Could This Tech Have Stopped Bombers?
When news broke that one of theBoston Marathon bombing suspects had slipped through national security cracks, one DC-area company wondered if its software could have prevented the attack.
Basis Technology fed solution director Jeff Godbold and fed biz dev director Mike Veronis thought of how their company's multi-lingual text analytics software could have at least helped. Itmines info from large volumes of text in any language. The software may have ID'dspelling variations of Tamerlan Tsarnaev's name as he left the US and re-entered the country after a trip to Russia. While a number of federal agencies use the company's software, it wasn't used by the ones tracking Tamerlan, who was on at least two federal watch lists.
Mike points to a 9/11 photo, representing why he first wanted to provide tech solutions to the government. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company opened a Herndon, Va., office in 2001 to target defense, intel, and civilian agencies. Its federal business has grown to 50% of revenue with over 20 employees since 9/11 and Jeff expects that to increase as agencies look for more mature COTS products and ROI from their IT purchases. The commercial segment is also growing, as corporations like Marriott and the three major search engines want to mine social media for data nuggets.
Jeff started using a stand-up desk a few years ago to cure a sore back caused by running. (Chairs have also been put on a federal watch list.) Jeff tells us the text analytics market is booming because computers haven't conquered making sense of human language. Bring in the big data boom, and text analytics has taken off. Basis has beefed up its workforce with computation linguists, along with software developers to keep up with the demand.