Sponsor Spotlight Column: Gayle Sheppard of Saffron Technology on Cognitive Systems

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edw2013-sponsor-spotlightby Charles Roe

DATAVERSITY™ recently interviewed Gayle Sheppard at Saffron Technology.  Saffron Technology are the creators of the Natural Intelligence Platform that mimics how humans learn and think, thus providing faster and smarter decisions within all of the enterprise.

Saffron Technology are a Silver Sponsor at the Enterprise Data World 2014 Conference in Austin, Texas from April 27 – May 1, 2014.

The Sponsor Spotlight Column (and its parallel venture the Speaker Spotlight Column) is an ongoing project that focuses on highlighting several of the central issues represented at the many Data Management conferences produced by DATAVERSITY.

The primary emphasis of the interview was to question Gayle Sheppard and Saffron Technology on their current work and history within the industry, with particular importance on the products and/or services being highlighted at the upcoming conference:

DATAVERSITY (DV): What’s your company elevator pitch? Why should a business person care about the solution you provide?

Saffron Technology: Saffron brings to Big Data the same incredible ability of our mind, but on a scale that far exceeds human capability. Like the human brain, Saffron learns in real time, recognizes patterns and automatically associates ideas, events, people, places and things.

We believe software and computers need to serve human beings, not the other way around. By doing so, Saffron extends the ability of the human mind to use all relevant, available information including all prior experience and outside-in data, to make more informed decisions and achieve better outcomes.

Saffron’s patented Natural Intelligence Platform is the result of more than a decade of intense development and research to create a truly cognitive computing platform.

Contrary to traditional artificial intelligence platforms which try to make sense of data by applying logic, Saffron analyzes data in association and context of all data points down to the entity level. Saffron’s Natural Intelligence platform learns about new associations on the fly as data arrives. The platform takes new information and integrates it with previous associations and relationships. The result of this process is the identification of patterns, trends and most importantly, a computer that relentlessly learns. Like the human brain, Saffron is not limited in the scope or format of the data.

Saffron’s track-record of successful implementations in various industries including manufacturing, health care, philanthropy and defense illustrates the ease and impact of using our Natural Intelligence platform. Saffron democratizes knowledge by combining your organization’s knowledge of experience and outcomes, to help you anticipate risk, identify opportunities and ultimately make more informed decisions based on everything you know – as opposed to what you had time to research.

DV: What will you be highlighting at EDW14?

Saffron Technology: A natural intelligence based approach is fundamental to the future of computing and will affect every industry.

DV: What’s the unique selling proposition of your product or service versus your competitors? What do you do that nobody else does (or better than anyone else)?

Saffron Technology: Uniquely using Natural Intelligence computing, Saffron directly supports and informs people attempting to solve major challenges faced by data-driven organizations:

  • Saffron is universal. It is format agnostic and can consume any type of data, including unstructured information. It unifies all data resources to include those that may have fallen into disuse on legacy systems. Saffron reveals insights through associations and relationships not previously visible or known, enabling decision makers to base action on what they know – everything contained within their data – and not what they had time to research.
  • Saffron is dynamic. It learns in real-time, continuously and doesn’t need to be reset every time context changes.
  • Saffron is temporal. It uses knowledge from prior experiences to anticipate and suggest future outcomes. It is especially powerful in identifying patterns and anomalies in the data.
  • Saffron is blindly fast. Sub-second returns are the norm. It doesn’t work with models or rules and doesn’t require heavy installation and integration efforts seen with traditional business intelligence platforms. The size of the database is irrelevant.

Saffron is simple to use. It doesn’t require months of training – our experience notes analysts creating new knowledge after a single day of training. It illuminates actionable insights to inform decisions.

DV: Why should EDW14 attendees stop by your booth this year?

Saffron Technology: Saffron’s Natural Intelligence Platform is the only platform on the market combining associative memory, pattern recognition and predictive analytics to help businesses make more informed decisions with actionable insights. Come take a look at our latest innovations and discuss with the brilliant minds behind Saffron’s technology.

DV: What do you see as the most significant trend happening at this time within the Data Management industry?

Saffron Technology: As human-beings, we have the ability to continuously analyze and understand the world around us in real-time. We assimilate all sorts of facts, from images to sounds, and make sense of our world by associating these facts with one another. We think using connections in our memory, anticipating outcome from past experiences, analyzing risk, finding opportunities and ultimately making decisions.

These unique abilities continuously demonstrate the extraordinary power of our mind. Computers on the other hand, work very differently than the human brain. They are often built on narrowly focused models which in-turn, limit the ways they can support our collective efforts. As model-based computing platforms start showing their limits, a growing number of alternative solutions capable of not only analyzing large amounts of data but also making sense of the data are emerging – Saffron is leading these efforts.

The growth of cognitive computing platforms is the most significant trend happening within the Data Management industry. These platforms will ultimately be the only answer to Big Data analytics. Businesses willing to be a step ahead of their competitors should invest in cognitive computing platforms today, before they become the standard of risk management and decision support systems.

DV: How is such a trend going to affect your particular business focus? How does your product/service address that trend?

Saffron Technology: Managing risk and identifying opportunities are crucial in any industry when it comes to making informed decisions that will impact the business. However, these decisions become even more critical when they impact the life of a human-being. The healthcare industry, where data-gathering capabilities are among the most advanced in the world, now need a solution to make sense of all the data, identify situations of risk, apportion medical resources effectively and ultimately save lives.

Healthcare represents an important industry for the deployment of Saffron’s technology, but is not the only one. Eventually, our goal is to democratize the access to knowledge to any business, anywhere in the world. Our APIs will give any application access to the power of cognitive computing, bringing an unprecedented level of accuracy while letting businesses focus on their core competencies.

DV: What is the biggest challenge your customers are facing when it comes to Data Management?

Saffron Technology: The rise of the Internet of Things, which brings data-gathering capabilities to about almost everything, represents simultaneously an incredible opportunity for businesses around the world as well as a significant challenge. Data is everywhere, giving companies the ability to gather tremendous amounts of information at the customer level, but data sources are usually scattered, making it difficult for these companies to unify data and abstract actionable insights. Traditional analytics platforms can only analyze structured data, yet over 80% of the world’s data is unstructured. Businesses in all industries need a solution to help them unify their disparate data sources and provide actionable insights to make more informed decisions.

DV: How are you as a company working to address that challenge?

Saffron Technology: As a cognitive computing platform, Saffron indexes millions entities and their billions of associations found in databases; wherever located, structured or unstructured. Saffron is intuitive. With a day of instruction, users effectively interact with the data on a straightforward, simple interface with both read and write functionality based a powerful parsing framework. This allows organizations to index and integrate all of their data without writing a single line of code. The underlying four-dimensional entity store allows software applications to incorporate advanced entity analytic functions to include classification as well as sophisticated temporal constructs such as spotting trending and converging patterns.

In other words, Saffron’s Natural Intelligence Platform goes beyond unifying data sources; it identifies patterns and predicts outcomes to help businesses identify risks and opportunities, from inside or outside their organization.

DV: What’s the most exciting thing currently in your product or development pipeline that customers can look forward to in the near future?

Saffron Technology: Undisclosed

DV: What’s your favorite quote on “Data” or “Data Management?”

Saffron Technology: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” Arthur C. Clarke

If you are interested in more information about sponsors and exhibitors at EDW2014 see the full listing at: http://edw2014.dataversity.net/sponsors.cfm

About Enterprise Data World:

Enterprise Data World is the business world’s most comprehensive educational event about data and information management. Over five days, EDW presents a diverse schedule of programming that addresses every level of proficiency, including keynotes, workshops, tutorials, case studies, and discussions.

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