The CEO of analytics startup X1 used this pitch deck to raise $5 million to help businesses track sensitive data like photos and inappropriate emails floating 'in the wild'
Los Angeles startup X1 helps businesses keep track of "data in the wild," from inappropriate emails and photos to sensitive company information being shared improperly by employees. CEO Craig Carpenter said the big data analytics startup is providing an important service at a time when businesses need to stay on top of the way data is being stored and handled for privacy and compliance reasons. "It could be anything, harassing photos or emails," Carpenter told Business Insider. "They can take action. They can delete it. They can pop it up in front of a user and say, 'Hey, listen, this does appear to be appropriate. We've got a problem here." Here's the pitch deck X1 used to raise $5 million from investors including Palisades Growth Capital: Click here for more BI Prime stories.
Businesses nowadays deal with a deluge of data, much of it stored in all sorts of devices and accounts that are not easy to monitor. Tracking all of that information can be critically important for businesses for legal reasons, or to simply be aware of what's going on in the organization. The Los Angeles startup X1 uses big data analytics to help business track what CEO Craig Carpenter calls "data in the wild," which covers confidential company documents to jokes and photos shared by employees on their network. The startup's customers include Disney, Chevron, and Bank of America. "We have, you know, gobs and gobs of data out there," he told Business Insider. "They don't know if they have all sorts of really bad information in their system that they don't have it in a file share somewhere so you can audit and you can take action." The challenge for most businesses, he said, is that "less and less corporate data over the last 5 to 10 years is in structured systems that are managed by corporations by more." In many cases, businesses must deal with information in semi or unstructured format, and it's not necessarily under a company's control," he added. The information may be stored in multiple laptops and other devices, or in a Dropbox folder and other tools that may or not be supported by the company, Carpenter said. And it's important for businesses to know where their information is located to comply with privacy and transparency regulations, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act which just took effect this year and the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe. The information could also be useful and even critical in internal investigations and risk assessment audits or in legal disputes. "It's for legal proceedings," he said. "It's for investigations. It's for monitoring. It's for privacy settings." The data "could be anything," Carpenter said. "It could be harassing photos or emails, whatever the case may be. And they can take an action or delete it. They can pop it up in front of a user and say, "Hey, listen, this does appear to be appropriate. We've got a problem here." Launched in 2003, X1 was initially focused on using analytics to boost business productivity before pivoting to data discovery and compliance, Carpenter said. The startup raised $5.1 million from investors, including Palisades Growth Capital and George Kadifa, the former head of HP Software. Here's the pitch deck X1 used:SEE ALSO: The former CEO of SAP says that his one regret is that it didn't get to the cloud faster, but that the experience taught him how to not miss the next big trendThe former CEO of SAP says that his one regret is that it didn't get to the cloud faster, but that the experience taught him how to not miss the next big trend
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Sensor startup Density is posting record sales and landing Fortune 500 deals as it shifts to helping companies get staff back to work safely
Density tracks how many people go into buildings and uses predictive analytics to recommend adjustments to...Density tracks how many people go into buildings and uses predictive analytics to recommend adjustments to meetings and cleaning schedules, and its product has seen a boom in sales because of the coronavirus pandemic and the need for social distancing. Marriott, the University of Notre Dame, and hard-hit meat-packing facilities are using Density's over-the-door sensors and Safe, its recently released software. Tech heavyweights, such as former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and the well-known angel investor Jason Calacanis, are involved with the startup. The baseball legend Alex Rodriguez recently invested in the startup because he believes it "has the power to completely change how quickly we get back to normal." Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. The people-counting startup Density has had explosive sales growth, including Fortune 500 customers, and reeled in a famous investor as it addresses one of the most pressing issues in the world: how to safely bring people back from COVID-19 quarantine to work and public spaces while maintaining social distancing and privacy. The 50-person San Francisco startup makes sensors that can be installed over doorways to count people as they come in and out, allowing organizations to easily follow reduced-capacity requirements as spaces start to open back up. Density has raised $25 million from Founders Fund — the venture-capital firm led by billionaire Pay Pal cofounder Peter Thiel — as well as the well-known angel investor Jason Calacanis and others. It has also recruited former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo as an adviser. More recently, it received an investment from Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees slugger who won three MVP awards and says the startup "has the power to completely change how quickly we get back to normal." Density recently released a software product called Safe that allows customers and employees to check a monitor outside a building or room that lets them know the current capacity and if they can enter while still maintaining responsible social distancing. Safe also sends notifications to business proprietors and workplace managers to let them know if an area is getting too crowded or has emptied out and now needs cleaning. It also provides detailed analytics reports showing the flow of people across a property. As areas of the US emerge from shelter-in-place mandates, demand for Density's product is spiking: Its sales are up 560% quarter over quarter. It recently signed on an Indiana meat-packing plant (a type of facility hit hard by COVID-19), which joins existing customers like Marriott and the University of Notre Dame. They use Density's sensors and screens to monitor capacity on their properties, according to the startup. This month, several states have reopened businesses but capped occupancy at 25%, guidelines that Density can help them meet. While Density's over-the-door sensors monitor people's entrance and exit of buildings and rooms, the company also uses predictive analytics — a type of artificial intelligence that processes data from the past to suggest needs in the future — to help companies better use their office space, schedule cleaning and deliveries, and guide employees toward underused meeting rooms. For example, grocery stores and other essential retailers are using Density to prevent crowding and track when to clean key areas after a rush. The startup is also studying ways to offer more detailed monitoring of interior social distancing. "A bunch of companies are coming to us to be a solution that both keeps people safe but also is not invasive," Density CEO Andrew Farah said. Farah said Density's sensors, which never record people's faces or any other identifiable personal information, are vastly different from camera surveillance systems: "We're anonymous by design, meaning if you compromise our system, you can't get access to personally identifiable information because it isn't there," he said. Farah called safety "a two-sided problem" that consists of making a place safe and convincing people that a place is safe. "As an employee coming back to work, I want to know, 'How busy is that space? How many people are there and on what floors?'" he said. "I want to feel secure in knowing that there's going to be adequate room for me." Density was founded six years ago by six coworkers in Syracuse, New York, who created a digital system to show them remotely when their favorite coffee shop was crowded. From there, they set out to simply help businesses use commercial real estate more effectively. But after the pandemic hit, the need for their product shifted from a long-term strategy to immediate safety. Farah was careful to point out that he's not excited about the pandemic, even if his business is booming. "I think the only silver lining is that we can use our technology to help keep people safe," he said. "The amount of devastation COVID has had on industries, individuals, families, businesses, and so forth is difficult to reconcile with a growing business. Right now it's about safety, and as far as I'm concerned Density is a safety company for the next 12 months. Afterward, we can help organizations use their spaces more wisely, which can be a huge cost savings." The change to long-term remote work will reshape the commercial-real-estate business, and data will be critical in making decisions about office space and on-premises needs such as cleaning and food services, according to Density. Density's position as a highly relevant startup in the middle of a pandemic has made its all-star supporters crucial, Farah said. He's received guidance from partners at Founders Fund and Costolo, who has been an important adviser when it comes to building a team and growth of the company. "Density is a solution that will help keep us safe in the post-COVID era while allowing us to maintain our pre-COVID privacy rights," Costolo said. The company also has an enthusiastic cheerleader in Rodriguez, the 14-time American League All-Star. "I've been investing in real estate for over 20 years: Density is how all buildings should operate," he said. "Especially as people are trying to get back to their work safely, knowing whether or not it's safe to go in, whether or not a building has enough space to keep people safe. These are the kinds of things that Density can do while still protecting our personal rights because they're anonymous."SEE ALSO: Japanese tech giant NTT is making a $230 million bet on upending healthcare with 'digital twins,' an exact virtual replica of a person that can be used with AI to explore new treatments without risking the patient Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Tax Day is now July 15 — this is what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time
Chief data officers are the C-suite's hottest role. Here's why your company needs one, and how to find a rock star to fill the post.
Chief data officers are often required to oversee the collection, protection, and use of information, and...Chief data officers are often required to oversee the collection, protection, and use of information, and must also serve as leaders internally to guide digital transformations. It's unlikely candidates are experts in each of these areas. Companies should look to hire teams around the data chief, according to SAP's Markus Noga. Noga and his colleague Gerrit Kazmaier spoke with Business Insider and outlined four main responsibilities of CDOs for companies to weigh when evaluating prospective hires. Click here for more BI Prime content. Data is quickly becoming one of an organization's most important assets and companies now need to think critically about how best to manage and use it to achieve a competitive advantage. Enter the chief data officer. Machine learning and other advanced tech upgrades are automating routine business processes like customer-service interactions, leading to major cost savings for early adopters, and providing companies new ways to try to tackle business problems. But central to all that is data, and, increasingly, companies need to bring in a top leader to manage the collection, oversight, and use of that information, as well as help guide the company through its digital transformation. Businesses are turning to chief data officers (CDOs) to tackle that challenge. But with such a broad mandate, it's unlikely that one person will be able to fill all the requirements of the role, according to SAP's Markus Noga and Gerrit Kazmaier. "If you do not have a chief data officer, hire her now," said Noga, the senior vice president of machine learning at the software giant. But "unless you're poaching a seasoned data officer from competition, chances are you're going to have to build a team," he told Business Insider. Together, Noga and Kazmaier help advise SAP clients on their tech overhaul and the best ways to use advanced applications. The company, for example, helped the San Francisco 49ers figure out how to maximize the fan experience at the stadium to increase the renewal rates for season tickets. They shared the most important qualities that companies should look for when evaluating a potential CDO. Understanding the problems facing the business and how big data can help Artificial intelligence and big data are two of the buzziest words in corporate America. While the use of the advanced technology can be a major boom to an organization, it's not always the solution. "Most of the problems that I am coming across are small data problems in disguise as big data problems," said Kazmaier, an executive vice president at SAP who manages its proprietary database management system. "It really depends on what [problem] you're trying to solve for. And then technology is always a function of that." A chief data officer needs to understand the value of the information the company is storing and the ways AI or other advanced applications can be put to use. SAP, for example, worked with a large renewable-energy company in Europe to help improve the profitability of its investments in wind parks. To tackle such a broad goal, the team could have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on analyzing years of data on the facilities. Instead, they realized the key question the business was trying to answer was simply how efficiently the parks were running. SAP ended up using sensors within the wind turbines to determine when maintenance might be needed and what was causing potential issues with the converters — ultimately addressing a key issue that undermined profits. Having a chief data officer internally that can figure out how to effectively use data in the most convenient and cost-effective way can save companies significant money and time on unnecessary projects. Willingness to become the face of the digital transformation The vast majority of top businesses are struggling with the adoption of big data and artificial intelligence, and changing the culture of the organization is often the biggest roadblock. A chief data officer can serve as the company's internal spokesperson to help guide it through a digital upgrade. That means serving as an effective advocate — including explaining the value that big data holds — and convincing employees to change their mindset around using technology to unlock that competitive advantage. "It's actually very difficult to connect culture, with business problems, with technology, with ... roles and functions," said Kazmaier. "You always need a change agent." One common concern among employees, for example, is whether automating processes that eliminate key tasks for some workers will lead to job losses. Such fears could slow adoption or lead AI-based project to fail entirely. Or the challenge could be getting workers to think about how data can be used more effectively. SAP began using internal data to automatically create sales forecasts that both compliment the predictions put together by their own sales reps and highlight the importance the company places on data-driven decisions. An internal champion like the CDO can help manage any concerns and work to ensure data initiatives are not only successful but more widely explored throughout the organization. Knowledge of the expanding regulatory environment governing the collection and use of data Governments around the world are paying closer attention to the gathering and use of personal data. For companies, it means managing an increasingly complicated patchwork of legal requirements. And often that job can fall to the chief data officer. "There's a load of regulatory questions around data, particularly when personal data is involved," Noga said. "Having a central role for the stewardship of that data, the compliance issues around the data … [is] critical." Among the major legal frameworks companies are adapting to is the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation, the sweeping consumer-privacy law. California is also preparing to roll out its own privacy statute next year that promises to empower residents to have greater control over the information that companies gather. Ensuring data is widely available but secured within an organization Guarding against cybercrimes is one of the top concerns among business leaders. For example, a recent Accenture survey found that, worldwide, nearly 80% of CEOs and other leaders believe technology adoption is outpacing security and could threaten the pace of innovation. For chief data officers, the tension between deployment breadth and security presents a tough challenge. They must figure out how to make information widely accessible within the organization in a secure way or risk failing to change employee perception toward using it, according to Kazmaier. "To develop a data-driven culture is to really understand [how] you have the systems available in your company to store data, to maintain its quality, and to give it to people for use," he said. Chief data officers are becoming more common in corporate America. Candidates, however, are unlikely to have expertise in each of the broad responsibilities of the job. Instead, it's important for CDOs to make sure they staff up with talent that can help complement their weaknesses.SEE ALSO: Accenture's head of artificial intelligence shares the 4-step plan every company should consider before investing in AI Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Ray Dalio shares what he's learned from his succession plan at the world's largest hedge fund
Here’s the pitch deck $1.95 billion ThoughtSpot used to raise $248 million for an AI-powered analytics tool that’s challenging Salesforce’s Tableau
ThoughtSpot, a data visualization startup founded in 2012, just raised $248 million, pushing its valuation up...ThoughtSpot, a data visualization startup founded in 2012, just raised $248 million, pushing its valuation up to $1.95 billion. The Sunnyvale, California-based company developed an AI-powered tool that is challenging Tableau, the data visualization company that Salesforce recently acquired in a $15.7 billion deal. Here's the deck that ThoughtSpot used to raise its funding from investors including Lightspeed Ventures and Sapphire Ventures — in which it says it sees the market as a $166 billion opportunity. Click here for more BI Prime stories. Founded in 2012, ThoughtSpot offers businesses a way to visually analyze their data in order to make critical decisions faster. The AI-powered technology is essentially "a very smart, a very powerful number-crunching machine," founder Ajeet Singh told Business Insider. On Wednesday, ThoughtSpot announced that it has raised an additional $248 million for the cloud software that makes it easier to sort through massive amounts of information and quickly draw insights they could use to make decisions on any part of the business. The funding round was led by Lightspeed Ventures and Sapphire Ventures, and lifts the startup's valuation up to $1.95 billion, the company says. The investment is a big boost for a startup whose product is now used by the likes of Walmart, Hulu and Daimler. ThoughtSpot also has formed partnerships with big names in the data space like Google, Snowflake and Dell. But ThoughtSpot is up against a bigger and more established rival, Tableau, considered the pioneer in data visualization. It has become an even more formidable competitor for ThoughtSpot after Salesforce bought Tableau for $15.7 billion, in a deal that closed earlier this month. "A massive company like Salesforce acquiring Tableau is interesting and it could be scary," ThoughtSpot CEO Sudheesh Nair told Business Insider. "But right now, it's not usually the big beating the small. It is the fast beating the slow." The analytics and business intelligence market is moving so fast that competitors must be able to react quickly, he said. "What we're doing is we are staying small and agile," Nair said. "We want to be the first to respond to market changes from a technological point of view." ThoughtSpots's efforts have been paying off. The startup recently moved into the "leaders quadrant" in Gartner's Magic Quadrant report on analytics and business intelligence. The technology research firm cited ThoughtSpot's "strong execution, high customer satisfaction scores and rapid innovation." Nair also noted that while being bought by Salesforce may transform expand Tableau in a bigger rival, it could also slow it down. "Usually what happens is when companies get bigger, and they get acquired, and the cultures are being brought together, the priorities are changing. Yes, they will get leverage, but they will also slow down." ThoughtSpot plans to continue focusing on speed and the ability to respond quickly to market demands and needs, Nair said: "As we move faster, we will gain more momentum and the company will get bigger." Here's the pitch deck ThoughtSpot used to raise $248 million in its most recent round: Got a tip about ThoughtSpot or another tech company? Contact this reporter via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, message him on Twitter @benpimentel. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.