Ask yourself: how much time do you spend on tasks that are downright routine and not at all exciting? Data engineers spend the majority of their time collecting and sorting data, and that time could be better invested into more meaningful and valuable work. Research conducted by IBM shows that routine tasks are primarily responsible for staff feeling burned-out and unmotivated. On the other hand, quality data provides the basis for a business’s success, creating a need for data collection automation for many industries. Ukrainian startup datuum.ai came up with an innovative way of solving this pressing issue. So how effective is this innovation?
Founders: Dmytro Zhuk, Leonid Nekhymchuk
Location: Corte Madera, California
Year of foundation: 2021
Insidious routine vs innovations
Collecting and compiling data is the first and most important step in any business’s decision-making process. Experts state that data science can provide opportunities far beyond what’s being utilized today, including the possibility of significant growth for businesses. The main problem is that about 80% of all data in the world is unstructured; it is stored in a multitude of formats and thus is inaccessible and unusable. Not being able to access the necessary data significantly decreases a business’s efficiency.
Companies also experience a lack of well-trained and skilled data engineers.
These are the main factors preventing companies from reaching their business goals. So what can be done to solve this issue? Recently there’s been a significant increase in the number of startups that offer technological solutions for data collection and classification automation, notably datuum.ai. So how exactly does it help conquer routine and let business gain momentum?
Faster, better, more effective
Dmytro Zhuk, an entrepreneur and a data engineer, knows from his own experience the challenges of working with data. Compiling raw data takes a significant amount of time, which would be better spent on detailed analytics. The painstaking process of data normalization used to be performed manually, and Dmytro felt the need to automate it, thus creating the datuum.ai startup. Leonid Nekhymchuk was also interested in data management automation and became a co-founder. The startup has grown to 13 team members within a year.
So how does it work?
The technology is based on artificial intelligence and machine learning principles and shows promising results. The software recognizes and discerns various data formats (for example, such table formats as .xls, .json, .xml) from various systems, such as CRM, ERP, etc. Then, artificial intelligence analyzes and systematizes it. Data gets tagged and distributed into the appropriate table within the database. The datuum.ai algorithm successfully distinguishes between names of people and legal entities, geographical names, account numbers, etc., to name a few. A data analyst then evaluates the quality of data processing, which typically ranges from 86 to 92%. The data that was not successfully identified can then be corrected manually. The algorithm records all of the user’s actions which helps it perform better in the future. The more it is used, the better it becomes at adjusting to a user’s specific needs. Needless to say, all the collected data is stored securely and remains confidential.
For the AI model to adapt more quickly to a customer’s data, the datuum.ai algorithm can be additionally trained based on the specifics of each industry and client’s needs. It is currently set to recognize data in English but is ready to incorporate other languages.
The datuum.ai algorithm automates about 80% of a data engineer’s routine tasks, saving time and budget. It also allows data engineers to work more on non-routine, more interesting tasks. The startup team is confident that their innovation will not reduce the need for data engineers but rather will make their jobs more rewarding while allowing for professional growth and development.
Datuum.ai is unique in utilizing neural networks and artificial intelligence in data management, making it stand out among its competitors and offer effective solutions to any type of business.
Datuum.ai has already gained its first customers, mainly from the healthcare and veterinary industries.
Startup in Ukraine: innovations under fire
Says Irina Shymko, datuum.ai’s business development director: “Since the beginning of the full-scale war, the team was able to devote much less time for product development than was initially planned. Most staff were located in Kharkiv, so relocating them became essential. Relocation lasted from the end of February all through the month of March. Nevertheless, the startup’s operation wasn’t on pause for long. By the end of March, the need for expanding the team became apparent. Four new employees have joined the company. Now, most of the team members are located in West Ukraine”.
The founders have actively joined the volunteer efforts, dividing their time between volunteering and working on the project.
The datuum.ai team is currently busy developing new features while also focusing on attracting new clients and broadening marketing efforts.
Ukrainian startups: how to continue to survive and grow?
The necessity to adapt to the wartime realities impacted financial affairs. In March, the startup had to cease the process of seeking new funding. Investors previously interested in the project decided to pause the collaboration temporarily. Most investors are currently hesitant to fund Ukrainian startups due to risks associated with the ongoing war. Startups with offices or representatives outside Ukraine have better chances of receiving funding.
The situation in Ukraine remains the #1 topic in the West. Those who cannot show their support financially do so by other means. Says Irina Shymko: “War is no reason to give up. Right now, we see much support towards Ukrainian startups from foreign organizations”. Datuum.ai team recently took part in three conferences, which were also attended by investors who support Ukraine and are willing to help. Some shared their contacts, some gave valuable advice, and some provided funding. In addition, there are special programs that offer support to Ukrainian startups. Datuum.ai has already had a chance to partner with some programs and get support. Iryna advises startupers to check out the initiatives of such organizations as Unicorn Battle and Startup Grind. Datuum.ai has managed to attract angel investments and is continuing to raise funds.
Iryna also states that the world is much more open to Ukrainian businesses and urges her peers to take advantage of that. It’s far more essential to continue developing one’s project rather than focusing on how big each particular investment amount is or waiting for the war to end. Says Iryna: “Ukrainian startupers should return to their business activities despite the war. Remember that your goal was to implement and develop your business ideas, not to be afraid. So keep going to continue helping your country and yourself. I believe that Ukrainian startups will prove themselves. Since you’ve already started, you should keep going.”
Datuum.ai’s PR manager Liuka Lobarieva also urges the startups not to slow down but to return to work. It’s vital for the domestic economy, which is greatly affected by the war. Plus, the solutions and products offered by startups will also benefit Ukrainian businesses. Liuka says: “We were thinking about what actions can bring us closer to victory and decided to keep doing what we do best: help Ukrainian companies wean off Russian-made software by making the data extraction, consolidation and migration process even faster”. It is well-known that Ukrainian businesses were using IT technologies produced by Russian companies. It is strategically important to replace Russian digital products and solutions. There are multiple initiatives to search for alternative solutions. Such transition within larger companies might take years, and AI technologies can certainly help expedite that.
Your vyshyvanka (embroidered shirt) should not be the only way you show your patriotism. Wherever you are, do whatever you can to contribute to your homeland‘s victory, prosperity and well-being.