AI implementation in Macedonia – why it’s essential to take a step back

The tendency for the general public to follow trends is a common occurrence. Just a couple of years ago, terms like crypto, blockchain, bull market, and NFTs captured widespread attention as the crypto market surged, sparking curiosity about this “new and revolutionary” form of currency. Now, the conversation and public discourse have shifted in a different direction, driven by an innovative tool that is transforming the way businesses and professions operate. OpenAI’s Chat GPT has brought Artificial Intelligence into the spotlight, a field that has been rapidly developing over the past two decades. Even before Chat GPT, AI quietly impacted our lives, assisting us in shopping, work, and business decision-making. Today, AI’s influence is more pronounced, and because everyone can use it the overall awareness of its capabilities is constantly growing. 

The implications and influence of AI globally are also impacting Macedonia, as more and more professionals in the public and private sectors are taking an interest in this new and, for them, undiscovered field. Lawyers are interested in understanding the limitations and regulations of AI, businesses want to capitalize on its potential to increase revenue and optimize processes, and professionals in many digital industries are finding their everyday work simplified.

As someone who understands business processes and needs to a great extent, being an experienced BI professional from one perspective, as well as a data architect, data scientist, and lecturer involved in creating technical solutions for many local and global companies from the other, our CEO, Filip Petrovski spoke with Bloomberg Adria. He attempted to clarify the current situation and shed light on his unique perspective regarding the rapid development of AI and the situation in Macedonia.

“In the interest of simplifying and clarifying this topic and understanding the direction in which Artificial Intelligence is moving, we must consider data science as a whole field of study. AI is only one part, or rather, one field within the broader realm of data science. In most cases, to reach AI, companies must undertake a transformative journey to adapt their processes and systems, to fully leverage the potential of artificial intelligence. Suppose we start with data science, which essentially is the ‘cherry on top’ of the digital transformation. In that case, it is important to clarify that data science supports a data-based decision-making process. We are referring to all the data that is stored and generated in the preceding stages of digital transformation. Considering this, data science emphasizes that companies must know and understand their data, as that is the only way to thrive in the competitive market and learn from data-driven decisions. This is precisely where the challenge lies in Macedonia, which is why we must address the issue of data science first and companies must gain analytical maturity, before fully embracing AI. Artificial intelligence automates decision-making and handles what we previously had to manage with our company data.”

“Global companies learn from their mistakes because they have been transforming themselves for the past 20 years, but we don’t have the luxury of time. We should learn from their mistakes and apply that knowledge. When the European Union market opens for Macedonia, Macedonian companies will face significant challenges: how to remain competitive in a highly advanced global market, where companies have already invested in the latest data technologies. To put things into perspective, in Macedonia, we only have 100 to 150 professionals working in the field of data science and business intelligence, with the majority of them in IT companies and only a fraction in actual businesses.”

“Data Masters is working towards addressing this issue, intending to help companies make crucial improvements and implement the changes and innovations that global companies have been adopting step-by-step over the last 20 years. We offer a combination of consulting services, implementation of data solutions, and education through our company’s Academy, catering to both the B2B and B2C segments. We are thrilled to see market leaders in almost every industry in Macedonia beginning to heavily invest in this direction, and Data Masters is proud to partner with multiple market leaders in the country, facilitating their development and competitiveness in the market.”