AI, operations research and data science on the agenda at the 3rd Dataquitaine event

Changed on 12/03/2020
Dataquitaine was held on 13 February at Kedge Business School, bringing together some 400 data experts from Nouvelle-Aquitaine. For this third edition, the focus was on managing large volumes of data, the use of learning methods in business intelligence applications and the interaction between constraint propagation and mathematical optimisation. With the goal of creating collaboration between professionals from the academic and corporate worlds, this event aims to create a community in a region that has become specialised in data over recent years.
Photo mains clavier et big data
© Inria / Photo H. Raguet

The Dataquitaine fair started with a cluster of organisations that includes the French Operations Research & Decision Support Society (ROADEF), Bordeaux Data Science and Digital Aquitaine. The founding members of the event have sought to encourage collaboration between the research and industrial worlds while contributing to local dynamism.

The objective is to create a regional community around data and boost our skills as a region. This type of gathering is valuable for scientists since it provides them with an opportunity to share their research with companies and manufacturers, who in turn can share the needs of their business sectors

explains François Clautiaux, university professor and head of RealOpt, a joint project team from Inria and UMR IMB, University of Bordeaux.

This initiative is supported by Nicolas Roussel, Director of the Inria Bordeaux-Sud-Ouest research centre, who spoke at a plenary session:

I love this event because it illustrates the bridges that can be built between the world of research and the business world, especially through start-up projects (Atoptima, Intuinet, Preditic, Sophia Genetics, Mieuxplacer, etc.). This shows that those working in research laboratories can also enter the business world. We will continue to support this event in any way we can.

An opportunity for the research community

Given its growing attractiveness over the past five years, the city of Bordeaux has become home to several companies, some of which are specialised in data. This trend can also be observed throughout the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, causing it to become the new Data Valley. Antoine Jeanjean, an organiser of the Dataquitaine event, sees this impetus as an opportunity for the research community.

Over the past decade, companies have witnessed an explosion in data. The challenge has been to collect, identify and organise it. Now the challenge is different: it must be analysed, processed and exploited. This expertise is not necessarily something companies have in-house. Researchers can therefore take advantage of this by offering solutions and reminding companies of their expertise.

It was during the 2019 edition that Emilie Pons, the partnership and innovation projects manager, was able to match the expertise from the institute with the challenges the start-up was facing. This exemplary cooperation was presented at the event by Rémi Duclos, an Inria engineer in IT development, and illustrated the effective transfer of methods related to data from the financial sector.

Expanding data exploitation to new business sectors

The benefits of data exploitation for companies include increased performance, improved economic models, and a means of curbing attrition. Kereon Intelligence, a company based in Niort, has understood this challenge. It provides support to over 80 companies in the region, from major groups, to SMEs and start-ups.

Many companies have gone without data for years, but are now witnessing the transformation of their business sector. Some are sitting on a gold mine that has not yet been exploited, or only little, and understand that it represents major potential for growth

explains managing partner Jonas Pasquet, who participated in the fair for the second year in a row.

One of the challenges this company seeks to meet is that of making data a core element for companies by promoting the use of new models such as data analysis and artificial intelligence. It seeks to make data projects accessible to as many as possible and train the specialists of tomorrow.