Applying AI & Machine Learning To Retail & Ecommerce


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The data science salon is a unique vertical focused conference which grew into a diverse community of senior data science, machine learning and other technical specialists. We gather face-to-face and virtually to educate each other, illuminate best practices and innovate new solutions in a casual atmosphere.


María Paz Cuturi

María Paz Cuturi

Machine Learning Engineer at Tryolabs

Sifeng Lin

Sifeng Lin

Operations Research Scientist at DoorDash

Sayan Maity

Sayan Maity

Senior Research Data Scientist at Roku

Briana Brown

Briana Brown

Geographer at Safe Graph

Resham Sarkar

Resham Sarkar

Principal Data Scientist at Slice

Edward Ratner

Edward Ratner

Founder & CEO at Eddamo

Murium Iqbal

Murium Iqbal

Senior Data Scientist at Etsy

Dia Trambitas

Dia Trambitas

Head of Product at John Snow Labs

Brian Burns

Brian Burns

Manager of Data Science & Analytics - Personalization & Outfitting at Nordstrom

Chris Latimer

Chris Latimer

VP Product Management at DataStax


Data Science Salon unites the brightest leaders in the retail and ecommerce across the nation in data science fields. We gather face-to-face and virtually to educate each other, illuminate best practices, and innovate new solutions. Data Science Salon | Retail & eCommerce is the only industry conference that brings together specialists in the retail and ecommerce data science fields to educate each other, illuminate best practices, and innovate new solutions in a casual atmosphere. Get the most current state of current industry trends and innovations in retail and ecommerce through DSS podcasts, exclusive content, Webinars and live Trainings. DSS also has an extensive on-demand video library of presentations from the top industry experts.


(All times are US Eastern)

11:30AM – 11:40AM

Introduction & Housekeeping

11:40am - 12:10pm

An Experiment-based Framework for Real-time Assignment Optimization

Sifeng LinOperations Research Scientist at DoorDash

Common methodologies used to optimize conventional logistics systems are less applicable to improving the efficiency of DoorDash’s real-time last-mile logistics platform. These common methodologies require a stable prototype environment that is difficult to build in our platform and does not allow for the accurate measurement of the algorithm change. To address our specific use case, we designed an experiment-based framework that allows us to rapidly iterate our algorithms and accurately measures the impact of every algorithm change.


12:15pm - 12:45pm

Why Apache Pulsar is becoming the new cornerstone of event driven retail

Chris Latimer – VP Product Management at Data Stax

Retailers face unique challenges when it comes to conducting business and delivering the technology to support it. From coping with Black Friday/Cyber Monday to constant pressures to deliver up to the second data in real time that will inform operational and business decisions, the retail industry is constantly pushing the envelope when it comes to event driven architecture and real time event streaming. In this session, we will take a closer look at Apache Pulsar, the next generation event streaming and messaging platform, to see why this technology is so well equipped to support the needs of today’s retail companies. Whether you need to magnify your visibility into customer activities and behavior, drive efficiencies in your supply chain, or deliver smarter experiences through machine learning and AI, this talk will show you why Apache Pulsar must absolutely be on your company’s radar.  


12:45pm - 1:40pm

Virtual Coffee Chat: Data Science Best Practices in Retail & eCommerce

Murium Iqbal – Senior Data Scientist at Etsy
Resham Sarkar – Principal Data Scientist at Slice
Q McCallum – Senior Content Advisor at Formulatedby

1:40pm - 2:10pm

Applying holistic ML to solve Industry business problems

Sayan MaitySenior Research Data Scientist at Roku

How cutting edge Machine Learning techniques can be leveraged to solve the core business needs of expanding the customer base without impacting the brand perception and by minimizing fraud in the context of product based consumer model.

2:10pm - 2:40pm

Industrial POI Analysis: The Future of Data Science in Ecommerce and Retail

Briana Brown – Geographer at SafeGraph

2020 was a watershed year for retail and ecommerce. Some brands and stores experienced sharp declines in revenue due to the economic downturn and social distancing; others saw demand for their products skyrocket, putting stress on supply chain operations as they struggled to keep up with rising consumer expectations. While the economy is now on the road to recovery, some of the shifts in consumer demand, behavior, and expectations will remain, creating a new normal for retail. To adjust to these changes, brands are increasingly turning to data science for answers. Geospatial information like points of interest (POIs), building footprints, and mobility data give retailers and ecommerce brands the tools to analyze how consumers interact with physical store locations, as well as places that may serve as leading indicators of demand to come. But one category of data in particular has been a gamechanger for brands as they adapt to a post-pandemic economy: industrial POIs. Industrial POIs refer to distribution centers, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities that are critical for supply chain analysis and demand forecasting, especially in a retail landscape increasingly dominated by ecommerce. Join geographer Briana Brown from SafeGraph as she describes the different types of industrial POIs and how they can be used for essential retail and ecommerce analytics.

2:45pm - 3:15pm

Physics, Personalization, and Pizza

Resham SarkarPrincipal Data Scientist at Slice

What if we all had a personal assistant who kept track of our likes and dislikes, when do we like what we like, where is the best place to get what we like? As we continue to ingest astronomical amounts of daily data, personalization has become a necessity for e-commerce companies for retaining high-quality customers and building trust in your brand. But first, we must understand our data. In this talk, I will show how we use physics to decode pizza at Slice and power personalization.

3:20pm - 3:50pm

Effective use of AI with Limited Data

Edward RatnerFounder & CEO at Edammo

Though in recent years the focus has been on big data, AI can provide critical in sights even when the amount of data is quite limited. In this talk, we will discuss a new approach to AI pioneered by Edammo. The technology provides very accurate models even when the number of training sample is between 100 and 10,000. We will discuss concrete use cases in several verticals including: image analysis, HR Tech, AI on IOT device and marketing/lead generation. This approach will enable many companies to leverage AI that currently can not. The new technology allows models to be created in seconds on standard desktop computers eliminating the need for expensive GPU clusters and other costly hardware.

4:05pm - 4:35pm

Metric Learning for Recommendations

Murium IqbalSenior Data Scientist at Etsy 

Two tower approaches have become prevalent in industry for both Search and Recommendations over the last few years. These methods employ metric learning to enforce a structure on an embedding space which captures a specific type of similarity. Fast retrieval via approximate nearest neighbor look-ups is then available in real time. We will review the loss functions and sampling strategies employed in industry to enable these methods, how they are deployed and why they are so powerful for information retrieval.

4:40pm - 5:00pm

Visual Document Understanding

Dia TrambitasHead of Product at JSL

Many businesses depend on paper documents or documents stored as images, such as receipts, manifests, invoices, medical reports, contracts, waivers, leases, forms, and audit records digitized with scanners. Up until now, extracting data from these images mainly involved extracting the text through OCR and using NLP techniques, while neglecting the layout and style information which are often vital for document image understanding. Novel deep learning techniques combine features from computer vision and NLP into unified models, resulting in improved state-of-the-art accuracy for form understanding and visual information extraction. This talk shares real applications of these models to digitize and analyze documents with the purpose of extracting meaningful and easily exploitable data.

5:05pm - 5:35pm

Representation Learning Driven Outfit Creation: Assisting Styling to Scale

Brian BurnsManager of Data Science & Analytics – Personalization & Outfitting at Nordstrom 

Nordstrom Digital Stylists create outfits to help our customers look good and feel great. They are asked to create outfits for several reasons: to serve an individual customer, to contribute to a thematic curation, to showcase an individual product, and more! During peak events with lots of new inventory such as the holidays and large sales, demand for their expertise can be enormous. In service of helping our stylists, we have created a machine learning based outfit creation/completion service leveraging Nordstrom’s extensive dataset of expertly created outfits and a hybrid graph based and representation learning approach. Given an initial item or set of items, we create outfits out of available inventory that are difficult to decern from those created by stylists, even by our stylists themselves. Join this talk to hear more about Nordstrom’s approach and results from their recent Anniversary Sale.


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