Former marketing executive creates data science firm

Emylla focuses on using AI to help companies with systems integration.

Despite a rocky start in early 2020, a new West Michigan data and technology firm is ready to deliver advanced data science to clients and help maximize the value of their data in the new year.

Emylla LLC gives mid- to large-size businesses a competitive edge by developing and implementing transformative data and analytics strategies, including AI, machine learning, robotic process automation, data pipeline engineering and systems integration.

The firm was founded in April by Jeff Norton, whose 25-year business career includes analytics and marketing at General Motors and most recently at Viking Group in Caledonia, where he served as vice president of marketing and digital solutions.

“Most companies use a tiny fraction of their data,” Norton said. “Emylla uncovers hidden insights to help optimize performance and create new revenue streams. Our solutions enable data-informed decision making at all levels of a business, which leads to better outcomes for the bottom line.

“What we’re founded on is knowing and understanding that companies can get so much value out of their data,” he continued. “Whatever you can predict in your business can help you move faster.”

On the sales and marketing side, for example, using data can help enterprises predict and understand what a customer might do, whether it be what kind of products they purchase or how strong their loyalty might be. Another value from understanding data is identifying weaknesses in the supply chain.

“Whatever you can predict in your business will help you move faster,” Norton said.

Norton’s business experience also is critical to understanding where value is generated from within the data, he said. If companies aren’t able to understand their own data, they could end up chasing a bad deal or falling down a rabbit hole of disparate information.

Emylla emphasizes integrating the organization’s existing data silos. Norton said companies already have so much data available to them, but they only use a portion of it because the data often is stored in separate systems, whether its ERP systems, data for product information or manufacturing management.

The main push for Emylla is integrating these disparate data sources into a single unified view by partnering with Neo4j, a graph database platform.

“It focuses on the relationship between entities, rather than looking at everything from a siloed perspective,” Norton said. “That is absolutely key. It’s what’s going to drive the future of AI, and These patterns can be recognized more quickly by AI.”

Emylla is focused on serving mid- to large-sized enterprises. Many of the larger Fortune 500 companies already have data science in-house, but Emylla also can serve as a kind of pressure valve by bringing its experience on board as well, Norton said.

Norton is the sole owner of the firm, but he is operating in partnership with his wife, Jennifer, who brings several years of retail experience to the operation. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent state shutdowns hurt their prospects of closing on an office location, but fortunately data scientists are used to working freelance, Norton said, and the two currently are operating out of their home in Ada.

Norton added Emylla soon will be launching its first product for companies to integrate their data streams in 2021.

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