Focused on helping companies create winning eBusiness strategies, Visual Insights offers a comprehensive array of patented data visualization software solutions to help organizations track and analyze their eBusiness performance from all angles.
What does data have to do with creating an eBusiness winner? Simply, everything, says Douglas A. Cogswell, CEO of Visual Insights, Inc., who claims his company's 19-patent-strong data visualization offering gives people a clear window into eBusiness performance.
"At its core, our technology helps people run their eBusinesses better by offering them the understanding and insight into what's working and what's not on their web sites--and how they can make them work even better," says Cogswell.
A key bulwark to such insight is the status quo, claims Cogswell. "The industry has spent a ton of money on collecting, cleaning, mining, storing, transferring and synthesizing data. Yet it all comes out in spreadsheets, tables and bar charts which often provide no clue as to what the data really means." To date, little work has been done on how human beings can better understand what the data means, says Cogswell, "For this reason, Visual Insights is in the business of helping people understand such data in much more intuitive ways."
According to Cogswell, Visual Insights was born in 1997 when Lucent hired him to spin off Lucent Technologies Bell Labs' data visualization technology into a new concern. "By background, I'm a CEO-type person that fixes and grows technology companies. It took me until the Fall of 1999 to get everything organized, then, as we were spinning Visual Insights out of Lucent, I also acquired a Canadian data visualization company called Visible Decisions."
With these deep technology pockets, Cogswell says his team created Visual Insights' unique offering, "One where we've taken world class leading edge data visualization technology and have used that to build a family of products for e-business performance analysis."
Data visualization software that tracks and analyzes eBusiness performance
So what does Visual Insight's data visualization software do? Cogswell claims it helps companies understand their eBusiness performance from every possible angle. "For example, catalog retailers who do promotions to draw customers into their sites can use our software to help them understand which promotions work best. Or a law firm with information retrieval web sites in 30 countries can use it to help identify where people, internally and externally, are getting hung up in the firm's site. Or an advertising agency can use it to determine which of its clients' banner ads "look and feel" are attracting the most customers," says Cogswell.
At the heart of Visual Insight's ability to track and analyze such eBusiness performance is the company's eBizinsights product family, claims Cogswell, who says this product-set represents the next generation of eBusiness performance management software. "With it, people can more quickly and easily discover, analyze and communicate their eBusiness performance results to make faster, better business decisions."
Intel 64 Fund invests in Visual Insights
Cogswell says it's no accident that Visual Insights ended up talking with the Intel 64 Fund team about investing. "We already had a strong working relationship with a group within Intel. So when we were bringing together Visual Insight's series A funding round, our Intel contacts introduced us to Intel Capital," says Cogswell. "They seemed very interested and offered us the option of an Intel Capital equity investment or an investment from the Intel® 64 Fund. We chose to go with the Intel 64 Fund."
After meeting with the Visual Insights team, the Intel 64 Fund team saw that Visual Insights had a compelling set of patented data visual query and analysis technologies that could be used in the banking, financial, retail and government market segments. Visual Insight's products could provide risk management, business intelligence and decision support solutions for OEMs and ISVs, as well as customers in a wide range of industries.
Cogswell says his team went with the Intel 64 Fund "because we liked the makeup of the members. In addition, we're a heavy analytic application, so porting to the 64-bit architecture capabilities could help us out a lot."
Following a thorough due diligence investigation, Visual Insights received an investment in 1999 from the Intel 64 Fund--a quarter billion dollar equity investment fund that invests in technology companies developing innovative enterprise solutions for Intel� Itanium� based servers and workstations. The Intel 64 Fund investment in Visual Insights was made in support of Visual Insights' port of its next generation analysis and visualization software to the Itanium platform, which promised to offer customers a comprehensive data visualization solution running on Itanium-based systems. The Intel 64 Fund also participated in a follow-on round of funding for Visual Insights in 2000.
A relationship comprised of great teamwork
Today, Visual Insights is a global company, with a wide spectrum of customers, including IBM, Cognos, and i2Technologies, who are integrating Visual Insight products into their own products to enhance their offerings. "We have also released the second version of our first product, and have added two more products to the eBizinsights product family--which translates into higher performance, richer, deeper functionality and helps people understand even more aspects of their web site's performance."
Cogswell says the investment relationship has been good for Visual Insights from both a technical and marketing stance. "The Intel 64 team has been especially helpful in offering technical assistance, where they gave us advanced copies of the Intel Itanium architecture and hardware. Since then, our developers have been out to Intel sites to work with their engineers on threading and performance tuning our applications. So this has helped us in advancing our performance capabilities. In fact, we were one of the first ports that ran live on the IA-64 architecture, where we showcased our product at Intel's Itanium launch in October 2000."
In addition, Cogswell says Visual Insights has also benefited from the investment on the marketing side. "The Intel team frequently showcases our application at seminars and symposiums. We've been in Intel press releases, and Intel's Itanium launch event also gave us a lot of visibility, where we networked and met some new customers, including Cognos Corporation. Intel has since even created a video that promotes our application with a couple of our customers. All this gives us visibility and resources that we wouldn't be able to attain easily on our own�"
Cogswell points out that Intel and the Intel 64 Fund team also benefit from the investment, beyond the standard monetary return. "We provide a highly visual application that demonstrates well on the Itanium architecture. While a lot of applications out there may work on this architecture, they aren't visual. To put it bluntly, they're boring to watch. In my view, if you want to demonstrate the power of the architecture you need to show something colorful that people like to see. That's us. Our product is cool to look at and its visual on a screen, so people get it, fast--the power of the Itanium architecture."
" From the start, the investment relationship has been excellent. We've had technical development assistance--and we've had tremendous support in creating greater market awareness for Visual Insights. Our Intel Capital representative is creative, insightful, and always there when we need him. Which is useful, since I can bounce ideas around with him, yet he's not invasive. He understands our kind of business, and we've really appreciated what both Intel and the Intel 64 Fund team have done with us. Overall, it's been great teamwork�"
Douglas A. Cogswell
AT A GLANCE...
Douglas A. Cogswell
For more information, contact Visual Insights, .
Last updated: March 2001
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