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Extraordinary Insight Engine (EIE)

Tuesday Nov. 25 2014

At the core of what we do lies the ability to gain unique insights into what your users are doing on your online properties, and to turn those insights into actions that better help you monetize your services.

This is a hard problem that requires hard science and sophisticated technology to solve, and at Cxense we’ve developed the Extraordinary Insight Engine (EIE) for this exact purpose.

Serving as the technological foundation for all of Cxense’s offerings, EIE gives you relevant data-driven answers to fundamentally data-driven problems.

No more guessing. With EIE, we provide publishers with extraordinary insight through the Cxense Insite suite.

 

Why?

  • Any business with an online presence faces the same problem: How can the business gain insights into who their users are and what they want, and how can these insights best be applied? This is the exact problem that the Cxense Extraordinary Insight Engine (EIE) is designed to address, and answers to these questions are the foundation for building services and applications that engage users and present the best possible user experience. We believe that all such compelling applications, although possibly quite diverse by nature, have a common ingredient at their core: They are fueled by and adapt to data. Lots of data. Furthermore, as users interact with them this generates even more data -- usage data that needs to be captured, analyzed and learnt from. The Cxense EIE is Big Data defined. In order to provide a solid and future-proof foundation for powering such engaging user experiences, the Cxense EIE is a cloud-based platform serving some key business needs.

  • - You want to leverage what you already know and combine that with what you can observe.

    The EIE brings together data from a wide variety of sources and of different types. This includes data and meta data about content, users, location, time, social networks, and others. Such data can be implicit in the sense that the EIE itself automatically analyzes public data and monitors its consumption and makes inferences from that, or explicit in the sense that the business can upload and integrate pertinent non-public first- or third-party data it might have.

  • - You want the data you have to be actionable.

    The EIE allows for simple and powerful integration with applications, and provides extensive and highly flexible and expressive mechanisms for connecting to and querying this treasure-trove of data. These APIs enable applications to easily integrate with the EIE and to harness it for adding contextuality, relevance and smartness to the user experience. The EIE is what powers Cxense's own application suite, and can also power custom applications.

  • - You want to tap into what your users are doing right now to ensure timeliness and responsiveness.

    The EIE was designed from the ground up to be extremely performant and work in real-time. Timeliness does matter: Slowness just doesn't make for good user experiences, and not having a fully up-to-date view of the world just doesn't make for contextually relevant applications.

  • - You want to learn about and engage with your users, regardless of where you meet them.

    The EIE providing a holistic view across multiple points of contact. A business might see its users in a number of online settings: On web sites or from within native applications, on desktop machines or on tablets or mobile phones. The EIE is agnostic about this, and works equally well when integrated with any connected application or device. A cross-site, cross-application, and cross-device view provides a complete picture.

  • - You know your own business and domain better than anybody else.

    The EIE was designed with openness and extensibility in mind, to allow for the inclusion of custom domain- and business-specific elements. This includes everything from mapping your content into custom taxonomies to allowing you to send custom events with associated custom parameters. The end result is that the EIE works with concepts from your own business, using your own vocabulary.

  • - You want your data to be used for more than one thing and without friction.

    The EIE acts as a hub that puts your data in the center, and allows multiple applications to draw upon the same data source and make the same data available in a multitude of settings. Imagine the opposite: With isolated point solutions that use or create isolated data stores, a complex integration project with information loss across systems quickly becomes the end result. By turning this picture upside-down and being data-oriented, the EIE avoids this problem.

How?

  • EIE is a platform that combines several elements. Key points include:

  • - Simple deployment.

    Interfacing with the EIE can be as simple as adding a few lines of JavaScript to your site template. This will ensure that your content gets processed and its consumption monitored. Similarly, getting data out can be as simple as adding a few lines of JavaScript to populate a widget with data using the platform's JSONP API.

  • - Simple data ingestion.

    The EIE automatically crawls and indexes all URLs it sees, and also provides solid APIs for having content pushed into it. Both structured and unstructured content is supported. Similarly, anonymous user data is also automatically collected simply via the presence of the Cxense JavaScript snippet added to your site. To complement this with non-public data, the platform provides easy-to-use JSON APIs.

  • - Deep semantic knowledge of content.

    We believe that understanding what people consume is key to understanding what their interests are. Our world-class linguistic processing platform has an extensive language breadth, is extensible and customizable, and provides cutting-edge text mining capabilities.

  • - A real-time and complete bird's-eye view of how content is consumed.

    The EIE keeps track of how long time users spend reading which articles, which pages that are popular and which aren't, who reads what, which items that are visible, and how users navigate or otherwise interact with items on a web page. Being real-time, the EIE can have applications act on what the user did a moment ago. And by having the complete picture of how content is consumed, the EIE can help discern signal from noise.

  • - Advanced adaptive user modeling.

    A user's profile comprises a number of elements. Some data is static (e.g., gender), some data is dynamic but doesn't change very fast (e.g., device or location information or general interests), whereas some data changes quite frequently (e.g., right now I just read about Jennifer Aniston's latest movie.) As users interact with content, their interest profiles are adaptively updated by algorithms that take into account all pertinent information about the consumed content and how deeply it was consumed, and based on this computer models can predict various relevant user properties.

  • - Powerful querying capabilities.

    The data in the EIE can be retrieved, combined, sliced and diced in real time. Queries can concern content items or users, isolated items or aggregated views, structured or unstructured data, and complex ad hoc filters combining any data source can be defined. We believe these capabilities to be quite unique.

What?

  • Applications powered by the Cxense EIE can take a number of forms, e.g., search, recommendations, targeted delivery of ads or offers, business intelligence dashboards or personalized reading applications. To accommodate this spectrum and meet their needs, under the hood EIE is built using a number of advanced technologies: In-memory column-oriented databases working on highly compressed data, cutting-edge search engine technology, distributed key-value stores, machine-learning models, layout engines, grammars and processing graphs, just to name a few. Collectively, they comprise a high-performance distributed system with no single point of failure. EIE stores its data and does its number-crunching out of multiple data centers to ensure good latency in a global setting, and great care has been made to ensure that the platform's data capture mechanisms are non-intrusive and problem-free: E.g., JavaScript scripts are served from content delivery networks to ensure minimal load times, and scripts are loaded asynchronously to ensure that their presence doesn't cause any page rendering slowdown. The Cxense EIE is what fuels Cxense's suite of solutions. It could also fuel yours.