To help businesses find useful insights in every growing amounts of big data, Massachusetts-based OneSource is reinventing search  – and changing its name to Avention to reflect its new direction.

Jonathan Flatow, Avention's CEO, told us the new name implies "avenue of invention" — something he believes suits the new search application. Designed for sales, marketing and business researchers, it uses natural language and semantic understanding to conceptually sift through mounds of data sources.  

Giving Customers What They Want

Phil McWade, Avention's Manager of Product Development, told CMSWire, "We're giving our customers what they really want." Marketing and sales professionals don't want "a list of news articles" about companies: They want to identify companies they can sell to.

The new application combines the company's two previous products, the Business Browser for knowledge workers, researchers and consultants, and iSell for sales personnel. Flatow said this combination has been expanded with four major capabilities that he said are "unique in the industry and takes this to a whole new level."

Avention calls those four application capabilities its four pillars.

There's Conceptual Search, which uses concepts for searching structured or unstructured data instead of keywords or tags. So, Flatow said, a user could enter "expanding alternative energy" or a similar concept, and locate companies that are using wind turbines, solar power or any green technology.

Conceptual Search Example.jpg

A Conceptual Search example in Avention's reinvented application

Business Signals offer about 1200 "facets" that define companies beyond such standard metrics as location or revenue, like "likely to enter into joint ventures" or "does it outsource its data center?" Companies are scored against others in each facet.

Ideal Profile, Smart Lists

An Ideal Profile shows a combined score of selected facets, so a user can receive a ranking of target companies based on the desired characteristics. For instance, there might be five companies with differing total scores from such facets as "just received venture funding," "opened an office" and "change in executive." A company with a high score in Profile of combined facets, Flatow said, might be the best target for new business or services.


An Ideal Profile

The fourth "pillar" is Smart Lists, which are actionable lists of searches that can be pinned to the dashboard. Flatow noted that "lists are dynamic and evolving," with background processing continually updating them for the desired profiles.

The new platform is out now for new customers. Existing customers will be converted beginning April 1. The company said it is in the process of determining pricing.