Deloitte Catalyst to Help Businesses Harness Transformative Technologies

NEW YORK, October 17, 2016

Today, Deloitte announced the formation of Deloitte Catalyst, a network of leading startups working to translate the potential of disruptive technologies into practical business solutions for the firm and its clients.

Deloitte Catalyst accelerates digital transformation by bringing together critical assets and capabilities from the domains of cognitive technologies, Internet of Things and blockchain and includes as initial members Narrative Science, Kira Systems, Ayasdi and Loyyal, among others.

Deloitte Catalyst has enabled Deloitte to launch more than 50 client-focused use cases related to automated document review, natural language processing, natural language generation, data wrangling, machine intelligence, distributed ledger technology and applications of robotic and cognitive automation.

“Deloitte Catalyst is enabling Deloitte and our clients to more easily tap the power of innovation,” said Cathy Engelbert, chief executive officer of Deloitte LLP. “Many businesses are searching for ingenuity amongst disruption given today’s economic climate, and they need an efficient way to access the latest advances in science and technology.”

The activities of Deloitte Catalyst include pairing larger companies with the right startups to explore applications for emerging technologies. Use cases are identified, proofs of concepts and prototypes are developed and pilots are run to evaluate new solutions. From there, Deloitte acts as an incubator, applying the experiences needed to scale solutions into marketplace offerings.

Working with Kira Systems, for example, Deloitte has developed machine-learning models that quickly “read” thousands of complex documents, extracting and structuring textual information for analysis by Deloitte’s professionals. This helped Deloitte receive the 2015 “Audit Innovation of the Year” award from the International Accounting Bulletin.

With Narrative Science, Deloitte is using natural language generation to help create reports based on data from fraud investigations, regulatory compliance, inventory management, financial analysis and audit and tax filings.

And its relationships with several blockchain startups are exploring use cases related to loyalty and rewards, digital banking, digital identity and cross-border payments, among others.

“For an early-stage company offering a new artificial intelligence technology, Deloitte Catalyst can offer a clear path to identifying applications appropriate for the enterprise,” said Stuart Frankel, chief executive officer of Narrative Science, the advanced natural language generation firm. “Sometimes I’m not sure which is harder – inventing new forms of AI-powered software or navigating the marketplace to find the right opportunities. Deloitte understands how to apply emerging technologies to meet their clients’ needs in a way that enables progress and growth on both sides.”

Some of Deloitte’s use cases are aimed at enhancing how the professional services firm delivers client services. Cognitive technologies such as natural language processing and machine learning are helping audit and tax professionals review invoices and financial statements and even complex agreements like leases and trusts. Natural language generation is converting data into more insightful analysis and reports, including deeper insights around risk and a company’s standing against peers.

“Deloitte Catalyst represents our ability to operate at the nexus of innovation supply and demand,” said Craig Muraskin, managing director of Deloitte LLP’s US Innovation Group. “It’s helping clients exploit innovation in very tangible ways — streamlining operations, engaging customers, penetrating markets and extracting insights out of the proliferation of big data.”

According to Andrew Vaz, Deloitte’s global chief innovation officer, Deloitte Catalyst adds another element to Deloitte‘s worldwide approach to accelerating collaboration between startups and corporations. This approach also entails initiatives with incubators, accelerators and academic-backed startups across a range of technologies and business models including robotics, crowdsourcing, nanotechnology, cyber security, 3D printing and synthetic biology. Deloitte’s approach also features ecosystem/startup sensing and development; experimentation and incubation services; and curated client tours of such innovation hubs as Silicon Valley, Boston, New York, London, Los Angeles, Toronto and Tel Aviv.

“By engaging the world’s leading start-ups on a number of fronts, we are in a position to deliver the right path for a company given its place on the innovation journey,” said Vaz. “Tapping innovation successfully can take a variety of forms, but the heart of it is having the right relationships to draw from, at the appropriate stage of the innovation lifecycle.”