Anomaly 42: A profile

Lawrence Jones

Thursday 18 December 2014

Anomaly 42 are part of a new breed of Data as a service (Daas) providers. Utilising impressive software and techniques, they are capable of sifting through mountains of data, creating a narrative from nothing.

Data flows in and out of organisations at an incredible rate.  The data may flow freely, but it can often be fragmented, separated or trapped into organisational silos.  This fragmentation can create huge difficulties when attempting to piece it all together to create a comprehensive picture.

In addition to the technical challenge of bringing together this information, organisations may face legal and commercial issues, as well as individual privacy concerns that can hamper any attempt to piece together this complex puzzle and paint a true picture.

As a result, some organisations don’t attempt the challenge – but it’s essential they do, because it’s in these gaps that the problems can lurk – from fraudulent activity, regulatory risk or potential compliance headaches.  Businesses may also be missing the chance to make efficiencies or exploit new revenue opportunities, affecting the bottom line.

Minecraft

The challenge is one that Anomaly 42 Chief Operating Officer Jason Price, explains: “Organisations grow organically, and often build in silos, which means data is difficult to mine.  At Anomaly 42 we have a unique skill set and we bring a new set of concepts to address specific, traditional problems.  Our product is, at its heart, business process mapping tool and a data visualisation tool in one.”

Anomaly 42 has a clear process when working with organisations to extract value from their disparate, which Price splits into four components:

1) Ingest and index data
2) Render the data searchable
3) Apply complex processing data, to assess, understand and contextualise the data.
4) Visualisation of the data

A large part of any big data exercise is in re-contextualising data from its original source, rendering it searchable, comparable and comprehensible.  It’s a task faced by everyone and is all about creating context.

“We view ourselves as a ‘context broker’, creating smart data for our users”, explains Price.  “Our software helps businesses see patterns in the data, see through the weeds.  This enables us to help businesses reduce risk and see opportunities.”

Ultimately, there is power in the data but only if it can be contextualised and understood.  It’s not about simplification, it’s about clarity and communication.  It is this that can help sell its benefits to businesses.  “The business case for our product includes reducing cost, risk or brand exposure”, Price adds.

Out of Africa

The company has an interesting history, originally having its roots not in the leafy environs of Silicon Valley or a UK spin out company, but the rather more rugged homeland of South Africa.

“Anomaly 42 is an amalgamation of bits of software that we have subsequently integrated and developed.  The software was initially developed to tackle fraud in South Africa.

“We saw there was a market for the product here, particularly in financial services.”  Simmons explains.

The recession of 2008 highlighted a multitude of financial mismanagement and potential duplicity, the impact of which is still being felt.  Does Price feel this is a real focus for the business, and daas in general?

“We are taking advantage of the focus on financial services, automating processes and taking advantage of the market conditions.

“But the management of data has many more applications that solely financial services.  It can reduce fraud but can also help business processes and increase businesses efficiencies.“

Primed for growth

Since 2013 the company has taken on offices in St Catherine’s Dock, in the heart of London’s business district and currently employs 25 people.

The previous year has seen some major developments for the business as Price outlines:  “We received ‘series a’ funding in March 2014 which was a real boost.  We are now focussing on developing products with functionality and performance and a new focus on marketing and PR.”

“We are also working with Garnter to strengthen our market offer.”

The future looks positive with year-on-year growth predictions of 50 – 100%.  Based in London, the company isn’t likely to struggle to find financial services organisations eager to want to use it products, but does it have ambitions beyond our shores?

“There are enormous opportunities for us in the UK, and we are continuing to grow.  In the future we may move to the USA and other countries with similar data needs.”

Celebrating success

Price is perhaps at his most enthusiastic when discussing Anomaly 42’s recent win at the UK tech awards.  At a glittering ceremony they were named winners in the tech innovation of the year category.

“It’s hugely exciting to be nominated for and receive this award.  It really shows how far we have come, and surprised and delighted we were successful.

“The award has certainly increased interest, and will help us in the challenge of attracting good quality people who can move our business forward”, he adds.

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