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Below is our recent interview with Assaf Katan, Co-Founder and CEO at Apertio Technologies:
Q: For those who have never heard of it, how would you describe Apertio Technologies?
A: In a nutshell, Apertio is a company that develops Open Data discovery tools to help data professionals find the information and insight they need. This data is valuable and applicable for a wide variety of vertical markets such as Financial Services, Insurance, Retail, and Management Consulting. In a slightly broader perspective: the last few years have seen the maturation of AI technologies in data analytics, which enable the analytics engines to “digest” almost limitless amounts of data. This has shifted the bottleneck from the technology to the data itself, and data analysts are on a constant search for new data sources. Open Data is a potential game changer, if it can be properly discovered and utilized – and this is what Apertio has made it mission.
Q: What’s special about Open Datasets and why is Apertio focused on this?
A: Open Data is Big Data published by government authorities at all levels – federal, state, county and municipal. It’s very reliable data which is meant for public use and covers almost every aspect of life, from budgets and economy to education, crime, environment, real estate, health and much more – a data professional’s dream. Open Data holds a lot of potential value for analysts across varied vertical markets as a new source of alternative data, but currently its level of use is very low. This is due to the inherent process of Open Data publishing – the data is buried in thousands of disparate websites with poor metadata and no practical way for users to locate the data they need. To date, Open Data has been an orphan and has not received the proper handling to make it broadly usable; Apertio is taking the lead on this domain, to ensure users can find and utilize the data.
Q: You have recently announced the launch of the first Open Data deep search engine, could you tell us more about it?
A: There is growing consensus in the industry about the potential value of Open Data as well as the difficulty in using it today, and Google’s recent launch of dataset search validates this further. However, this value can only be realized if data analysts can find the relevant datasets, and this is currently not the case. No discovery tool to date, including Google’s new tool, looks inside the data files to see what’s in there and helps end users find the relevant data. Apertio’s new Deep Search engine does just that: we look into each file, understand its content and context, and accordingly build new and enriched metadata for each file within our database. Users can now search and find the most relevant datasets by any parameter – company names, granular locations, professional terms, file size, and much much more.
Q: Apertio is created with professional data users in mind, how are they different than regular users?
A: When it comes to professional users, there’s a lot of focus on productivity. It’s not just about finding the right data, it’s also about being cost-effective in terms of resources spent. To support this, we’re providing a suite of tools that help the data professionals manage their time and efficiency:
• Define alerts for new data published
• Preview datasets before download to ensure value and fit
• Sort search results by dataset relevance, size and date of last update
• Reference to similar datasets
Each and every one of the above (some already operational, some coming soon) provides strong value on its own. Together, they create a compelling Open Dataset discovery environment, and we keep enhancing the product to address evolving needs and user feedback.
Q: What is your vision for the future?
A: Apertio aims to be the go-to destination for data professionals searching for quality Open Datasets, worldwide. Indexing the Open Data and providing a Deep Search capability is the first step. As we move forward, we plan to provide more integrated data solutions. We’re working with our partners to provide data packages addressing specific vertical markets and use cases. So, stay tuned…