Last week, I was able to tune-in via live stream to some of the presentations held at GigaOM Structure Data in New York City. In his summary coverage, GigaOM’s Executive Editor, Tom Krazit, observed that data analysis tools are maturing with a keen focus on data-driven decision making. Praescient works at the cutting-edge of big data analytics, and often we see our government and commercial clients asking the same questions about how to use advanced technologies to overcome data challenges. Structure Data provided a forum for a range of innovative companies we have worked with to present ideas about solving the biggest and hardest problems in business, health, security, and other fields.
One of my favorite sessions featured Justin Kosslyn of Google Ideas, who has been working to understand illicit networks and has helped organize conferences including the Google INFO Summit. Justin presented data findings on human trafficking in the United States, and focused on the power of teaming with Palantir Technologies and the Polaris Project to use technology to shape policy. By modeling and integrating over 150 variables tracked by Polaris, Justin and his teams were able to identify trends and hotspots of trafficking activity. In this way, as Mr. Krazit said, Google and other players are able to enrich data-driven decision makers.
Praescient recently co-released a report with researchers from Arizona State University, examining human trafficking and presenting new findings on the influence of illicit networks across the United States. We leveraged our past experience helping special operations teams understand movements internationally throughout Africa and the Middle East, as well as our efforts analyzing trafficking across transnational borders, to make connections from a large volume of data. As we highlight in the report, and as Justin mentions in his presentation, advanced technologies need to be deployed to enhance situational awareness with state and local law enforcement stakeholders. The solution requires the development of an “enterprise brain,” an approach cultivated in training that connects methodologies across communities in order to streamline data analysis and enable decision making with continued embedded support with diverse user groups.
Mr. Krazit touches on the importance of developing an enterprise brain, although in a slightly different manner, saying that data has to be gathered smartly and respectfully and from the correct sources. By pairing the engineer with the analyst earlier in the development process, teams can approach solutions with fuller force from the start of the analytic lifecycle and not only gather data smartly, but build solutions that remain focused on enabling decision making and solving the hardest problems.
At GigaOM, two innovative companies, Paxata and Dataminr, were spotlighted for working to make data more reliable for diverse users, including finance and media – and I would argue, effectively cultivating an enterprise brain across industries. Paxata’s method of Adaptive Data Preparation, which helped the company win a GigaOM Structure Data Award, enables business analysts to adjust more rapidly to requests while still working with comprehensive and flexible data to support decision making. Dataminr helped to alert stakeholders of Blackberry’s market activity and provided near-instant assessments of the recent building explosion in Harlem. The company’s technology enables real-time analysis of public tweets on Twitter and delivers the earliest warnings for breaking news, real-world events, and emerging trends.
Praescient will continue to tune-in to upcoming conferences across the six continents where we are supporting clients and partners. If you are located in the New York region in April, venture to NY Tech Day 2014 to check out Sailthru, whose Smart Data empowers marketers to turn data into actionable insights and increased engagement, or register for the Bloomberg Enterprise Technology Summit to learn more about Palo Alto Networks and their recent acquisition of cyber security firm Morta Security.