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Q&A: Interview with Connotate - Talking Industry Trends and Big Data

There's a massive amount of data out there on the Web and if you let it, it can get out of control.  So how do you make all of that data consumable?  I recently had a chance to meet up with Keith Cooper, the CEO of Connotate, and talk about this very thing.  Connotate is one of the leading providers of a solution that helps organizations automate data collection from the Web by collecting, analyzing and distributing high volumes of unstructured Web data.  To find out more on this subject, I went to the experts.  Here is our conversation:

VMblog:  After heading up successful startups including Carbonite, webHancer and FaxNet, you chose to join Connotate in February.  What trends did you see taking place within the industry and what attracted you to Connotate?

Keith Cooper:  The Big Data market is large and growing at triple digit rates. Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, and 90% of the data in the world today was created in the last two years alone. Most investments to date have been in database technologies and technologies aimed at extracting and combining machine generated data inside the firewall. Connotate enables companies focused on Big Data to consume data from outside their firewall and combine it with data from their existing systems so they can realize even more value. Observing these industry trends and acknowledging that they’re likely to continue or even expand, along with Connotate’s existing blue chip customer base, made the move an attractive opportunity for me.

VMblog:  How does Connotate enable companies focused on Big Data to “consume data from outside the firewall” as well?

Cooper:  With Connotate, the Internet is your database. We provide tools and services that automate Web data extraction to help organizations with mission-critical applications for competitive intelligence, financial intelligence, compliance, credential checking, market research and more. With a point and click interface and patented technology, Connotate offers scalability, reliability and resiliency to extract value from dynamic web sources, turning it into actionable data for business advantage.

VMblog:  What does Connotate offer its customers that other data management solutions cannot offer?

Cooper:  Connotate has patented technology, which enables companies to monitor and extract Big Data that is outside the firewall with precision. There are no other solutions that can separate the Big Data wheat from the chaff to gather and deliver data from the Web at the scale that Connotate can. The external data – whether its news, social media posts, competitive or market data – combined with internal company data, can generate powerful insights about profitability and competitive trends. In fact, over time our customers have reported productivity increases of 3-10 times, savings of up to $1.8 million in operational costs, and payback of their initial investment within the first 12 months.

VMblog:  What role does Connotate play in the business stack and how is the solution deployed?

Cooper:  Connotate plays a vital role at the front-end of many business workflow processes.  Whether monitoring hundreds of thousands of products for price changes, collecting social media posts for consumer sentiment, or aggregating news and data from multiple disparate systems, Connotate is the automation engine that ensures precise and reliable data extraction.  We take unstructured Web data and deliver structured data to our clients that can be fed into any workflow or analysis engine.  Depending on the size and resources of the client, we can offer the solution in a hosted, cloud or on-premise environment.

VMblog:  Who are your customers and how are they using Connotate Solution?

Cooper:  Our customers include some of the best-known companies in the world, such as The Associated Press, The McGraw Hill Companies, Shopzilla, and Thomson Reuters. These industry leaders are using our Web data extraction solutions to monitor and collect data for mission-critical applications.

For example, Associated Press needed to be able to collect, enrich and distribute content from its 1,500 members that would enable a new set of business offerings, while requiring minimal effort from its members. We helped AP automate their content ingestion and aggregation processes, and create a new source of revenue. More than 75% of AP’s Digital Cooperative content now comes through Connotate-powered solutions.

Shopzilla relies on Connotate to continually monitor and update content from thousands of sites to showcase millions of products across their portfolio of online shopping brands in the US and Europe. Each day, Connotate delivers high volumes of structured data that Shopzilla needs to quickly consume and use to keep pace with the multitude of changes across the Web.

VMblog:  You recently opened your first international office. Why did you choose London?

Cooper:  Opening a London office is an important milestone for Connotate and a testament to the truly global appeal of our product. With this new office, we will be better able to meet an increasing demand for data collection by companies around the world. As the first of several planned initiatives for expanded international operations, our new presence in Europe will help us work more closely with existing customers and forge relationships with new customers to grow our business in Europe and beyond.

The new office will help us better serve a growing number of customers in the United Kingdom leveraging its web data extraction platform for a variety of business use cases. Precise, the leading provider of media monitoring and analysis services to the public relations and marketing sectors, uses Connotate to offer a wider scope of services to its clients, thereby gaining a competitive edge. While others like Reed Business, Thomson Reuters and Interactive Data are collecting news, contract and bid detail and financial data from niche sources that enable customized solutions for their clients or providing analysts with data from 20,000 companies, from 50 different countries, in dozens of languages.

VMblog:  What does the future hold for Connotate?

Cooper:  We are currently executing a strategic plan to scale the company and have key initiatives in place helping drive progress towards that goal. We’re expanding use cases for our technology beyond news and financial data aggregation to areas such as competitive intelligence, monitoring government regulatory sites, and international sites. We’re working with channel partners like ISVs and consulting firms to expand our footprint. We’re partnering with other technology firms in business intelligence, sentiment analysis, text analytics, and data visualization who are experts at enhancing the data we collect and can provide additional value to our customers. Finally, we are hiring!


Thanks again to Keith Cooper, CEO of Connotate, for taking time out to speak with VMblog.

Published Wednesday, August 15, 2012 6:26 AM by David Marshall
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Q&A: Interview with Connotate – Talking Industry Trends and Big Data « VT News - (Author's Link) - August 15, 2012 9:00 AM
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