companies in which the SBI Group has invested
- Support for data scientist and citizen data scientist training for SBI Group employees
- Joint research through industry-academia collaboration in AI-related fields, etc.
Since 2018, ALBERT has formed capital and business alliances with eight major companies, including Toyota Motor Corporation, KDDI Corporation, and Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd., and is working to train data scientists and support DX .
This time, Mr. Oe, who is in charge of ALBERT’s management strategy, talks about ALBERT’s success in capital and business alliances with multiple major companies, the unique value provided by the company that focuses on the “CATALYST strategy”, and the data scientist training policy . I interviewed.
Table of contents
- Background of the capital tie-up with eight major companies
- What is the “CATALYST Strategy”?
- Maximize service value with data analysis
- Points where ALBERT is evaluated by major companies
- DX support | Unification of the SBI Group’s data infrastructure
- Data science course full of originality
- Isn’t it just a lecture course?
- Become a data scientist with consulting skills
- Future prospects
Background of the capital tie-up with eight major companies
What is the “CATALYST Strategy”?
ーーPlease tell us about the outline of the “CATALYST strategy”.
Mr. Oe: The “CATALYST strategy” is to identify customer issues and needs based on data from five key industries: manufacturing, automobiles, communications, distribution/infrastructure, and finance *1 , and share that data across industries. This is a strategy that creates new value.
It has the meaning that ALBERT will become a catalyst and connect industries. By cross-sectionally utilizing the data of companies in each industry, we believe that we can create more valuable services for our customers.
Maximize service value with data analysis
ーーIt seems that the business alliance with the SBI Group was also implemented as part of the “CATALYST strategy.” What was the background to the conclusion?
Mr. Oe: SBI SECURITIES, which is part of the SBI Group, has a top-class track record in terms of the number of online brokerage account openings in Japan, and possesses an extremely large amount of data. The group also has other businesses such as insurance business and venture investment business, and recently you are actively working on social themes such as regional revitalization. The potential for data utilization in such financial groups is great, and the two companies have started discussions to promote a company-wide DX strategy, leading to this alliance.
ALBERT is a top-class data scientist group in Japan and aims to implement AI in society.
We have established a policy to grow our business by concentrating our capabilities (organizational capabilities) on the five priority industries I mentioned earlier. For this reason, we are promoting business growth centered on capital and business alliances with leading companies with long histories in each key industry.
There are other companies in the financial industry that own big data, but the SBI Group is engaged in an extremely wide range of businesses, and we believe that it will continue to be a corporate group that will lead the domestic financial industry. I believe that ALBERT’s ability to provide technical support to such a corporate group is an action of great social value.
In developing the AI business, we cannot achieve the social implementation that ALBERT is aiming for with our technology alone. By providing ALBERT’s technology as embedded products and services through collaboration with companies, it becomes a value for those who use them. Therefore, ALBERT strives to build trusting relationships with companies and maximize their value.
Points where ALBERT is evaluated by major companies
ーーWhy was ALBERT able to form a capital tie-up with a major company like the SBI Group?
Mr. Oe: ALBERT has capital tie-ups with several other major companies, including the SBI Group.
Although it is difficult to partner with a major company, ALBERT has organized about 250 data scientists, and it is possible to provide comprehensive support from consulting to AI system implementation, and a wide range of technologies. We believe that we have been able to realize a tie-up because we have been highly evaluated for our coverage of various areas.
–Please tell us about the difficulties you encountered during the capital tie-up.
Mr. Oe: The alliance is just the start, not the goal. A lot of things don’t go as expected.
It is important how to promote the business growth of both parties after the alliance and how to improve the client’s business. We are also partnering with eight leading companies, but there are still many cases where things do not go according to plan.
ーーWhat kind of vision does ALBERT want to realize through the capital tie-up with the SBI Group?
Mr. Oe: ABERT will support the data utilization of the entire SBI Group, so I think it will have a very large ripple effect on society.
The SBI Group is actively working on social themes such as “regional revitalization” and “neobanks,” so we believe there are many opportunities to realize the social implementation of AI and data utilization. Through this partnership, we would like to further accelerate the “social implementation of AI” that ALBERT is aiming for.
DX support | Unification of the SBI Group’s data infrastructure
ーーWhat is the order of priority for the seven specific partnerships?
Mr. Oe: Aiming to promote a company-wide DX strategy within the group, we will start collaborating to upgrade existing businesses and plan new services. On the other hand, with the support of group companies, we will work to further promote ALBERT’s “CATALYST Strategy”.
At the same time, the SBI Group invests in and provides business support to a wide range of companies, so our support operations are becoming increasingly important. I think that Catalyst (catalyst) may spread from there, so I am very much looking forward to it.
Data science course full of originality
Isn’t it just a lecture course?
ーーIt seems that ALBERT will also provide support for training data scientists at group companies. How did the data scientist training support project start?
Mr. Oe: Until 2019, we provided the service in a closed environment only for business partners and companies with whom we have transactions for analysis projects, etc., but we have been receiving inquiries from many companies on a daily basis. , From 2020, we started providing services to the outside. A data scientist who is active in actual projects serves as a lecturer and provides guidance.
Due to the social shortage of data science human resources, there is a high need for human resource development within companies, and ALBERT’s training support business is growing rapidly.
ALBERT’s data scientist development support project is not just a simple classroom lecture.
ーーWhat kind of skills are required for the students to complete the course?
Mr. Oe: The curriculum is wide ranging from beginner to advanced, but it is a more practical curriculum, aiming to reach a skill level that can be used in actual business sites at each level. I’m here.
Become a data scientist with consulting skills
ーーWhat role should data scientists play in the future society?
Mr. Oe: Since ALBERT provides end-to-end support from consulting to AI system implementation, we focus on training and recruiting members with consulting skills to uncover issues that clients are not aware of and AI system implementation skills. I’m here.
In a nutshell, data scientists have different skills and roles required for each process of AI implementation . think.
ーーIn order to acquire consulting skills, what kind of policy will you develop?
Mr. Oe: I think that the perspective of identifying business points and project management skills will be important. At ALBERT, dozens of PMs are in charge of multiple projects, and in addition to building relationships with customers, planning proposals, confirming deliverables, and managing human resources.
Human resources who play such roles are extremely valuable, and I think it will be important to find ways to increase such human resources in the future. The competition to acquire human resources is already heating up, and it is necessary to not only recruit externally but also develop them internally.
ーーPlease tell us about the future prospects of ALBERT.
Mr. Oe: Right now, the use of AI and big data is required regardless of industry, and a player like ALBERT who can organize 250 data scientists and respond to the needs of large companies will become a player in society. You have a lot of potential to contribute.
ALBERT aims to become the No. 1 data scientist group in Japan and would like to promote the “social implementation of AI”.
ALBERT is strategically active, such as organizing about 250 data scientists, and has also realized business alliances with eight major companies. Furthermore, by promoting its own CATALYST strategy, it is expected that companies will promote DX and contribute to productivity improvement.
In addition, ALBERT is also involved in human resource development for major group companies, with data scientists active in the company serving as instructors. By providing programs that condense the know-how and skills of ALBERT, a professional in solving problems using data, the number of human resources who can play an active role more practically will expand in the company, and DX such as further AI utilization and data sharing in business will be promoted. It will accelerate.