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Swiss start-ups are ready for big data

14.06.2013 09:23

Last week the 5th Innovation Round Table, organised by CTI Invest and hosted by IBM, took place on the topic of Smarter Analytics. Frank Theisen from IBM introduced the major opportunities and challenges of big data, and nine Swiss start-ups demonstrated in their presentations that they intended to take advantage of the trend.

The round table, co-hosted by CTI Invest and IBM Global Entrepreneur, started with a keynote speech from Frank Theisen, vice-president, BAO & Smarter Commerce at IBM Europe. He focused on the business side of big data and started by identifying several drivers: mobile computing, social media, the Internet of Things and cloud computing all create new possibilities and change the expectations of customers.

Customers today want a personalised communication with brands across all the sales channels online, mobile and in stores. They want an integrated experience and are reluctant to accept several communication partners for the different channels.

Although many big data projects address those needs and half of big data activities are focused on customers, convincing cases are still rare. “We are in the early days of the big data era,” said Theisen and mentioned the typical challenges, such as the variety of data that has to be analysed.

Nevertheless, he presented five successful projects, including Vestas, a European manufacturer of wind turbines. Vestas uses Hadoop technology to evaluate and optimise the placement of wind turbines. The solution comes with an integrated ROI analysis, and the ROI of different locations can be shown directly in the field on an iPad. The solution is used by Vestas’ sales staff when visiting customers. “The way that Vestas has turned big data into a tool for sales staff is fascinating,” said Theisen.

He is convinced that the potential of big data is huge and that every industry can leverage it: “Big data is the next natural resource.” This is good news for Swiss start-ups, as quite a few are now working in this field.

The presentation of Frank Theisen and of the nine start-ups that presented their company and technology at the event can be downloaded at the website of CTI Invest.

Adello has developed a solution called AdCTRL, which allows advertisers to maximise the ROI of mobile advertising. The platform enables real-time analytics of big data and currently more than 30 TB of data are analysed every week.

Citiviz has developed an intelligence and geo-visualisation ecosystem for urban monitoring and decision making. With the start-up’s tools, it’s possible to monitor city systems, such as transport networks and shared bikes and cars, and provide knowledge for urban design and development.

Frontwerks has developed a tool called Reasonize for scenario-driven IT management. With the help of the solution, users can design several business scenarios and run visualised interactive simulations, so that the impact of potential changes is immediately clear.

The solution from iCompare measures the behaviour of a mobile phone user and recommends the best tariff according to a particular mobile phone and the location of the user. A market test in 2012 showed huge interest in the solution.

Very early stage start-up mayqoo plans to make use of the usage data of laboratory devices and machines to deliver not only information to users but advice on how they can use their machines and devices more effectively, and thus save costs.

The goal of Multineurons sounds ambitious: “We want to replicate a human brain in a mobile device,” says founder Tasos Smeros.

The cloud-based facial imaging analytics service from nViso measures consumers’ emotions and reactions online instantaneously. The real-time information can be used for market research, product development and brand recognition. Nviso is supported by IBM Global Entrepreneur

Squirro’s personal digital research app combines structured and unstructured data to provide the ‘Why’ behind the data. Squirro scans thousands of sources from social media, private databases and company internal sources to find the most relevant results for a user.

Young start-up YAAY from Basel offers consulting, concept and implementation services on the visualisation of complex issues. Data is turned into visual information that can be scanned, read and understood at a glance.

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