Team ai Case Study

At ai, our most important resource is our people. We are passionate about developing our people by providing them with the tools and resources to perform at their absolute best.

In our new case study series,  we sit down with a member of #Teamai who gives an in-depth overview of their role, key priorities and how they developed while working for ai.

Our first case study is from Oliver Tearle, who leads our Innovation Department.

Training and development within ai

I joined ai back in 2013 as a Java Developer. The business had around ten staff members in a small office space back then. Now the business has over 100 people, we work with the largest payments organisations and retailers, and I’m currently leading the innovation function within the business.  I’ve grown by learning on the job and taking the chances to develop my knowledge and skills further at every opportunity.

I’m constantly encouraged to work out of my comfort zone – I’ve been able to develop my technical skills alongside how I can communicate and translate complex information more simply in an effective manner. Working with several large international organisations has exposed me to so many insights that I’ve been able to take back into my role. 

ai has a strong ethos of investing in its people, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be allowed to participate in a Ph.D. exploring the automation of modern credit card fraud detection. This recognition from the Management Team to invest in the innovation function has led me to formalise my development that can add value to ai.  The great thing about taking part in the Ph.D. is that it completely intertwines with my role and I can take what I’ve learned and apply it instantly to the business.

 Current role and position  

My role is comprised of two core responsibilities: leading with a data-driven approach to automate and optimise internal operational processes with additional focus on researching and embedding new technology into new and existing products for long-term success.

In essence, my role is about addressing the long-term needs of the business by reviewing the upcoming trends, addressing our long-term business challenges and ultimately, how we get to that endpoint. Data has become a key area of focus for ai, which I’m leading on how we can utilise our existing data more strategically.

What are your key priorities? 

Over the past two years, my main focus has been developing our fraud management automation tool, aiAutoPilot ML. This has involved the technical assessment of many tools and techniques, which are then implemented into the product. I have been involved in all areas of development and infrastructure design. I led our cloud application migration initiative, which has its roots in aiAutoPilot ML, where we have already been able to reduce internal infrastructure costs in one instance by 90%.

As well as leading the development of new solutions, my main priority is to set out the strategic vision for the business by defining product and service improvements alongside exploring how we can maximize our data to provide over-and-above value to our customers.  Crucially, my role is to look toward developing new revenue streams using data and technology.

What do you enjoy about your current position? 

What I enjoy most about my role and working for ai is having the autonomy to decide on the business trajectory from an innovation perspective. I have the flexibility and creativity to develop the innovation roadmap that will take ai to the next stage of its growth which involves trying out new and emerging technology and how that can be applied across the entire business.

Another reason why I enjoy my role is the opportunity to create thought leadership content that explores a wide range of topics through ML, data, innovation, and upcoming trends. I had never previously considered writing articles, but the great thing about working at ai is that you have the opportunity to work in areas you might not have considered before. It has not only supported the business to increase its presence in the various industries we operate in, but I have been able to improve my personal brand as I have my articles published in industry-wide trade publications such as Finextra and Payments Journal. I’ve recently been recognised by the Surrey 40 under 40 Business Awards, which I’m incredibly proud of and grateful for the opportunity ai has given to me.

I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with the University of Southampton through a government-funded knowledge transfer partnership to improve fraud risk strategy automation through machine learning. I had heavy involvement in the application process and learned a lot about developing and presenting business cases in order to secure funding. This collaboration has been incredibly valuable – not only have I had the opportunity to work closely with leading academics in their field, but it has also resulted in new machine learning technology being developed to further innovate and automate different processes for our customers.

The impact ai has had on your career 

Working at ai has had a significant impact on my career. I genuinely believe I would not have the vast array of knowledge and skills I do today if I had been working for another company. I have learned so much, both technically and from a business perspective – from developing strategic roadmaps to people management and customer interactions. I’ve been able to fulfill my passion during my time at ai, and there are always opportunities to grow and develop my career.

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