I recently was introduced to the CEB Sales Leadership Council and their research on sales and sales effectiveness. Their research shows impressively how the sales process has been changing as product and solution information becomes readily available to buyers online.
Today most buyers actually have made their purchasing decision by the time they even would consider talking to a sales professional. Equipped with comparative information a sales discussion turns quite simply into a barter session about the lowest possible price.
The CEB impressively shows that in such an environment it is about challenging prospects on their assumptions; their assumptions on how to tackle the issue at hand. The shortcut buying the cheapest possible solution might in fact just be that, a shortcut.
This challenger sales approach is not only more compelling but – and the CEB backs this up by hard numbers – manifold more impactful. In fact it is about delivering key insights to prospects on issues that impact their business. Quite a different approach to build, ship (aka fire) and forget. And something we baked deeply into our Customer Insights product.
We here from Team Squirro wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year!
Last week UBS held their first Innovation challenge in Singapore to help them answer the following problem statement:
"Across the industry, clients are overwhelmed by data from publicly available financial information and banks' proprietary research. As part of continued innovation and our commitment to service excellence, UBS is seeking a new methodology for identifying the most relevant information for each client from all available data and delivering dynamic personalized content, tailored to the individual client’s needs and investment preferences."
They reviewed over 80 entries and selected 5 finalists (amongst them Squirro) to come to their Singapore offices and present innovative solutions.
Jeffrey Vögeli of Bloomberg covered the event and in his article explains how this trend is becoming a competitive advantage for financial institutions who embrace it quickly.
Read the article here.
Finally thank you to the Swiss ICT Award for their commitment to promote entrepreneurship and the acceptance of ICT entrepreneurs and companies in the Swiss society.
What an honour it is to be nominated alongside such a great group of companies that have been nominated and rewarded since 2004.
Yay, we’re finalist in the category ‘Startups’ for the Swiss Technology Award.
The award, founded by Nicolas Hayek, the ‘Uber-Father’ of Swatch and Swiss Watch making generally, recognises exceptional technologies with a world wide potential.
We thinks that’s a fit ;-)
Together with our Technology Partner Qlik, we’re organising a workshop on advanced data analytics for wealth management. We’ll show how organizations increase revenue and client satisfaction through the simultaneous analysis of both structured and unstructured data.
Date & Time: 28 October 2014, 10am-1pm
Place: New York, 292 Madison Ave
Interested? Get in touch!
In a widely-reported study of orchestrated deception, the Center for Public Integrity found that President Bush and seven top officials made 935 false statements leading up to the Iraq war. The Center’s main challenge was to pull together the sources of lies, integrate them into an easy to use and effective platform. The solution the Center was looking for had to deliver the following:
- Integration of 528 information sources
- Linking of timeline to political figure to lies
- Search by topic
- Capacity to slice and dice through database rapidly end efficiently
Squirro partnered with Visible Government to provide the integration of unstructured and structured data into a QlikView dashboard. This enabled the incorporation of 528 sources of information.
Once the sources integrated, they were linked to structured dimensions such as time and „author“ to enable easy slicing and dicing.
Finally Squirro added a layer of unstructured data analytics to facilitate the search of specific topics and concepts.
The Center for Public Integrity, thanks to the combination of unstructured and structured data, has been able to provide on their website a simple and elegant interface for the public to view and consume the information about the Iraq war.
Users can simply select any political figure and any period and gets a list of the corresponding deceptions.
The solution enables the user to search efficiently the 380,000 words of every public pronouncement by top Bush administration officials on the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and on the links between Iraq and Al Qaeda with a few simple clicks.
Check out the dashboard here.
About the Center for Public Integrity:
The Center for Public Integrity was founded in 1989 by Charles Lewis. We are one of the country’s oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit investigative news organizations. Our mission: To serve democracy by revealing abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of public trust by powerful public and private institutions, using the tools of investigative journalism.
We are pleased to announce the release of the 2014/15 Premier League dashboard in partnership with BIPB.
Our aim is to provide all Premier League fans with one easy to use dashboard where they will get all the information they are looking for.
You can now analyse the league as never before – by team, match, player or even referee. Pair this with the latest news feeds on your data selections to manage your fantasy football team to victory.
Gain insight into team performance vs the number of English players, track who’s got the highest goals/match, check which position on the pitch is scoring the most goals and much more.
As a user you can now thanks to BIPB’s expertise easily visualize all the most relevant statistics of this season’s Premiership and with the help of Squirro, to not only provide the data but show a smart filtered, relevant news and social media stream for the latest updates.
Squirro’s smart filtering brings live information to you and combines the ‘what’ match data with the ‘why’ news stories.
Visit The Premier League Dashboard to explore and analyse the performance of your favourite team!
PS: Want to know more about Squirro or BIPB.
I’m sure I’m not alone with dreading the question ‘what is it you do?’. It’s difficult enough to explain what systems architects do – but then to explain that I work in ‘search-based data discovery’ (SBDD) is almost a guarantee to get blank stares. I might be tempted to slightly fib and say I work in Big Data, but of course that immediately evokes either the image of dealing with huge spreadsheets or massive OLAP cubes, which is of course not quite what SBDD is, or some Orwellian nightmare, which it is even less. And it’s not the audience’s fault, either – SBDD is a newcomer to the Big Data analytics field and in many ways, a term crying out for a definition.
The term originated with US-based IT consultancy Gartner, who define it as tools that
enable users to develop and refine views and analyses of structured and unstructured data using search terms. Like visualization-based data discovery tools, they have three attributes: (1) a proprietary data structure to store and model data gathered from disparate sources, which minimizes reliance on predefined business intelligence (BI) metadata; (2) a built-in performance layer using RAM or indexing that lessens the need for aggregates, summaries and pre-calculations; and (3) an intuitive interface, enabling users to explore data without much training. However, as well as having a broader scope (visualization-driven data discovery tools focus exclusively on quantitative data) they differ at the user interface layer, with search-based data discovery tools using text search input and results to guide users to the information they need.
That, I suppose, is as good a definition as any, but it’s not exactly something that rolls off the tongue, never mind that by the time you’re through points (2) or (3), the dinner party is over and your date has fled for the hills. Clearly, we need something handier. Here’s one we’ve come up with at Squirro, where SBDD is what we eat, drink, live, breathe and bleed.
We’re building noise-cancelling headphones for your data.
SBDD is the clever little tool that lets you enjoy Beethoven’s 5th (or the latest set from Hudson Mohawke) on a plane full of screaming infants, a stag party and some rambunctious school kids on a class trip (and a massive sugar rush). Once you decided what it is you care about (that is, to stick with the analogy, selected your song), SBBD can help you discover what data exists out there. SBBD might have ‘search’ at the start, but it is as far from Google as it gets. Rather, SBBD lets you find things you did not know you did not know. By filtering out the noise from what you know and don’t care about, SBBD helps you focus on the possible ‘unknown unknowns’.
This is not a particularly difficult exercise when it comes to structured data. It gets problematic when your query meets the messy reality of people using different words for the same concept, mistyping words and plenty of other issues. Let’s face it – humans are messy. And searching messy data is challenging. And that’s exactly where SBBD shines. Unlike Search-based Data Retrieval (aka ‘Google’), SBDD lets you figure out where you want to search as you search – in an iterative process of refining, slicing and dicing, you find the data and the correlations you need.