Tag: analytics

Panel at Dell Conference Advises Companies to Use Big Data Wisely

Founder of Silicon Hills News

BpLpenrCEAA-OkuThe big takeaway from a panel discussion on big data at the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network conference is to use data and analytics responsibly.

“Use data smartly,” said Matt Wolken, vice president and general manager of information management at Dell Software.

Wolken referenced a story in which Target mined its customer data and then sent coupons aimed at pregnant women to a teenager. The marketing outraged her father who complained. It turns out his daughter was pregnant but he shouldn’t have had to find out about that from Target, Wolken said. Companies need to understand how the data they gather impacts their customers, he said.

He spoke on a panel discussion on big data Monday morning at the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network conference at Austin City Limits.

“The bottom line is you have to have a discussion about how you are using your customers data,” said Connie Guglielmo, editor and chief of CNET and the panel’s moderator.

Data used for marketing purposes can narrow a person’s field of vision, said Nuala O’Connor, president and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology.

She recounted a story about how her six-year-old daughter turned on her e-reader and received books about Barbie.

“We want to see an Internet that is broadening our vision,” O’Connor said.

People need to be concerned and aware of the decisions that are being made about us from data, O’Connor said.

Having a growing and learning algorithm is a good thing, O’Connor said. Amazon does a good job of providing a feedback loop so customers can refine the products being pitched to them, she said.

Data can be a powerful tool, especially in the classroom setting, said Zeynep Young, Founder and CEO of Double Line Partners, which builds big data systems for teachers and schools to improve student performance.

Data is critical for educators to connect with students, she said.

“In the data there were stories you didn’t get to hear even though you are interacting with people face to face,” Young said.

“The data has its own story,” she said.

For example, one teacher noticed that a student was absent every Tuesday afternoon and she wanted to know what was going on. The student burst into tears and said he never knew he would be important enough that someone would notice when he wasn’t present. The kid faced a lot of hardships outside of school and the teacher was able to connect with him and help him.

The story hit home for Young. She was one of those students at risk of falling through the cracks in junior high school. She didn’t speak English as a sixth grader. Her parents moved from Turkey to Texas. Her mother told her to sit in the back of the classroom and if someone spoke to her to just be pleasant and smile. Her teacher called her mom and complained about Zeynep’s behavior in school. She said Zeynep not only didn’t participate but when she scolded her, Zeynep would just smile. The teacher didn’t know that Zeynep didn’t understand English. That data had not gotten to her. That’s a case where personal interactions didn’t tell the full story, Young said.

Kym Houden, executive chairman and founder of Task Retail Technology, says his customers are getting business intelligence information they never had before by mining data.

“You’ve got to think of big data as the biggest opportunity you can possible think of “ said Wolken with Dell. It can empower decisions about your company and customers, he said.

And look at what your competitors are doing, Wolken said. Think about how they are using data, he said.

“Big data is little data about people,” said O’Connor. Think about the real world consequences of using data, she said.

“Just be mindful,” she said.

Compare Metrics Snags $3.8 Million in Follow-On Venture Capital

comparemetricslogoAustin-based Compare Metrics, which makes analytics software aimed at retailers, announced that is has received $3.8 million in follow-on venture capital.
Austin Ventures led the investment with additional funding by existing investors Julie Allegro of Allegro Venture Partners, Bob Greene of Contour Ventures, Capital Factory, Mike Maples Jr. of Floodgate, Brett Hurt of Hurt Family Investments and independent investors Dean Drako, Ralph Mack and Adam Ross.
This brings the company’s total amount of funding to $8 million. Compare Metrics received $4.2 million in first-round financing in May of 2013.
Compare Metrics recently made the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce’s A-List of Startups to watch in Austin in the emerging growth category.
The company plans to use the money to support its continued growth. It now has 32 employees and several customers including Fresh Pair, Lenovo, Rebecca Minkoff and The Wasserstrom Co.
Garrett Eastham, Mikael Solomon and Stephen Goodwin co-founded Compare Metrics in 2012 based on Eastham’s cognitive science research at Stanford University.
“It has been exciting to watch the journey of the Compare Metrics team from a three-person start-up to the high-growth and maturing company that it is today. This follow-on investment is indicative of the company’s progress in proving out their market value,” Chris Pacitti, general partner with Austin Ventures, said in a news release. “Retail client results have again validated our original confidence in the company’s potential, and I look forward to watching their continued success going forward.”

Google Buys Austin-based Adometry

adometrybygoogle.fw_In 2007, a startup called Click Forensics began operations in San Antonio.
The company, founded by Tom Cuthbert and Tom Charvet, tackled the problem of click fraud online. Austin Ventures provided its initial $500,000 seed stage funding.
Click Forensics ended up moving to Austin and pivoted to become a marketing analytics firm called Adometry.
On Tuesday, Google announced it bought Adometry for an undisclosed price. Since its inception, Adometry has raised $29.1 million in venture funding from Austin Ventures, Shasta Ventures and Sierra Ventures, according to the company.
Adometry and Google both announced the deal it in separate blog posts.
“Adometry is joining Google, where they will build on the momentum of our existing measurement and analytics offerings, which include Google Analytics Premium as well as other products,” according to a Google blog post.
“Attribution solutions, like Adometry’s, help businesses better understand the influence that different marketing tools — digital, offline, email, and more — have along their customers’ paths to purchase (http://goo.gl/tXTliw). This heightened understanding, in turn, enables businesses to measure marketing impact, allocate their resources more wisely, and provide people with ads and messages that they’re likely to care about.”
Adometry moved into new headquarters last year at the Lakewood Center Building II on Capital of Texas Highway and has about 135 employees, according to this profile Silicon Hills News did of the company in March.
“We couldn’t be more excited to join Google — a company that shares our core values. Not only do they focus on innovation and solving big problems, but also like Adometry, they seek to provide brands and their agency partners with the analytics and insights to improve the performance of their marketing campaigns,” Paul Pellman, Adometry’s CEO, wrote in a blog post on its site.

Adometry Expands into New Headquarters

Reporter with Silicon Hills News

Paul Pellman, Adometry’s CEO and Casey Carey, chief marketing officer

Paul Pellman, Adometry’s CEO and Casey Carey, chief marketing officer

Adometry, the Austin Ventures startup that aggregates and analyzes data from multiple advertising streams, is growing like gangbusters and Thursday had an open house to celebrate its new space in the Lakewood Center Building II on Capital of Texas Highway.
“We have 110 people,” said Casey Carey, chief marketing officer. “We’ve doubled in a year and we probably will be at 150 by the end of this year. We have the first right of refusal on some additional space downstairs.”
What Adometry does, for clients like Lenovo, Hulu, Hyatt and Charles Schwab, is to analyze data from digital media ads like banner and display ads, email marketing campaigns, SEO, social media and other touchpoints as well as data from “top down” advertising like broadcast and print, analyzes it and creates dashboards so customers can know which ad dollars are producing the most return on investment.
The data from the “top down” advertisers comes from the same places it always did—audience demographics and other information that can’t be tracked to specific users. But the company also incorporates data that might influence the campaigns, like news events and economic changes. Each client is assigned an account manager, a data engineer, a data scientist and a business analyst. They’re all needed, Carey said, because “this is a really hard data management problem.”
20130912_172422“There’s a lot of disparate data and every company’s data is different. People get excited about the attribution (attributing revenue to a specific ad source) and the reports. And the hard part we don’t take a lot of credit for is all the data management. That’s one of the things we’ve learned over 70-plus clients. We’re mastering it, but it’s been a little bit of a journey because there’s new stuff coming up all the time. For example, nobody’s really doing this for Twitter. The big question on the table is how do you track users across devices?”
Without cookies, which many mobile devices lack, data tracking is nearly impossible.
But the company faces another challenge, the challenge of the “new truth.” One of Adometry’s jobs is helping CEOs and advertising and marketing managers adjust their perceptions of what’s really bringing in the revenue after years of incorrect assumptions.
Adometry’s Austin roots began with a company called Click Forensics, founded by Tom Cuthbert and Tom Charvet in San Antonio. The company focused on reducing click fraud that burned up dollars spent on Google Adwords campaigns. The company started in 2007 and received $21 million from Austin Ventures, Sierra Ventures and Shasta Ventures. By 2011, Google was tackling click fraud more aggressively internally and Click Forensics bought Adometry out of Redmond, Washington and launched its suite of online marketing analytics.
Adometry is focused, Carey said, on “companies who have a fairly large adspend and have access to a high-value conversion event.” But its ultimate destination is still up in the air.
Paul Pellman, Adometry’s CEO was serving as entrepreneur in residence for Austin Ventures when he was introduced to the company. He acknowledges that Austin loves its homegrown success stories like Home Away and Bazaarvoice. On the other hand, he said, Adometry is a venture company which is “looking to have a liquidity event. “
“One of two ways to have a liquidity event is either an acquisition by strategic buyers or going public and most are acquisitions. From a strategic standpoint, we’re solving a really important problem for marketers. We’ve put a great team in place and we want to keep accelerating that and let the liquidity take care of itself. “

Polygraph Media launches Facebook data analytics software

Facebook has 900 million users generating gobs of public data every day.
Their comments or likes on Facebook pages can provide valuable insights for marketers.
But it’s often difficult to mine the data to sort through everything to find meaningful information.
That’s where Polygraph Media comes in.
The Austin-based startup this week launched its Polygraph Reports, which allows marketing agencies and brands to employ data mining and analytics for Facebook.
“We’re mining publicly available information,” said Chris Treadaway, founder of Polygraph Media and author of “Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day.”
“Facebook probably represents the greatest opportunity for marketers to understand what the consumer is saying and what they want,” Treadaway said. “It’s creating terabytes of information everyday on what consumers are thinking and saying.”
Polygraph’s software collects data from Facebook pages and subscriber-enabled profiles, and produces more than 40 charts, graphs, and data visualizations to give marketers information about their marketing campaigns and strategies.
The service offers an alternative to Facebook Insights, which Facebook provides on its site.
Polygraph mines the source data that makes up Facebook Insights to give companies more information, Treadaway said.
“A lot of people are suspicious of Facebook Insights,” Treadaway said. “The numbers just don’t jive.’’
So Polygraph created an unbiased alternative by collecting and evaluating every social interaction that might take place on a Facebook page.
“We can tell brands who left a comment, what time did they do it and what did they respond to,” Treadaway said. There’s a ton of informational content that can be boiled down into what did all the women say, what did all the men say and how many interactions take place within an hour of a post, he said.
One of Polygraph’s biggest competitive differentiators from Facebook Insights is that brand cannot get information on their competitors. With Polygraph reports, they can, Treadaway said.
“Facebook is the largest self-contributed database of information that the world has ever seen,” Treadaway said.
Polygraph brings data mining, analysis and reporting tools to anyone who wants to analyze business to consumer activity on Facebook. The software shows marketers how their Facebook marketing campaigns and strategies work based on data.
“The data doesn’t lie,” Treadaway said. “The data tells a lot of things that you’re trusting people to tell you. I trust the data more than I trust some self-interested consultant. If they have bad numbers, do they want to share them?
Founded in 2008 as a couponing site aimed at small businesses, the company originally raised $235,000. But it has since shifted its business to the data mining space. Polygraph Media has five employees. In June, the company will begin its push to raise venture capital to expand its development team.
“We’ve all heard how if Facebook were a nation, it would be the third largest country on Earth. So it’s common sense that brands have focused so much attention here,” Brad B McCormick, principal at 10 Louder Strategies and a former senior digital leader at Ruder Finn, Porter Novelli and Cohn & Wolfe global agencies, said in a news release. “But just because a company can be on Facebook doesn’t mean they know how to be on Facebook and measure success. Acquiring Facebook “likes” is just the first step for brands. Ongoing engagement that builds brand equity is the holy grail of Facebook. But all too often today, brands and agencies are measuring success with empty platitudes and without data or relevant benchmarks,” McCormick continued. “Polygraph Media offers by far the most robust Facebook analytics I have ever seen. It not only gives brands new insights into their own performance, it allows them to compare each of their KPIs against their competitors, in real time. It’s a game changer.”
Later this year, Polygraph will launch data mining tools for Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube and other sites.
Already, more than 25 brands, major agencies and consultants use Polygraph reports. It is offered as a software as a service model. Pricing is based on the size of Facebook Pages that are analyzed.
“The launch has been really successful. We’ve had good response to our pricing,” Treadaway said. “People have picked up from the data that they can do all kinds of creative things.”

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