Automated Insights: Making the World’s Big Data Understandable

Modern Business Intelligence (BI) platforms and analytics tools champion the necessity for real-time insight on business operations for accurate decision-making. These technologies are creating quicker, more accurate assessment and action based on data. They contribute to a larger shift in the enterprise towards ensuring that not only are enterprises collecting data, but key leaders and departments are analyzing that information and making decisions immediately to improve their processes and grow their businesses.

The future of business relies on real-time data analysis and prescriptive insight that results in immediate action—across all areas of an enterprise. BI platforms heavily focus on data visualization, which can do a great job displaying information for a large audience. However too often, information is collected and delivered to decision-makers using BI and analytics platforms, only to lay dormant for too long or misinterpreted and acted upon incorrectly. A company which stands tall in providing a platform that automatically turns data into clear, understandable narrative is Automated Insights, Inc.

Automated Insights (Ai) was founded in 2007. The company is headquartered in Durham, North Carolina with offices in New York, Seattle, and Portland. Ai is the creator of Wordsmith, the world’s first publicly available natural language generation (NLG) platform. Ai became the first NLG company acquired by a private equity firm (Vista Equity Partners, a $30B+ Private Equity firm), in 2015. Ai’s NLG platform enables companies to turn their data into written analytics and understandable narrative.

Ai was founded with a primary focus in the sports industry, generating content such as sporting event recaps and personalized fantasy football narratives. Since then, the company has seen NLG horizontally adopted across industries. Ai’s mission is “Making the World’s Data Understandable.” The company has customers across different industries, including financial services, consumer goods, sports, media, gaming, etc. One area Ai is seeing rapid growth in is business intelligence—whether that’s business and partnerships with BI and analytics platforms themselves or with individual enterprises who have dashboard(s) with these platforms and are looking for an automated process around manual reporting and written insights.

Meet the Maestro

Marc Zionts, the CEO of Automated Insights, is a technology executive and entrepreneur who has been successfully leading companies since 1987. He earned his Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology and remains active at Georgia Tech as an Alumni Mentor. Zionts is also an Independent Board Director for Pivot 3, TEOCO, a TA Associates portfolio company, and Friends of the Earth, a Washington D.C. based environmental group. Since joining Automated Insights in 2017, the company more than doubled its revenue in 2017 and is set for triple-digit growth annually as it moves forward in 2018 and beyond.

A Revolutionary Innovative Platform

Ai is seeing a massive uptick in interest around BI and data visualization platforms, adding written analytics to these offerings through its NLG platform. Whether that’s generating concise summaries of internal, operational data business or pulling key insights around competitive sales analysis—there are a ton of scenarios where written analysis can aid understanding and decision-making processes across the enterprise. Data-driven narratives are advantageous particularly in creating a better understanding of data via written analysis, empowering even non-data experts to understand information and to even go a step further and know exactly what they should do about this information.

Ai is particularly an innovator in the natural language generation space, as it is the first company to have a self-service platform for customers to structure, edit, and generate data-driven narratives. Ai also has a rich history of partnerships and integrations with various companies and platforms across many industries. The company’s partners include Tableau, MicroStrategy, TIBCO, Amazon, Zapier, Icimo, to name a few. Below are some valuable words from the client.

“Wordsmith’s NLG-powered narratives within Spotfire provide immediate context to our users’ data. The ability to obtain insights so simply, from within the Spotfire UI, is brand new to the industry.”, said Michael O’Connell, Chief Analytics Officer, TIBCO.

Notable Milestones

Ai is proud to be recognized for the innovation and extraordinary services it offers to its clients. The company has won the Triangle Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” award five different years now. CIO Review named Automated Insights as one of 2018’s Most Promising Business Intelligence Solution Providers. The company has won first place in the annual Tableau Conference Hackathon in both 2016 and 2017 and was featured in the Keynote Address at the Tableau Conference in 2017.

Facing Business Struggles

The largest challenge Ai has faced until now is being the first to market in the NLG space, releasing its Wordsmith self-service platform to the general public in 2015. Ai is defining a new category of technology which is directly bundled with natural language processing and the larger category of artificial intelligence. Educating the market and distilling the technology to specific use cases that provide massive value to customers has been a wonderful challenge. The demand for the solution is also a great growing pain the company has encountered, which is why Ai is constantly hiring new employees and forming strong partnerships to aptly address the large inbound demand received. All are very good problems to have!

Strategies for the Future

Automated Insights is focused on building its product development efforts, growing rapidly with the BI and system integrator partners, and continuing to grow the team. By this time next year, Ai will likely be twice the size they are now in headcount and will be growing around the world with an awesome set of partners. Regarding the future of the industry, Zionts says “We’ll be seeing much more interest in how NLG can solve a plethora of data-driven problems enterprises are facing. In particular, we’ve already been seeing enterprises seeking much more transparency in how this technology transforms data into a written narrative and looking for deeper connections and partnerships with NLG providers like Automated Insights”.