Brainnwave: dataset offerings

Monday 3rd April 2017
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A new service from start-up, Brainnwave, is offering quick, easy access to datasets from around the world, including Skyscanner, Ordnance Survey and Airbus Defence and Space, all in one place for the first time.

The new online data discovery and access marketplace sets out to slash the time and resources spent by data scientists and business analysts in finding the right data (from the trillions of gigabytes of data that is increasing minute by minute) to address their specific organisation’s challenges. Crucially, the Brainnwave one-stop-shop service promises users access to the ‘slices’ of data relevant to them and prices it accordingly. Until now there has been an ‘all or nothing’ model for data acquisition which has cost and relevance implications.

The key challenge faced by those at the heart of leveraging the benefits promised by data, is the disproportionate time devoted to sourcing data in a usable format (80%) compared to actually analysing it and identifying insights (20%). A recent Brainnwave survey*  underlines the weight of this challenge with 82% of data specialists either agreeing that this so-called 80:20 paradigm is accurate or much worse.

Don (right)  Baker, Brainnwave founder, explains: “Data drives decisions. Brainnwave wants to make managing your data library as easy as managing your music, photo and video libraries online. We are tackling the access challenge head on by making it easier and faster to find the data needed. This allows users to concentrate on unlocking innovation rather than on finding and accessing the data in the first place. The transparent pricing policy means users only ever pay for what they need and can have the confidence that the data is reliable. When time is money it makes sense to focus resources on generating the insights that inform strategic decisions rather than on searching for the relevant data in the first place.

“The pioneering platform supports discovery and seamless access to any kind of data, notably geospatial data. Almost every piece of data has a location and time aspect to it. The potential insights are therefore increased making it potentially more valuable. Geospatial data insights cut across industry boundaries. For instance a health application could use geospatial insights to help understand disease spread geographically whereas the renewable energy sector may find specific geo data from dedicated drones hugely useful in monitoring and planning their windfarm maintenance programme.”

Anthony Mills, Account Manager of Ordnance Survey, says: “We are pleased to support Brainnwave in the launch of their innovative new service that makes it easy for customers to discover, buy and access our data products online and on-demand.”

Brainnwave was set up by Don Baker, who has had a career working with complex and secure data having worked for the US Government, along with (left) CEO Steve Coates, former UK entrepreneur of the year and (left)  CTO, Graham Jones, former senior software engineer at Bloomberg.

The team has secured significant seed equity from two private equity firms as well as a SE grant of £500,000. It is growing fast and currently has a team of 20 based in Edinburgh.

Scottish Innovation Centre, The Data Lab, also played a crucial role by funding an academic partnership with the University of Edinburgh and The University of Glasgow, which allowed Brainnwave to develop the technology behind the unique data marketplace platform.

Jude McCorry,  (right) Head of Business Development at The Data Lab, said: “The Brainnwave service will make sourcing data much easier for businesses and allow them to reap its value and help them enhance their services. The easy-to-use site will enable them to locate data sets, and smaller parts of big sets, quickly, to better understand their customers and enhance their services. We were delighted to support Brainnwave and partner them with the University of Edinburgh so they could fine-tune their technology and take it to market.”

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