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CES '16: There's Gold in That Recommendation Data, So Mine It

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Video search and recommendations specialist ThinkAnalytics had a realization that the customer data it collected could be put to even better use. After all, its systems have access to content, subscribers, and regional access info. They know what customers are watching, what they've been offered, and even what searches they run.

"That's a massive amount of data," says Peter Docherty, founder and CTO for ThinkAnalytics. "We realized there's a lot more value you can get out of it."

That value could include helping operators upsell or expand the reach of their content. It could show them the number of titles in their video-on-demand library that get significant viewership. It could help with A/B testing, increasing engagement, or creating effective recommendations. Much of this information is in the operators' own various systems, but it's siloed and hard to pull together. To create a simple visual way to cull results from billions of monthly data points, ThinkAnalytics created ThinkBigData, an analytics platform debuting at CES.

"The inspiration came party from our own innovation and understating that we could do a lot more with what we have, and from our customers who had a need for this and didn't see it coming from somewhere else," Docherty says. While ThinkAnalytics began as a real-time data specialist, it's been a leader in video recommendations for a decade now, and counts over 65 deployments in 30 counties. The company has offices on 4 continents.

ThinkBigAnalytics provides instant views that let customers view data segments and drill down. When they drag over a timeline to view a specific period, all views change to show results for that selection. Findings are actionable, and can feed back into ThinkAnalytics' own recommendation platform, creating more effective recommendations.

Creating a platform like this requires data, infrastructure, and analytics, Docherty says. Different providers have different business objectives. In creating ThinkBigData, ThinkAnalytics spoke to providers about what information would help drive their businesses.

"It's actionable information and insight, that's what operators get—actionable information that helps them improve their own business, not just more data that they have to make sense of," Docherty says.

The platform is available as an on-premises installation or in a cloud-based software-as-a-service model.

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