“Big Data” and “Small Returns” are two labels you won’t find together in marketing literature all that often. But the reality is that’s exactly what many companies are finding as they venture onto the pastures of computing’s third platform.

The role of technology companies -- when they're not innovating -- is to make their clients’ journeys less painful and more valuable. We’re spotlighting three very different companies, Solix, Nara Logics and Actian, that seem to be rising to that challenge.

Has Nara Logics Scored the Golden Trifecta of Personalization?

Amazon guru Werner Vogels recently said that the reason recommendation engines sometimes get you wrong is because they don’t know enough about you. Well that might be the case with me because I recently bought Keurig Decaf K-Cups from Amazon and now they’re sending me emails offering deals on power drills. No thanks! I don’t even know where my screw driver is.

If the biggest, brainiest recommendation engine can get it so wrong, do other businesses even stand a chance?

It’s not the lack of information but taking advantage of the wealth of available information that’s key, at least that’s what the MIT pedigreed neuroscientists at Nara Logics think. And while we’ve all had an earful on big data, we haven’t heard nearly enough about how personalization that’s accessible to the non-Netflix’s of this world actually works.

That may now change.

“We’ve discovered the golden trifecta of personalization -- a brain-like, breakthrough algorithm; efficient ways to mine extremely large data sets; and a continuously updating, deep learning system,” says Thomas Copeman, Nara Logics’ founder and CEO.

The problem with personalization systems, it seems, has been a focus on processing power (the more of your data we can get our hands on and crunch, the better we will get to know you) instead of brainpower.

In other words, personalization technology has been more artificial than intelligent, as the company’s website says.

What Nara does differently is that it looks for the millions of features and attributes (and attributes of attributes) that make up every person, place and thing that’s relevant to a customer’s database and then augments it with additional information, reviews and opinions. They pool all of this data into a single neural network and uncover preexisting relationships and build both expected and unexpected connections between them. They use this to uncover an individual’s Digital DNA™

That DNA is then applied to match an individual’s unique preferences with a client’s products and services in real time. The end result? Personalized content recommendations and messaging that makes true one-to-one segmentation possible.

How difficult is it to get going? It’s a SaaS solution, it learns while it works, and the company says that its tools make it easy for any business to tune and manage the results and metrics that personalization produces.

And, oh, by the way, if you’re not a megacorp, now worries, Nara says it’s looking to work with organizations of all sizes.

Archived Data No Longer a Drag, Thanks to Solix

Up until recently Information Archiving didn’t yield many returns, unless you count keeping innocent CEOs out of jail or putting those that are guilty behind bars.

Enterprises are forced to keep certain inactive data readily accessible to comply with regulations and in case they are sued. The thinking was (and sometimes still is) that data should be dumped as soon as legally possible for two reasons: first, if you store huge volumes of old, inactive data with active data inside an application, your application performance slows down. And second, local data storage, when there are huge volumes of data continuously being created, is expensive. Storing data off premises and outside of the application is arduous because data must be extracted, transformed and loaded (ETL) out of the application and back, if an audit were to occur.

This being the case, many enterprises have kept decommissioned applications on standby and operating environments running so that information could be accessed on demand, just in case.