As the world’s hunger for data shows no sign of being satisfied, it doesn’t take much for a datasets to get very big and very messy. Entire industries have formed not just around the analysis of all that data but also in the pre-analysis stage of getting it cleaned up and fit for purpose in the first place. Even the most cautious data managers can lose control of an ever-expanding database, and you can only extract quality insights if you had quality data going in at the start.
Datactics has developed a suite of software applications that cleanse and improve the quality of big datasets, making them easier to analyse and potentially more valuable. The product set is designed to handle both structured and unstructured data in multiple languages. Datactics is recognised for its quality and performance at large scales, making use of smart algorithms to perform what the company refers to as “fuzzy matching”. What’s more, users are able to make the application run sophisticated operations without the need for any programming knowledge.
The application provides three key functions that can be performed on both structured and unstructured datasets. It profiles the data to evaluate the quality. It reengineers datasets to become more usable. And it performs advanced matching and de-duplication processes to clean-up duplicate datasets. However, having been thoroughly cleansed by automated processes like those, there can often be further manual work required to go beyond the abilities of even a powerful engine like that created by Datactics. But here the company provides services too through its data quality firewall which allows for nearshore and offshore specialists to manually review data.
Datactics has a rich academic foundation, having been built on knowledge that was transferred through Cambridge University, then both Queen’s and Ulster Universities here in Belfast, before spinning-out. The company has since had a big focus on the banking and finance sector, which is not only a data-hungry sector but the quality of that data has also been under particular pressure for compliance and regulation since the recession started. Datactics has also been active in the public sector, particularly in government and healthcare.
Another area of growth has been in the increasingly prominent field of open-data. Datactics recently won Invest NI’s open data challenge, as well as becoming the first Northern Irish company to join the Open Data Institute. Having recently closed three new blue-chip clients based in London, as well as signing a new board member and a CTO, the company feels that it has validated its position as a small but very high-tech global firm from NI.