Solita AI Masterclass inspires DNA leadership

From AI hype towards goal-oriented development

DNA, a leading Finnish telecommunications operator, has a clear goal: to be at the forefront of exploiting data and artificial intelligence in Finland. To further improve the understanding of artificial intelligence among its business directors, 40 executives took part in Solita’s AI Masterclass training in 2020.

A total of 80 distinct proposals for using artificial intelligence and machine learning were created, eight of which were deemed to be of shared strategic importance.

“We wanted to engage all our management teams in different functions to find new and inventive ways to use artificial intelligence. In the training, we sought practical business ideas and prioritised them together. We found this to be a productive approach – the AI Masterclass was praised by the participants,” says Janne Aalto, CIO at DNA.

Generally, business ideas related to artificial intelligence are always connected to the use of data.

“We must see the bigger picture that all data and its utilisation are linked to. Our vision is to be a data-driven company, a pioneer, with different management teams who thoroughly understand the value of artificial intelligence and data. By utilising data and artificial intelligence in a prudent and innovative way, we can achieve the best possible customer experience,” says Aalto.

DNA and Solita have collaborated on data for more than a decade.

Seeing beyond technology

The AI Masterclass training is aimed at offering a better understanding of artificial intelligence to company management teams in the context of their own business. It allows directors to gain shared terminology and mutual understanding of the key concepts. The training provides a practical approach to utilising artificial intelligence in business.

“The training has a pragmatic goal, a hands-on approach to artificial intelligence that bursts the bubble around it. We help executives come up with ideas that artificial intelligence makes possible. We facilitate and help their ideas take shape. This is transformative learning and discovery,” says Anna Metsäranta, Business AI Lead at Solita.

The training is hosted by Solita’s top specialists. It always includes an AI business designer and a data scientist.

According to Metsäranta, DNA is one of the most advanced users of AI among Solita’s customers. Their existing skill level was already high.

“This is why we were not sure if someone like DNA would benefit from training like the AI Masterclass. The company already uses machine learning to a great extent. As we carried out the training with DNA, we learned that this format also benefits more advanced companies,” says Metsäranta.

“I was impressed by how knowledgeable they already were regarding the possibilities of artificial intelligence, and how clearly the people from DNA could see beyond the technology in their thinking. This sort of understanding is rare.”

We were able to use the same training process to collect the best ideas for using artificial intelligence from five different business functions and form an overall picture. This is a clear benefit.Janne Aalto, CIO, DNA

Ideas are not enough

What were the main benefits of the AI Masterclass for DNA?

“We were able to use the same training process to collect the best ideas for using artificial intelligence from five different business functions and form an overall picture. This is a clear benefit. Another positive result was getting inspired and realising how we can make cooperation more effective across organisational boundaries in our artificial intelligence efforts,” says Aalto from DNA.

According to Aalto, the training offered more than ideas. It was also important to understand how to give those ideas form and take them forward in practice. Solita provides valuable support for the refining phase as well.

The next questions for DNA relate to organisation and resourcing: they want to involve all the experts required for the implementations.

“After this, we will ensure agile progress with Solita. The AI Masterclass yielded 80 ideas, and we will start implementing eight of those into practice. We believe that some will go all the way to production use,” says Aalto.

The first to complete the Solita AI Masterclass was DNA’s IT management team in spring 2020. The other management teams followed in autumn 2020. Aalto encourages other companies to take the training.

“The participants had glowing reviews. It might be a good idea in future training to mix members from different management teams so that different expertise and perspectives can be involved.”

Interested? Contact us

Anna Metsäranta

Head of Sustainable AI

[email protected]

+358 405 232 321