October 26, 2012 in ATDC News

Graduate Profiles: Emcien transforms “Big Data” into big value

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Emcien At a Glance

Like many startups, the roots of Emcien can be traced to the search for answers to a critical business problem.  While serving as a professor at Georgia Tech, Dr. Roy Marsten – recipient of the Beale-Orchard-Hays Prize for Excellence in Computational Mathematics – was approached by a top automobile manufacturer for help identifying the most popular choice combinations and trends in sales transactions in order to reduce the number of configurations and still meet customer demand. His unique approach, which involved leveraging efficient graph algorithms to unveil insights from the data, became the foundation of Emcien. 

A 2008 graduate of ATDC, Emcien provides pattern-based analytics solutions designed to solve specific business problems across sectors. In layman’s terms, Emcien’s technology automatically analyzes streams of data and converts that complex information into actionable insights designed to drive value and competitive advantage.

“We deliver the last mile of Big Data, directly dialing into the value of the data with our patented pattern-detection platform,” said CEO Radhika Subramanian.

It works like this: the company’s platform identifies and measures connections between data points and transfers the connections into a network graph — thereby converting the original high density/ low value data into a low density/ high value network by separating the “signal” from the “noise.” The algorithms measure the distance and strength between connections based on these linkages, similar to the popular game of “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.” Once these patterns emerge, the algorithms filter the network to remove the less important “garbage” links (or the noise) to convey the most valuable remaining relationships (the signal).

For example, the Atlanta Police Department used the technology to discover a gang merger occurring in real-time. With Emcien’s platform, the APD was equipped to track and prepare for the increase in violence resulting from that merger. In another case, NCR Corporation – which recently named Emcien the 2012 Supplier of the Year in the SaaS Solution Providers Category – utilized the technology to address the disconnect between customer-buying patterns and product configurations, ultimately generating a five percent increase in sales efficiency and a $110 million contribution to the company’s bottom line.

As the company’s reputation has grown, revenue and staff size have increased accordingly.  Currently eyeing $6 million in revenue and 50 employees for 2012, company leaders expect both to double in size next year.

“At inception, we were a small group of math and engineering geeks focused on developing pattern-based analytics solutions to help companies leverage their data to solve critical business problems like product proliferation,” said Subramanian. “While the term Big Data wasn’t popular 10 years ago, our pattern-detection platform is a direct dial into big data insights for the end user.”

Subramanian said ATDC resources helped aid the company’s success, providing them with crucial connections and mentors along the way.

“The biggest perk of participating in an incubator is really the access to the ecosystem of big ideas, visions and forward-thinking individuals who possess the experience rising entrepreneurs require,” she said. “Entrepreneurs and startups outside of the incubator might get stuck re-inventing the wheel over and over again, because they don’t have access to this ecosystem.”

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