By Catherine Morin
Montreal-based Plotly Technologies this week announced it had received a $1.7 million contribution from Scale AI, the innovation supercluster investing in the development of artificial intelligence (AI) and supply chain technology in Canada.
Founded in 2013, Plotly specializes in the creation of data analytics and visualization solutions.
The company said in a press release Jan. 14 that it will use the investment to accelerate the development of Dash, its platform for building interactive analytic applications in Python.
As organizations increasingly invest in AI, the need to facilitate an understanding of outcomes and underlying models has become crucial to realizing business benefits.
Dash helps data scientists from companies worldwide make AI and learning machine models easier to leverage.
“Most companies use data science models to predict business outcomes. However, research teams or labs that develop these models often don’t have a good way to put them in the hands of users,” explained Jack Parmer, CEO of Plotly.
“Our software allows data scientists to create a custom user interface to these models so that everyday business users can directly interact with complex AI systems without needing to understand their underlying code.”
The investment will allow the company to expand its user base in Canada. “Even though we’re headquartered in Montreal, most of our customers live in the United States. We’re very excited about this program as a way to kick start our business in Canada,” declared Parmer.
The funding will also support collaborations with several Canadian companies, such as Dex Clothing and Hydro-Québec, to develop AI supply chain analytics solutions with Dash.
For example, Hydro-Québec will leverage the software’s predictive analytics to identify potential problems in the electric grid. Easy access to this data will optimize preventive maintenance and allow for faster response times.
In line with its foundation as an open core organization, Plotly will make Dash broadly available through 30 free, open-source application templates. The company will also offer 10,000 hours of training on the software to Scale AI consortium partners.
The funding is part of a total investment of $74.7 million from Scale AI to support ten new projects that are exploring how AI can help reduce costs and improve efficiencies.