Friday, 12 May 2017 01:39

This A.I. Search Engine Delivers Tailored Data To Companies In Real-Time

Bitvore uses artificial intelligence to provide tailored intelligence for businesses.

Google has made finding information a quick and easy process. By simply entering a phrase or typing search terms, the answer to nearly any question rests at your fingertips.

However, when mining for detailed or specific information, answers can become buried beneath endless pages of search results. From scrolling through most popular and most visited, to bypassing promoted results – pin-pointing complex data is a difficult task.

Additionally, accessing the intel you need requires consistently searching, instead of filtering through curated streams of incoming data to collect intelligence that may help in a multitude of ways. For business leaders across industries that rely heavily on data to sustain and scale their company, having an on-demand search engine that pulls tailored insights would presumably offer businesses the best of both worlds. Noticing this growing need and an opportunity to carve out a niche market, one startup emerged with plans to bring this solution to life.

Bitvore is a search engine that uses artificial intelligence to deliver proactive and personalized data to businesses in real-time. Referred to as ‘precision intelligence’, Bitvore frequently sources and filters through information, helping businesses spot untapped sales opportunities, trace valuable trends, and identify potential risk factors. The platform filters insights based on specific needs, then instantly delivers those results to back to business leaders.

Today, Bitvore has over 200 machine learning algorithms that analyze each piece of information flowing through their system, with over 350,000 pieces of data circulating daily. Bitvore has raised $8.2 million to date, receiving a recent $3.45 million round in January of this year.

I spoke with Bitvore Founder and President Jeff Curie about the vision behind his company, the future of business intelligence, and helping entrepreneurs make smarter decisions.

What was the specific void or opportunity you discovered that inspired the idea behind Bitvore?  

Jeff Curie: In Bitvore’s case, necessity was the mother of invention. In a frustrating effort of trying to manually recreate an elaborate transaction history, the need emerged to find a better way to sort and organize large amounts of emails. Shortly after, there was a request by an intelligence agency to help analyze social media posts from a volatile region of the world. Again, there was a need to stitch together related messages within a broader context of rapidly changing information. They conceived a system that could flexibly analyze flowing, unstructured information from a variety of sources and formats. After the development started, we took it to Wall Street where information is highly valued. The early adopters of the system needed a solution that provided greater visibility into opaque markets with lots of assets – like a flashlight in a dark room. They were accustomed to using brute force and manually searching the Internet relentlessly looking for insights that would help them avoid making a mistake with their clients’ money. Since then, we’ve been training the layers of artificial intelligence to increase the number of risks the system can spot and its precision in spotting them. Today, it easily outperforms teams of people and offloads a lot of drudgery from their jobs.

How does your A.I. tool work and how is it able to produce such precise research for companies? 

Jeff Curie: Here is a good way to think about it: get 200 human specialists together, each with a different expertise, and hand the first person an item to analyze. That person applies their specialty and tags the item with their conclusion, then they hand it to the next specialist. By the time the last specialist completes their analysis, the item has been analyzed in tremendous detail to support questions that can be asked about the item. In the process, the unstructured item is given a structure you can leverage using more common tools, like database queries and predictive analytics. Bitvore is tearing through filings, reports, news, and social media -- turning messy information into deeply analyzed information that is highly organized for use in human decision making. We don’t aim to replace humans, instead we want to increase the ready-to-use intelligence they have at their fingertips. Customers personalize Bitvore’s output by connecting a source of information about their targets – on Wall Street this is a portfolio of holdings. Outside of Wall Street, it can be your sales CRM system or vendor management system.

What key metrics or data does your company emphasize that better equips companies to prepare for success and accurately measure risks? 

Jeff Curie: Bitvore is trained to identify over 300 events that are early indicators of a change that impacts the performance and health of a business. A material change in a company can increase the risk of a company delivering its expected performance, and it can open the door for a cascade of sales activity. A simple example is a CEO surprisingly resigning from a company. That’s an early warning that there is an increased risk the company may not be able to pay off its debts. A layoff of staff carries a similar warning. Conversely, a change in leadership begins a cycle of spending for recruiters, placement agencies and relocation specialists. There are hundreds of these changes, and they are happening to thousands of businesses every day.

What have been the biggest blind spots for companies that haven’t used this technology and how does Bitvore address these white spaces? 

Jeff Curie: Remarkably, few companies have a means of systematically monitoring important changes outside their walls that will impact the company. Certainly, it’s important to investors and lenders to know, but it’s also important to sales teams, product teams and vendor managers. No one likes surprises, but companies allow it to happen constantly because they rely on an ‘every person for themselves’ strategy. If you think about it, governments are way ahead of businesses in this way – they have sophisticated systems to monitor the world. Why don’t businesses have such systems? Imagine tasking employees that are very well paid to repetitively Google their sales prospects or investments every day to see if something important happened. 95% of the time, nothing happens and the people get weary and stop searching. Everyone wants to know what’s happening, but no one has a reasonable means to accomplish it.

What were some of the notable challenges you faced when building your business? 

Jeff Curie: One big challenge is overcoming free products. Google is free, and that’s the tool most people reach for to gather information. Offering to replace something free for something that costs money is a challenge. You must prove it to the customers in a short period; it must be extraordinarily better and it must fit into their business seamlessly. Learning deeply about our customers and aiming at solving a tough problem they struggle with everyday gave us the edge we needed to earn a chance to be considered seriously. Another challenge is that you can’t teach an A.I. to do specialist work without a specialist teaching it. In this case, we have found that the problem we solve is painful for our customers; so much so that customers root for us to succeed. They hate wasting time dredging the internet and still being hit with unpleasant surprises. The third challenge was earning our stripes and being a credible vendor to companies thousands of times larger than we are. Bitvore is a small tech company from California with no previous street credibility in the financial service sector. Today, we sell to the largest financial institutions in the world. The market talks. If you do great work, others will hear about it. If you screw up, they’ll also tell each other. We won the business of three of the four Rating Agencies, a badge of credibility that we are quite proud of.

What is the greater mission driving Bitvore and how do you hope this approach shifts the way companies make business decisions? 

Jeff Curie: We’re in the intelligence business. We believe business people should have access to all the intelligence they need to make today’s decisions proactively and seamlessly. The Internet, while incredibly valuable, buries key pieces of information under an avalanche of consumer-centric news, entertainment, opinions, and even fake news. The media agencies compound it by repeating things over and over, sensationalizing big, often unimportant news, and ignoring small, important changes that specifically impact your business. We’re cutting through all that. If there is a fresh piece of intelligence that impacts your company, our aim is to find it and deliver it to you before you need it.

Your company collects an excess of real-time data that could be beneficial beyond the specific companies you serve — What is the broader plan for utilizing this influx of information? 

Jeff Curie: We consume an enormous amount of business information on a global basis, analyze it, and store it historically. What we collect spans far more industries than the debt markets. That’s our business plan. We run a factory that produces intelligence – we consume raw material, analyze it, and package it for different industries, correlating it to the needs of each specific customer. Bitvore has already begun offering intelligence solutions to expanding sets of industries.

How do you see Bitvore evolving over the next 3-5 years and how do you see your company defining the future of the industry? 

Jeff Curie: We’re pioneering a new industry. We call it Precision Intelligence. Proactive, precise and personalized intelligence for businesses. We are expanding into new markets that need to stay in front of changing risks and markets that value the discovery of new opportunities. We think in five years, people will look back and say they remember when we had to go manually searching for information on the Internet, but now the information we need finds us.

Source: This article was published By Julian Mitchell


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