iTechArt Event Recap Data Driven NYC #18

On September 17th, I attended Data Driven NYC, an event hosted by Bloomberg Beta and organized by Matt Turck with presentations by Fred Wilson, co-founder of Union Square Ventures, financial data companies: Etimize, Quandl, and Kensho, and featuring spotlights on Paris based data start-ups: Yseop, Datailu, and OpenDataSoft.

The event started with a “fireside” chat with Fred Wilson, the co-founder of Union Square Ventures on the topics of preparatory data assets and how networks have evolved to make such data defensible.

“What are some examples of preparatory data assets and why do they matter?” asked Matt Turck to start the “fireside” chat.

Fred Wilson answered, “We came to realize that the only defensibility that you can get with data is the defensibility around your own data.” The problem of preparatory data assets revolved around the defensibility of that data.

“If you are getting data assets from somebody else, they can always give it to someone else…” Wilson continued, “Even if they are bound by exclusive contracts… you will pay through the nose for that data. So, unless you own your data, you don’t really have defensible data assets.”

Therefore, Wilson believes that the defensibility of data lies within networks. The tremendous amounts of data formed within networks such as Twitter for example, provides advantages since “its users contribute the data.” Data such as search queries, user connections, and content creation leverage the data since it comes from within your own system.

But how do you keep the data in your network?

Wilson first uses a story to highlight the indefensibility of software and the power of the data asset, “Three entrepreneurs start a company and create new enterprise software. They sell their software and start their companies. However, Bloomberg beta hires two programmers to knock off this new software and sell this software for a cheaper price hence cutting into the profits of the major software companies. Then a group of hackers create an open source version of the software which ruins both the software companies and the programmers from Bloomberg Beta. Therefore software alone can’t contribute to the defensibility of data.

For Wilson, networks are the intersection between software and data because what networks provide is connectivity. And connectivity is a major component to the defensibility of data.

Edmodo is an example of how the connectivity of networks attributes to the defensibility of data. According to Wilson, what Edmodo accomplished was, by using facebook’s social networking programs such as the newsfeed, it enabled teachers to communicate with each other for free. Communication “allowed teacher to connect to each other and share lesson plans, homework, tests, and etc. And all of this was free.” By the virtue of using Edmodo to connect with one another, data created by teachers are “living within Edmodo”. Therefore, the network effects will be around “the content created and shared within the platform” And since, now content lives within the system, the most important data (conversational/transactional) stay within the network.

Jean Marc Lazard, CEO of OpenDataSoft, made the first spotlight presentation.

Lazard explained OpenDataSoft as a cloud based platform that condenses big data technologies into a cost effective and easy to use data management system. The platform can collect all kinds of data from any sources and reformat the data into the user’s requirements.

Marc Batty, chief custom officer at Dataiku, made the next spotlight presentation.

Dataiku, according to Batty, is a data science application/platform that collects raw and external data in order to evaluate and predict trends in business processes. The platform uses the data collected to update and re-configure itself via machine learning technologies.

John Rauscher, CEO and co-founder of Yseop, made the final spotlight presentation.

Rauscher explained Yseop as a software centered on artificial intelligence that removes the human element from administrative tasks. Yseop uses data to automatically perform lead generations, up-selling, cross-selling, writing reports, and post meeting summaries. As such, it makes administrative tasks far more efficient since with Yseop, a company’s sales teams can spend more time on customer interactions and less time on administrative tasks in order to close business faster.

Leigh Drogen, CEO of Estimize, made the first financial data presentation.

Estimize, according to Drogen, is an open financial estimates platform which facilitates the aggregation of fundamental estimates through public and private crowdsourcing. By sourcing estimates from a wide range of individuals, Estimize provides both a more accurate and more representative view of expectations compared to only sell side data sets which suffer from biases.

Abraham Thomas, Chief Data officer at Quandl made the second financial data presentation.

Quandl, according to Thomas, is a search engine for quantitative data that makes it easier to use and find all numerical data on the internet. Quandl accomplishes its search inquires through the millions of indexed numerical datasets from around the internet as Thomas explains how Quandl is used, “When you click on a particular dataset listed in our index, Quandl goes to the original source of that data, extracts the most recent version of that data, cleans it up, and gives it to you in whatever format you want.”

Daniel J. Nadler, chief executive officer at Kensho, made the final presentation of the evening.

Nadler explains Kensho as a platform that combines high-speed search algorithms and machine learning to create a new class of predictive analysis tools in finance. By combing high speed search algorithms ad machine learning, Kensho tackles the two biggest challenges surrounding financial analysis on Wall Street today; scale and automation.

About Me:

I have has consulted with dozens of next-generation technology start-ups across the United States in information management, human resources, and custom enterprise and mobile application engineering essentially leading to next stage funding rounds and acquisition.

About iTechArt:

iTechArt is a leading custom software engineering company focused primarily on establishing and operating remote, fully dedicated, teams for product development and customization, proof of concept and software prototyping, application modernization and re-engineering, QA and testing. Since 2002 iTechArt has been successfully acting as a trustworthy and reliable technology partner for dynamically growing technology start-ups.


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