Pulsar provides AI-powered insights for businesses, using social media and online data. As such, the company needed an accurate, scalable and easy-to-deploy solution to help identify important signals from the data it collects. As head of product, Linda oversees the use of IBM Watson Natural Language Understanding and Watson Visual Recognition to analyze millions of online and social media posts and images in real time—providing Pulsar’s clients with valuable insights about their audience, competitors and overall brand health. 

What was the business opportunity you sought to address by using AI? 
Our value proposition is providing insights for businesses, using social media and online data. AI can be transformational in helping businesses make informed decisions and create better outcomes, whether it’s reputation monitoring or informing a communications strategy. Clients can gather valuable business insights from social data, and with AI there’s no limit to the type of data input that can be analyzed or the source of data, be it text or images, social data or customer survey data. 

What has your company achieved with Watson? 
In addition to providing generic text and visual AI models, we also offer our clients the option to choose industry-specific AI models. The models have been specifically trained to analyze and gather insights within a specific domain, for example travel. Clients favor this approach over a generic AI solution, and we are the only platform to provide access to multiple AI algorithms on demand. There’s also been a shift towards customization, i.e. building custom models that solve a business’s specific problems, and this is the direction that Pulsar is headed towards. We’ve seen that there’s clearly a business need for this type of solution, particularly for enterprise brands. 

What advice would you give your younger self? 
I come from a non-technical background and have no coding experience. But after eight years being involved in the design and build of a cutting-edge product like Pulsar, I have learned that what pays off is having a passion for your product, coupled with extensive research and understanding of the domain in which your product operates. This is key to being a successful product manager. That said, you don’t have to be a domain expert. Having the ability to bootstrap some of the more complex and challenging projects I’ve worked on has definitely contributed to my success.

What advice would you share with others who are considering using AI?
Think big, start small. That’s how we started at Pulsar.