Tag: data

UT Spinout Capsenta Helps Healthcare Companies Harness Data

iStock_000045124042_LargeBy HOJUN CHOI
Special Contributor to Silicon Hills News

Anyone familiar with the University of Texas at Austin is no stranger to the words “what happens here changes the world.”

To Capsenta, a spin out smart data startup from a UT computer science lab, that motto is more than just a rallying call to donors and fans of the university.

The company, which officially launched in July, seeks to change the way companies around the world mines databases for information. It offers a data translation and integration software allowing its customers to combine and analyze relational databases in a faster and more economic and efficient way.

Traditionally, when combining relational databases for analysis, businesses complete a three-step process involving extracting data from current locations, transforming the data so it is consistent and searchable and loading the data into a newly created warehouse or repository. David Arnold, Capsenta’s co-founder and CEO, said the tedious process, known as ETL, is costly and time consuming.

Capsenta’s patented technology replaces this process, using an application called Ultrawrap, software developed at UT’s Miranker Laboratory.

“There was a need to bring forward these tools, which whole industries were built on, to better weave and integrate with a new world of data,” Arnold said.

Juan Sequeda, who completed his Ph.D in computer science in May, developed the platform under the mentorship of Daniel P. Miranker, the lab’s namesake.

“The process of integrating databases could be done manually, but these were processes that turned out to be inefficient and vulnerable to human error,” Sequeda said.

Another weakness of the traditional process, Sequeda said, was not all relational databases were built to be easily combined with one another.

imgres-2Using their collective knowledge and experience with what is referred to as “semantic web” technology, Sequeda and Miranker designed software to “wrap” around database warehouses from multiple sources so it can be analyzed and cross referenced without being moved.

What brings these databases together, Sequeda said, is a layer of “semantic” technology filling gaps between existing relational databases, which allows Ultrawrap to address specific queries companies may have.

Ultrawrap not only streamlines data integration through its automated process, it also saves users time and money by not requiring them to repeat the ETL process every time a specific question needs to be answered.

Miranker, who is listed as a co-founder of the company along with Sequeda and Arnold, had a hand in smoothing out the licensing process with the university, which owns equity in the company. He said Arnold and Darren Selsky joined the company in 2014 after first serving as advisors to the project at the Austin Technology Incubator.

“The Austin Technology Incubator was largely responsible for the matchmaking with our business team,” Miranker said.

Arnold and Selsky both have backgrounds with close ties to health information and technology. Selsky, who has spent his entire career in the health IT industry, said his work with information connectivity within hospital systems has helped him recognize Ultrawrap’s applicability in the healthcare industry.

“Data that big companies have always been stored, but aren’t necessarily available in a form can be shared and used to increase the quality of care,” Selsky said.

MedAxiom, an information resource and service provider for cardiology organizations, began using the startup’s data integration platform in April. Ryan Graver, president of MedAxiom Ventures, is responsible for creating relationships between its members and other industry segments, such as health IT, medical device and pharmaceutical companies.

“Consistently, we hear that ‘actionable intelligence’ is really probably the biggest area in which we see a gap in the industry,” Graver said. “A lot of that gap stems from the technologies we currently have and don’t have to unlock the data that is already out there.”

Actionable intelligence, in the world of big data, lets companies and organizations know whether or not they should make changes based on the copious amount of information in their data warehouses.

Medicine doctor working computer interfaceHe said MedAxiom, which serves 320 organizations and more than 6,000 physicians in the cardiovascular health industry, provides a hub for sharing and benchmarking data to help these healthcare providers evaluate and improve upon their performance.

Though the company has used more traditional methods to combine and analyze large databases for more than a decade, Graver said the Ultrawrap solution helps create a marketplace in which these organizations and physicians can gain access to this knowledge in a more efficient way.

“We can use Capsenta’s technology to better pinpoint patients who have certain health conditions and ensure these patients are receiving the proper care,” Graver said.

The majority of the startup’s customers have been related to the health industry, many of which are in the medical device business. The software has, however, proved to be functional in other realms, such as legal and transportation.

“You try not to get distracted with going too broad too fast because it dilutes your focus and it dilutes your ability to build great examples of what your technology can do within a vertical market,” Arnold said.

Arnold said the startup, with seven employees, is preparing to raise additional funds. It has already raised about $750,000 in seed stage financing, Arnold said.

Because the company’s business model does not require a large customer service team, Arnold said it looks to add to its sales and marketing team, largely to expand into other markets in and outside the healthcare industry.

Clarify Officially Launches its Audio and Video Search Platform

Founder of Silicon Hills News
IMG_3724In a corrugated steel shotgun shack on the east side of Austin, Clarify launched its media search platform last week.

The compound on Pedernales street where Clarify works is a cluster of warehouses, which used to store medical supplies, and now house tech startups as well as artists, graphic designers and a bike shop.

Inside the shack, Clarify has cut skylights into the roof and windows into the walls to let in the light. To give the space a more festive atmosphere, they’ve strung red Chinese lanterns from the ceiling along with recently installed ceiling fans and strings of lights.

Giant cloth sacks cover tiles embedded onto wooden frames to act as makeshift soundproofing walls and room dividers. Stacked cement blocks and plywood boards serve as standing desks along the wall. A refurbished chicken coop will soon provide a bookshelf.

IMG_3718Every week, Clarify, which recently rebranded and renamed itself from Op3nvoice, hosts a happy hour in its offices. Clarify has six employees and is looking to hire a back-end developer.

Last week, Paul Murphy, Clarify’s CEO and co-founder, sat down with Silicon Hills News to talk about the company, which moved to Austin from London last year and has big plans to dominate the market for video search.

Clarify wants to deliver complex audio and language processing technologies via its simple application-programming interface, known as a API, which provides programming instructions for using a Web-based software application. With Clarify’s API, developers can search audio and video archives easily and quickly. The Clarify API translates the audio and video into text documents, which can then be searched using keywords.

Clarify made its media search platform available for all developers to integrate multimedia search into their applications in any common programming language.

In the U.S., Clarify is talking to developers in a wide range of industries including telecommunications and media.

Clarify has been in private beta for the past four months with nearly 300 companies testing its software, Murphy said.

“Anybody can now come and sign up,” he said.

Clarify has a lot of companies testing and evaluating its software. It begins charging customers at the end of the month, Murphy said. The company makes money by charging developers to run their data through its platform, he said. The developers send their media, Clarify does the analysis and then they can search it, he said.

“We are completely focused on the API and we don’t have any intention to build any system,” Murphy said.

One of its users, Mobento, an online education platform, makes video available to students on any device. It uses Clarify’s technology to help its users find the exact moment they are looking for in a video by using keywords.

This year, Clarify was one of six companies selected to be in the BBC Media Lab.

“What this gives us is really privileged access to people within the organization,” Murphy said.

With Clarify’s search technology for audio and video, the BBC can make their content discoverable to themselves as well as the public, Murphy said. Right now, the company’s identifying projects within the BBC and it is looking for partners to deploy its technology, he said.

“It’s a long process,” Murphy said. “Media companies don’t do things over night.”

Clarify is selling to developers in any industry, Murphy said.

The company launched out of Techstars London and wanted to be in another city with the Techstars community in the U.S., Murphy said.

“Austin has the best reputation internationally,” he said. It’s easy to recruit people to move to Austin, he said.

Clarify has quickly integrated into the Austin tech community. It recently joined the Capital Factory Incubator. And Sam Decker, one of the founders and former CEO of Mass Relevance and executive with Bazaarvoice, has joined the company’s board of directors.

“Sam is a really great addition to the company because he comes from a space none of us knows,” Murphy said. “I happen to have a background in telephony and finance.”

But a lot of things in the social space are moving to audio and video and they’re looking for tools to turn that into data, Murphy said. A searchable database of videos would make it much easier for advertisers to find content they would like to sponsor, Murphy said.

Someone has to build tools to keep track of all the audio and video content being created and Clarify has the solution, he said. In five years, searching video and audio will be easy and natural, Murphy said. But right now, it’s difficult and cumbersome and Clarify’s technology solves that problem, he said.

Projector Capital and several prominent California and Texas Angel investors fund Clarify, which is currently raising $1 million in seed funding. The company already has more than half of it committed, Murphy said.

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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