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Networked Insights crunches big data like candy and gives insights in the now for advertisers

Busi­ness devel­op­ment man­agers keen to boost their agency’s online adver­tis­ing sales suc­cess­es might look to Chica­go for advice on the best data to use.  For­get stale data from focus groups or TV rat­ings sur­veys from Nielson.Co.  Net­worked Insights, a young ad tech com­pa­ny based in the city’s West Loop, uses “data in the now” to help agen­cies and adver­tis­ers make fast deci­sions about the direc­tion of a campaign.

From math to marketing

Com­pa­ny founder and CEO Dan Neely hatched his idea sev­en years ago while liv­ing in Madi­son, Wis­con­sin.  An actu­ary with a degree in risk man­age­ment, Mr. Neely has brought his love of data to Deloitte and helped launch the inter­net insur­ance firm Esurance before set­ting up Net­work Insights, which uses cut­ting edge tech­nol­o­gy to whiz like light­ning through data aris­ing from ven­dors on more than 80 mil­lion con­ver­sa­tions every week.  Then it cat­e­go­rizes and stores the data it’s col­lect­ed, giv­ing clients a clear pic­ture in the here-and-now of what their clients think about their prod­ucts, where they’re chat­ting about it and what else they’re inter­est­ed in.  You don’t need to be a top-lev­el busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ag­er to know that this kind of data is gold-dust.

Last year in San Fran­cis­co, when exec­u­tives from Apple Inc. were launch­ing the lat­est iPhone, Neely was sit­ting at Net­worked Insights with mar­keters from Sam­sung watch­ing imme­di­ate reac­tions on Face­book, Twit­ter and a raft of forums and blogs scat­tered across the web.  That data led Sam­sung to cre­ate its high­ly effec­tive, full-page “It doesn’t take a genius” response ads, high­light­ing the Sam­sung S3’s advan­tages of over the iPhone.

Rock­et­ing onwards

Investors have noticed. Net­worked Insights now includes names like Proc­tor & Gam­ble, Kraft Foods Group Inc. and Miller­sCoors LLC as cus­tomers and it’s fast become name of Chicago’s quick­est grow­ing dig­i­tal star­tups. It’s raised the prince­ly sum of $29 mil­lion in ven­ture fund­ing, $20 mil­lion of which came from Gold­man Sachs and cur­rent­ly employs 140 staff.

Neely is tight lipped about rev­enue but points out that his com­pa­ny has grown five-fold in the last two years alone. It’s been mak­ing a prof­it for the last year-and-a-half. And it looks set to con­tin­ue on an upward curve, even though the ana­lyt­ics space is a crowd­ed one. Inter­est­ed busi­ness devel­op­ment man­agers might be tempt­ed to give Mr. Neely a call.

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