Careers at DataSift
DataSift is a social data aggregation company, whose platform provides businesses with access to real-time and historical social data from a range of social media sources, enabling brand marketers, advertising agencies and app developers to provide more accurate, informed services.
DataSift (formerly MediaSift) was founded in 2010 by Nicholas Halstead (“Halstead”) and its social data platform was launched officially in 2011. The Company has its roots in technology developed by Halstead to track social insights. In 2007 he created fav.or.it which he used to automatically categorise RSS feeds and rank the popularity of content. This technology was applied to Twitter in the form of TweetMeme, which later developed the social network’s retweet button. Realising that the information aggregated by his TweetMeme technology was proving useful to businesses that wished to manage content posted about themselves, Halstead decided to exchange to give Twitter the retweet button in exchange for access to its firehose of data.
Halstead went on to develop greater aggregation and filtering functionality, adding more data sources to its stream. After receiving seed capital in 2010, DataSift opened its first round of formal funding in 2011, raising $6 million. To date, the Company has raised more than $71 million from 12 investors, including GRP Partners, Insight Venture Partners, The FSE Group and Upfront Ventures. DataSift is now one of the market leaders within the social data space, serving more than 1,000 customers worldwide.
Benefits at DataSift
Business model of DataSift
DataSift claims to have over 1,000 customers from more than 40 countries. Its products and services are aimed at businesses that require in-depth aggregation, management and filtering of detailed social data in order to provide more accurately targeted products and services and identify customer demographics.
These customers principally comprise social app developers, marketing and advertising agencies, brand marketers and market researchers.
DataSift’s key values are in the functionality and reliability of its Human Data Platform and the breadth and variety of its social data.
The Company’s products and insights help customers to identify where and how businesses generate revenue, to improve the accuracy and effectiveness of marketing schemes, to improve customer relationships and to examine operational efficiency.
The Company’s data streams are customisable, comprising only the sources that are selected by users, offering information more than 20 data sources, including from social media giants Reddit, Tumblr, Facebook and Google.
DataSift’s products and services can be easily managed and accessed through the Company’s mobile and desktop websites, enabling users to track their data streams and manage their accounts at any time.
DataSift’s products can be viewed on the Company’s mobile and desktop websites at www.datasift.com.
Customers can also make enquiries with regard to products via the website, however, sales must be completed through direct discussions with the DataSift sales team. Once purchased, users can log in to DataSift’s cloud-based platform via the Company’s website.
DataSift’s products are sold through its sales team, with each customer receiving a bespoke data stream, comprising information from a sources selected by the customer.
DataSift provides after sale support to all of its customers, providing self-service resources such as webinars, tutorials, technical user guides, FAQs and documentation through its website.
The Company also hosts the DataSift Forum and a community discussion board, where users can interact with one another, collaborate on issues and post questions directly to the DataSift team.
Additionally, DataSift operates a blog, where it discusses topics both related to the Company and to social data topics more broadly, and keeps users updated developments to the platform via its Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
DataSift owns and operates a cloud-based social data platform that facilitates social data aggregation, filtration and analysis solutions, providing access to real-time and historical social data to uncover insights and trends focusing on brands, businesses, financial markets, news, and public opinion.
The Company also provides training, data optimisation and insight, outsourcing, data enrichment and data categorisation services. DataSift also manages partnerships with a number of companies in order to provide an efficient and comprehensive data platform to its customers.
DataSift partners with a number of companies to provide comprehensive streams of social data to its customers. Its partners primarily derive from the tech sector, specifically companies operating within the social analytics space, comprising application providers, social intelligence firms, consumer insights agencies, and social media research companies. These partners include big data marketing firm Black Swan, social intelligence platform Circus Social, social media intelligence firm Faveeo and social media analytics company Crimson Hexagon.
The Company also has a number of tech partners from which it aggregates its social data, including Tumblr, Google, Instagram, Wikipedia and Wordpress. Until 2015 the DataSift was also in partnership with Twitter, having access to the company’s firehose of data. The two companies have since parted, with DataSift quickly taking up partnership with social media giant Facebook. The Company is also reported to have a strategic alliance with operational intelligence provider Splunk, integrating the DataSift platform into Splunk’s data products.
Additionally, DataSift has released an API, allowing software developers to create integrated social data solutions using the DataSift platform.
DataSift’s key resources are its technology, its IT infrastructure, its personnel and its partners. Searches of records held by the US Patent and Trademark Office identified no patent applications recorded in DataSift’s name or in the name of MediaSift.
The way in which DataSift’s sales model is organised means that the Company’s sales employees play a key role DataSift’s operations, as do its technical support team.
DataSift’s costs relate primarily to the development and maintenance of its platform, the maintenance of its IT infrastructure, the retention of its personnel and the management of its various partnerships. In particular, DataSift accrues costs in relation to the data it receives from its data providers, which charge varying fees.
The Company also accrues fixed costs relating the operation of its four offices in the US and the UK.
DataSift generates revenue through the sale of various social data aggregation and analysis solutions and products, and subscriptions to its Human Data Platform. The Company primarily generates revenue through subscriptions to customised data streams, aggregating data from a range of online sources. These streams are bespoke and do not have regular prices.
Pricing is calculated in terms of data processing units which measure the computational complexity of the processing performed as part of DataSift’s service. This is dependent on how many sources are included in a stream, with some data sources commanding higher prices than others. All streams have a fixed cost, which can be presented in terms of daily costs. Some streams also incur a variable cost, as there are some data suppliers that charge additional fees for their content.
info: Nicholas served as DataSift’s Chief Executive Officer in two spells following the foundation of the Company, divided by a three year as the Company’s Chief Technology Officer from 2011 to 2014. Halstead left the Company in 2015 to found big data company Cognitive Logic, where he continues to serve as Chief Executive Officer. Halstead began his career as a senior producer at Argonaut Software in 1990. In 1996 he moved to game developer Empire Interactive, where he served as a senior producer until joining Open Interactive (now BSKYB) as a development manager. Halstead founded Assembleron in 2007, through which he began to develop the technology that now forms the foundation of DataSift.
info: Tim has served as DataSift’s Chief Executive Officer since 2015, having served previously as the Company’s Chief Product Officer from 2012. Prior to joining DataSift Barker held a number of executive roles within the tech sector; however, he began his career in 1990 as an engineer at IT company IPL. In 1992 he began working as a consultant at professional services firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers, moving to tech company PenOP in 1994 to serve as its Vice President of Product Management. From 1997 to 2000 Barker was European Product Manager at content management solutions provider Documentum, going on to serve briefly as Entrepreneur in Residence at private equity firm Benchmark Capital between 2001 and 2002. In 2002 Barker founded software company Activiti, where he served as Vice President of Products until 2005. Following a short spell as Vice President of Products at BuildOnline, Barker co-founded software-as-a-service company Koral where he served as Vice President of Products. Koral was acquired in 2007 by customer success platform Salesforce. Barker held two senior directorships at Salesforce before being appointed the Company’s Vice President of EMEA Marketing.
info: Steven has served as DataSift’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer since 2012. He has previously held financial and management positions across several sectors. In 1992 he joined Compass Management and Leasing as a project controller, going to hold controller roles at GIC Real Estate and Pets.com between 1999 and 2001. In 2001 Pease was appointed Vice President of Finance and Operations at publishing company Klutz, later serving as the company’s General Manager from 2003 to 2006. Prior to joining DataSift, Pease was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at accounting and human resources company Greenough Consulting Group from 2007.
info: Lorenzo has served as DataSift’s Chief Technology Officer since 2015, having first joined the Company as Chief Technical Architect in 2010. He has held a number of developer roles throughout his career, as well as serving as a consultant or independent contractor for a number of companies. Alberton has worked for companies including the BBC, Ladbrokes, NewsLogic, and Cable and Wireless Solutions.
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