Meet the Humans Behind Our AI: Jared Carlson
Meet our Senior Manager of Core Data Science and hear his thoughts on retail trends, how he ended up in data science and AI, and predictions of data science’s impact on retail.
Q: Why did you choose Revionics?
A: When I was in grad school, my advisor, Jeff, and I did a lot of demand modeling and research on fast-moving consumer packaged goods and things of that nature. Jeff eventually left and joined Revionics. When I was in my second year of my Ph.D., Jeff called and offered me a job. Since it was right down my alley in terms of interests and things I researched in the past, I jumped at the opportunity.
Q: What other companies have you worked for?
A: Prior to Revionics, I worked for Mattel, in the predictive analytics department of the American Girl division. We did a lot of predictive analytics around who to send the catalog to given their past purchase history. And we leveraged history from the credit bureaus on purchasing power.
Q: What led you to data science and how did you end up going down that path?
A: I got a master’s degree in statistics–they weren’t even calling it data science back then. Machine learning was being thrown around a little, but it wasn’t the really hot thing until recently. But ultimately, my degree in statistics is what naturally lead me down this path.
Q: What near-term data science trends do you anticipate in the retail industry?
A: Despite the cost of AI and Machine Learning, retailers will start seeing a huge return on their investment. Retailers are finding that when it’s done right, they can greatly improve their revenues with Artificial Intelligence on their side. Additionally, Retailers will become more sophisticated with their data collection methods and will increase the number of data scientists that they employ.
Q: How do you see AI affecting retail in 10 years?
A: There is going to be a centralized function around artificial intelligence and machine learning. It’s not just going to be an afterthought – it’s going to completely drive their decisions and pricing strategies. I think in the next 10 years, most, if not all retailers are going to get there.