Prof. Dr. Martin Vogt joined CURE as a new equity partner and scientific advisor in May 2020. We interviewed Prof. Vogt about his background and vision for CURE.
PROF. VOGT, YOU TEACH BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, PARTICULARLY ADVANCED ANALYTICS AT THE TRIER UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES. WHAT DOES YOUR DAILY BUSINESS AT THE UNIVERSITY LOOK LIKE?
In short, my work centres around everything concerned with data in companies – from storage to analysis. I hence give lectures and teach seminars on databases as well as on statistics, data science and machine learning. On the research side, I concentrate on evaluation, i.e. data science, predictive analytics and machine learning. Currently, for example, I am working on Multi Source Estimation, i.e. the integration of different data sources – images, text, sound and numbers – into prediction models.
THAT SOUNDS LIKE A BROAD SPECTRUM. WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
I studied applied mathematics with a focus on economics at the Universities of Trier and Glasgow and subsequently obtained a doctorate in statistics. I then worked for a long time in consulting and in management positions for various companies in the financial sector before deciding to go back to university.
WHAT MADE YOU GO BACK?
I am fascinated both by science and practical implementation. I also enjoy teaching very much. The professorship enables me to combine these interests. Most of our students are very keen on practical content, projects in practice therefore help me to reflect the contents of my lectures and to align them with business reality.
YOU JOINED CURE AS EQUITY PARTNER AND SCIENTIFIC ADVISOR. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO COME ON BOARD AS AN INVESTOR?
CURE enables me to work on exciting projects. I have known the company for a long time through various collaborations, and I was particularly impressed by the team, the extremely solid and broad customer base as well as the topics behind the projects. I also know the other partners very well. Since we moved places last year, I even happen to live very close to one of the co-owners. The proximity among the three of us helps us to be able to react quickly and flexibly.
WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL CONTRIBUTION TO CURE’S DEVELOPMENT?
I see myself providing strengths in two main areas: On the one hand, I plan to use my network to help expand the customer base and win new customers. On the other hand, I intend to support the team as a consultant for data science projects. I see great potential for the future in this respect.
IN TERMS OF TRENDS, WHERE DO YOU SEE DATA SCIENCE HEADING?
I am positive that digitalisation will continue to accelerate. Current estimates expect the amount of data to double every two years, companies in almost all industries are thus holding more and more data in their hands. However, scarce resources limit the number of those able to realize their full potential, or some may deem it uneconomical to invest in a license for additional data sources such as social media data. At the same time, the demand for customized reporting and analysis solutions is increasing. This is exactly where CURE comes in.
WHAT CHALLENGES ARE THERE TO DATA SCIENCE PROJECTS?
Data Science is a very complex topic at the interface of different disciplines such as computer science, statistics or mathematics. Successful teams must therefore display skill sets across five disciplines:
- Business acumen: A precise understanding of the industry, the customer as well as the legal and ethical requirements is central to project success. Add to this creativity and a problem-solving attitude.
- Data management: Data can make a project or it can break it. They may have to be obtained from various sources and processed appropriately. Elementary skills include, but are not limited to, database knowledge.
- Analytical skills: This includes the ability to understand and apply models from areas such as statistics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
- IT skills: Correctly implementing models necessitates IT knowledge ranging from various programming languages to data security.
- Visualisation: Successfully completing a project requires professionally preparing and communication the results.
Integrating these skills into a team requires excellent leadership.
ALLOW US TO CONCLUDE WITH A PERSONAL QUESTION: WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE NOT WORKING?
I try to spend as much time as possible with my wife and my three children (4 years, 2 years and 4 months). I am also a passionate amateur beekeeper and have been playing table tennis for more than 30 years.