Dr. Rahul Basole is Managing Director and Global Lead for Visual Data Science at Accenture, focusing on developing and delivering new competencies at the intersection of visual analytics, data science, AI, and strategy. His expertise includes advancing and applying novel, interactive, and human-centered visual analytic approaches to understanding, designing, and managing complex processes, enterprises, and ecosystems and bringing effective data-driven visual solutions to the C-suite.

Rahul is a globally recognized thought leader in visual data science and strategy and his award-winning research has been published in leading management science, computing, and engineering journals and conferences. In his prior roles, he has served as Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech, Director of the Institute for People & Technology, and a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University. Rahul earned a BS in industrial and systems engineering from Virginia Tech, an MS in industrial and operations management from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in industrial and systems engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.  

Accenture is a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud, and security. Accenture AI takes human ingenuity and artificial intelligence and applies them at the core of business to help clients become intelligent enterprises and solve their most complex business problems.

Key Theme: AI-Powered Enterprises Require Visual Analytics

Rahul says, “Data is ubiquitous—we use it, we create it, and we act on it in all of our daily economic and social activities. Yet, at the complexity, speed, and scale at which data grows and is consumed, it is increasingly difficult to make sense of it. This is particularly the case as we are rapidly entering the age of analytics, automation, and AI. “Visual analytics—the fusion of analytical models with interactive visualization—promises to be a crucial link in connecting humans with complex data, analytics, and AI, and people are starting to really embrace it. That’s why I was brought to Accenture. There is a growing understanding that organizations are stitching data together, building models, and running analytics on top of it, but at some point, someone may have to consume it. The human-data interface is increasingly important, and that’s become a real big push for many firms across industries.

The field of visual analytics is still fairly new. We’re not talking about static BI reports created with off-the-shelf data-visualization systems. We’re truly thinking about how to integrate AI and visual analytics to understand and explore complex organizational contexts and support operational and strategic processes through intelligent multimodal interfaces. In order to transform the potential into reality and accelerate from proof-of-concept to proof-of-value and scaled production, we need new skills, we need new capabilities, and we need digital assets and accelerators. This requires the building of trust within and outside of the organization. And that’s a massive challenge.”

For full interview chapter of Rahul and other digital leaders, please read the book.