The phrase “to have at your fingertips” is one we hear so much, it’s almost lost its meaning. But for data analytics company, Signals Analytics, providing real-time, data that’s analysable in dozens of different configurations – that’s literally their raison d’être.
Retail Insight Network caught up with the company’s co-founder and chief research offficer, Kobi Gershoni, via Zoom, to find out how his company’s advanced analytics platform is changing the way consumers spend, including in the post-COVID-19 world.
“Most of our customers, who exist in the FMCG space, are heavy into market research. They’re dedicated and keen to learn, but they suffer from a lack of cohesive and connected data sets on one platform,” Gershoni explains. “Because of this gap, they then suffer delays in getting new products to market – because if you can’t do side-by-side analyses of your data, you’re not fully analysing it.”
The way that the New York-based company tackles this is by providing clients with the Signals Analytics platform, that acts as a one-stop shop for connected external data sets with analytic engines and business-ready models, including patented machine learning, NLP and AI that allow for better understanding and analysis of consumer trends. How it works is that the Signals Analytics platform collects and analyses data from literally countless online data sources to create a massive “data lake” where the information is collected, collated and classified in a useful way to show information that goes far beyond trends – think bigger, such as three-year predictions and cascading trends from sector overviews to independent categories.
“My background is in the military, and my vast experience is that the kind of interconnected data that you get in a “war room” is just so integral to making actual decisions that are critical for the tactical operational teams on the field,” Gershoni explains. “So we noticed there was a big gap in the market for that kind of data, and we set about filling it!”
Most companies tend to analyse their own data, and maybe that of an external agency – but no one, previous to Signals Analytics’ inception, was analysing this sheer amount of data, nor in such a connected way. And the great thing about Signals Analytics’ offering is that it’s not just for huge companies with massive marketing spends – it can plug and play or be configured for smaller companies, because the components that are needed to do this level of data analysis – the data itself, the data classification technologies, taxonomies, models, etc. are already put together in a single platform – or as Gershoni calls them, “business-ready data platforms”.
“It’s so great for our customers, and they get so surprised, because ok, say one marketing firm is analysing Nielsen for them – great. But we can give them Nielsen, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Wal-Mart, Amazon, magazines and publications – all cross-analysed and matched,” says Gershoni.
“We analyse everything from what a 25-year-old woman says about her mascara in an Amazon review to the information a scientist researched to put an ingredient into the mascara in order to make sure that this particular mascara is associated with a positive experience once it reaches that 25-year-old woman. So basically, Signals Analyltics can tell you, almost literally, what products you need to develop that are going to be best-sellers.”
And with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 era, with jobs on the line and expenditure on R&D and marketing significantly downsized, that kind of certainty is something we could all do with.