The Investing Edge
of Enterprise IT


23
Jun
2016

Ascent B2B IT Forum – Machine Learning: How Artificial Intelligence is Invading the Enterprise

There’s no denying that machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are invading the enterprise at warp speed. Almost every industry is affected by the technology, and the innovation it inspires is fascinating. According to Gartner, machine learning is one of the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2016. Most of us are already — often unwittingly — interfacing with the
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03
May
2016

Machine Learning – How Artificial Intelligence is Invading the Enterprise

Machine learning, a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building, is at the top of the “hype curve” for emerging technologies and is one of the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2016, according to Gartner. It’s safe to say that most of us are already interacting with machine learning applications on a daily basis whether it’s Apple’s
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18
Feb
2015

Democratizing Analytics with RapidMiner

Today I’m happy to announce Ascent’s newest portfolio company, RapidMiner. In leading the $15M Series B financing of RapidMiner, we are following through on an investment theme I’ve been pursuing for several years – bringing advanced analytics to the business analyst. As we’ve all seen, there’s been tremendous hype around big data, but unfortunately many companies have been left disappointed
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06
Jun
2014

Why Creativity is Essential to Data

There’s a common misconception that engineers and data scientists are “number crunchers,” and are not creative. They use the left side of their brains, as the popular opinion goes, to present stodgy, black-and-white data, trends, ideas, etc. The “creatives” reside on the other side of the company, immersed in the innovative and artistic work – design, music, advertising, PR, etc.
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21
Feb
2014

Data Analytics: We’ve Come a Long Way, Yet There is So Far Still to Go

Since the advent of IBM’s punch cards in the 1920s, the information technology industry has fostered improved decision making through data analysis. But the pace of progress has accelerated dramatically over the last decade, with storage costs dropping at an incredible pace (the price for a gigabyte of storage has fallen 99.5 percent since 2000), and internet connectivity becoming essentially
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01
Oct
2013

StartApp Hits the Billion Download Mark

Ascent portfolio company StartApp has been on an incredible ride over the last 18 months, and recently achieved its biggest milestone yet in its young history: one billion downloads. (As the linked video clip persuasively notes, this is a very big number.) The rapid growth of StartApp speaks to the mobile industry problem it solves. The Company offers an ingenious
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27
Sep
2013

Big Data is Big Hype, but Data Analytics Delivers

At Ascent, we have been focused on the growth of data analytics – or as we called it back in 2008, the ”Explosion of Data” – for close to a decade. In the early days we backed companies such as ZoomInfo, Cymfony (acq. by TNS) and Bizo that comb the web, collecting data to build professional profiles or understand customer sentiment
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29
Aug
2013

Ascent Index: BYOA

We’ve written frequently about BYOD, the consumerization of IT and their impacts on enterprise technology. As disruptive to the enterprise as BYOD has been, it’s also somewhat become the norm, with reports that as many as 70 percent of employees who own a smartphone or tablet choose to use it to access corporate data, and more than 60 percent of
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14
Aug
2013

Next B2B IT Forum – Data Analytics: Making It Real

We’ve long been excited at Ascent about the tremendous potential gains from the analysis of data and the complex business problems it can solve. And now I believe we’ve reached the point that organizations need to begin the shift toward data-driven decision making that can move the needle. But for many businesses, this shift is easier said than done. For
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21
Jun
2013

Big Data: Love the Mission, Hate the Moniker

I enjoyed speaking on a big data panel at the E2 Conference on Wednesday in Boston, but the more I participate in these events, the more I agree that “big data” is a silly marketing term, a meaningless catch-all that provides answers to nothing. Perhaps it is needed to make a distinction from traditional data analytics – as people have
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