Transforming the Web into a Database of Actionable Insights
San Mateo, California, May 10, 2010 – FirstRain, a leader in search and analytics technology, today announced intelligent business search—a new software application that transforms the web into a virtual database of actionable insights. Its intelligent business search application discovers the information and patterns that signal opportunities and support smart decision-making. For financial, sales, marketing and business professionals, FirstRain turns hours spent on research into minutes and uncovers the intelligence needed to achieve early-mover advantage.
“FirstRain has solved a critical problem for today’s business professionals,” said Penny Herscher, president and CEO of FirstRain, Inc. “For decision-makers, the web represents the most dynamic and current view of companies, markets and management and yet until now, it was not a practical source of useful business intelligence. FirstRain now delivers relevant intelligence like today’s hot trends, emerging market events and unannounced, but visible management moves into the user’s information workflow.”
Intelligence pages delivered on-demand
FirstRain discovers, extracts, filters and organizes highly relevant intelligence about companies, management and markets from across the web. The intelligence is delivered to users through a series of search and analytics pages within an on-demand application, or embedded within other information platforms. The intelligence pages include:
- Company briefs—generated, efficient summaries of the business structure and ecosystem of a company, recent events, related industry trends, competitor events and people-related changes and intelligence.
- Management turnover—listing announced and unannounced management arrivals, departures and internal moves; and comparing management move patterns between companies.
- Interactive, filtered search—enabling users to rapidly filter and refine searches based on related industries, business topics and other relevant dimensions, which are dynamically generated based on the user’s intelligent search query.
- Folders of user’s intelligence topics—monitoring groups of companies, industry topics and filtered searches enabling users to continuously understand their business environment—whether a customer list or an investment portfolio—through their mobile device or their email environment.
Tapping into the web allows FirstRain to integrate a variety of perspectives from news media, local and global sources, business sites, blogs, deep industry sites, and even relevant government, regulatory and academic sources. FirstRain derives implied relationships and business structures from the information extracts, and applies trend and anomaly detection to discern what may be emerging, unusual or material. The results are continually updated—highlighting patterns, changes and events that can often signal emerging opportunities.
Drawbacks of traditional search and business information providers
Web content has exploded over the last few years as a result of the breakdown of traditional media and the extraordinary proliferation of new media sources and writers, both professional and individual. More than ever, the web is an enormous, messy, duplicative and incredibly rich source of information. Traditional methods of mining the web, including search engines, business database services and business intelligence applications, have major drawbacks for business and professional users.
- Search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing focus on keyword and text matching, which is great for shopping and travel planning or finding a specific link on the web. But they are not designed to deliver dynamic intelligence based on business concepts more complex than Boolean equations of keywords, or discover business structures, connections and trends.
- Business database services and aggregators like DJ/Reuters, Factiva and LexisNexis access licensed and published sources. Their research features are focused on specific databases and aggregated news feeds. Broader business research is limited primarily to static organizational and company data reported formally in filings and manually compiled industry taxonomies, which are limited in scope and quickly become out-of-date.
- Business intelligence software applications and enterprise search has transformed the way companies manage their businesses. However, business intelligence applications are usually limited to the documents and databases related to a company’s own operations, business and resources.
FirstRain extends the power of business intelligence and analytics outside a company’s walls, delivering intelligence and up-to-the-minute analysis of a company’s customers, markets and business environment using data gathered from the virtually infinite array of web sources.
“When new content is discovered, it can alter the derived relationships, which can generate new events and patterns,” Herscher explained. “This dynamic, adaptive capability makes intelligent business search the only way to truly realize the value of the web within business decision making.”
Putting the power of FirstRain to work
Investment management professionals who value high-performing analytical tools were early adopters of FirstRain’s intelligent business search, which is now available from established research providers such as FactSet Research Systems and Capital IQ, a Standard & Poor’s business. Investment professionals can also access aspects of FirstRain intelligence through the Mergent Online platform, and in the Stock Research Center on Fidelity.com.
Strategic marketing, product marketing, competitive intelligence, and mergers and acquisitions professionals can use FirstRain to explore emerging trends in their specific markets, see trends and patterns within their market eco-system and understand the dynamics impacting their competitors.
Sales professionals can use FirstRain to gain in-depth knowledge of customers, identify business drivers and risks to their campaigns, monitor their territory and learn who is spending money and winning deals in their territory. Strategic and major account sales teams gain advance notice and deep intelligence about their most critical customers and their changing management teams. FirstRain is seamlessly integrated into standard CRM platforms like Salesforce CRM.
FirstRain provides a new and unique way for business professionals to leverage search technology and analytics as part of their intelligence gathering process. FirstRain intelligent business search analyzes and filters the most valuable information from the web about companies, management, markets and trends. By pulling information from across the web, FirstRain’s technology can quickly reveal interesting and useful analytics that signal opportunities for sales, marketing, competitive intelligence, finance and investment management professionals. Partners include leading research platforms such as Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor’s), Code: Red, FactSet Research Systems, Mergent, and Wall Street On Demand. FirstRain is a privately held company headquartered in San Mateo, California, with additional offices in New York, and Gurgaon, India. For more information, contact FirstRain at firstrain.com.