Franz Dill’s academic background is in astrophysics and mathematics, with degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Florida. He worked developing tank battle simulations in the 1970s for the office of the Joint Chiefs at the Pentagon, where he won a Defense Department scholarship for information technology.
For thirty years he worked for the Procter & Gamble Company. At P&G he reported to the CIO as part of an information technology research organization which scouted and vetted emergent technology use. He worked directly with the CEO developing their first executive information systems. This led directly to P&G’s Business Sphere data-focused experience. He led the company in the application of modeling to enterprise supply chains. He managed work with many academic and vendor partners.
Dill acted as a chief scientist for analytics and as a consulting emergent technologist. As part of the artificial intelligence team, he delivered a number of high value applications in manufacturing, R&D HR, and marketing. Later he developed several marketing analysis systems still in use. One of these applications was the first use of AI to interact directly with the package goods consumer and is still in use today. Another of his AI knowledge applications was in use for twenty years, saving the company hundreds of millions of dollars. He brought in the first application of agent-based simulation models for marketing.
He helped found P&G’s groundbreaking contextual innovation centers, now with over sixty global locations, working with nearly every major retailer worldwide and dozens of technology and systems vendors. There he managed and developed advanced retail technologies for merchandising. He pioneered the use and experimentation and measurement of mobile platforms in all three moments of truth, including experimentation with point of sale and in-store marketing solutions. He founded and managed P&G’s analytics Center of Excellence, which led to the establishment of Data Scientist roles.
Dill established the company’s Web 2.0 capabilities, writing the most widely read blog in the company. He designed and helped implement Procter’s early work in knowledge management. He brought in the first interactive visualization systems to deal with the opportunity of Big Data. He was a member of Procter’s Cognitive Council, addressing non-conscious reactions to marketing and merchandising messages.
In March 2008, Dill retired and is now a consultant in marketing, retail innovation, HR, supply chain, knowledge management and other areas. He has worked with a number of startups and advanced technology companies.
Building on his AI experience, he then worked with the IBM Cognitive Science Institute, promoting the use of AI methods to augment and extend human capabilities. These are leading to methods like “Watson Analytics” which automate methods of analytics and business intelligence, and the delivery of bot-style “virtual assistants” that add key elements of intelligence to computing systems.