Join today’s top leaders online at the Data Summit on March 9. Register here.
nRoad, a Boston-based AI startup that extracts and integrates unstructured data into vital business functions, today launched a new platform known as Convus – aimed at helping businesses meet the challenges unstructured data. Across the enterprise ecosystem, employees are building a bottomless lake of data, based on the company’s mantra to “back everything up, just in case,” according to an article in Gartner. Alan Dayley, former research director at Gartner, notes that the increase in data growth over the past decade has created an unstructured data nightmare. “It’s not just the cost of storage. Huge volumes of obscure data make it harder to find what’s useful and can mean we miss business opportunities,” says Dayley.
Mike Gualtieri, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, notes in an article that between 60% and 73% of all data in a company is not used for analytics. Gartner predicted that by 2021, more than 80% of organizations will fail to develop a consolidated data security policy across silos, leading to potential non-compliance, security breaches, and financial liability. As organizations look to strategize to address the growing challenge of unstructured data, nRoad says its new platform is built and trained on long, highly unstructured documents and content. Designed to be form- and format-independent, Convus™ is powered by a set of modular API-driven engines, explains nRoad.
VentureBeat delved into the intricacies of the platform via an email interview with nRoad CEO Aashish Mehta for broader context on the platform and its impact on the company’s data infrastructure.
Eliminates the need to train and process unstructured data separately
According to Mehta, nRoad’s new platform eliminates the need to train and process various unstructured data separately, providing a single interface (API) to perform all downstream tasks. This allows enterprise technology teams to break away from widely available template-based solutions.
Mehta said that Convus™ uses new vision-based algorithms and other deep learning algorithms combined with classic ML algorithms and an NLP layer that leverages publicly available transformer language models. The platform’s differentiator, Mehta asserts, is the ability to incorporate domain knowledge using graph techniques and domain-specific language models that allow it to maintain domain context, relationality and semantic similarity of data.
“The fundamental flaw in generic approaches such as RPA, OCR software and cloud-based solutions to solving the problem of unstructured data is a lack of consideration in input variability, content variability, language and constraints location,” Mehta said.
He added that the nRoad founding team also developed a single but standardized, intermediate representation of entire documents, enabling data reuse and rapid deployment of models downstream for emerging use cases.
nRoad wants to function as a non-intrusive input source of unstructured data in a structured format, Mehta said. Convus™ is purpose-built to handle volume, speed, variability and variety, he added. Building on the core philosophy of “extract once and standardize many times based on the business use case”, nRoad believes that enterprise CTOs and CDOs can benefit from the domain-focused training capabilities of its platform to better contextualize the data.
The company claims its AI-powered Convus™ platform is 2.8 seconds faster than popular cloud solutions, has 90% mining accuracy, and to date has mined over ten million domain-specific terms.
Unstructured data opens up a significant market opportunity
Mehta noted that several companies have invested huge resources in their business process management (BPM) and other tools to automate structured content over the past decade. However, even with this investment, processing unstructured content remains a major challenge and remains a notable frontier in their quest to achieve true digital transformation and hyperautomation. Since unstructured content represents the majority of total content generated today, Mehta said it represents a significant opportunity for nRoad.
nRoad meets the major challenge of automating the processing of unstructured content. “For example, if a large financial institution receives around 50 million documents per year, every time unstructured content is encountered in the workflow process, the process becomes manual and prone to all sorts of inefficiencies,” Mehta said. “Our platform helps process these documents automatically by extracting key variables and generating insights. These variables can then be fed into the workflow to ensure a frictionless process that does not create dark data. »
How nRoad differentiates itself from the industry
The three main types of industry players, according to Mehta, include:
- Cloud-based horizontal platform providers that focus on providing tools for businesses to address unstructured content processing needs.
- Players have focused on providing a function-specific document or solution like mortgage documents.
- Business process outsourcing (BPO) companies have focused on document processing as part of their outsourced services, using manual tools and efforts.
He said nRoad’s differentiation lies in its ability to provide a fully automated and scalable solution that can reside behind a company’s firewall. He added that nRoad also enables small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to interact with processed data to derive more insights.
While Mehta agreed that nRoad has competition in all three players, he said nRoad’s solution provides businesses with a unique, low-risk opportunity to address unstructured content processing needs without losing control of their workflow, unlike anyone else in the industry.
“Our platform can process very text-heavy documents to generate insights such as private credits, ESG reports and PPMs, which sets us apart from many in the industry,” he said.
In its press release, nRoad claims that its Convus platform currently serves the financial services industry and has proven its capabilities to some of the biggest fintech players, asset management companies and financial data providers in the world. the world.
Next steps to plan
nRoad envisions greater use of NLP techniques, graph techniques, machine understanding, and new vision-based techniques to manage complex business use cases.
nRoad was founded in 2020 and currently has 35 employees, but the company plans to double that number on the heels of revenue growth and its quest to accelerate its product roadmap.
Although Mehta did not comment on the exact number of customers for nRoad services, he said the company grew by 175% in 2021 in terms of customer growth.
nRoad has been self-funded so far, but the company will launch a funding round in the coming months, saying its customers and a few venture partners have expressed interest in investing in the company.
VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital public square for technical decision makers to learn about transformative enterprise technology and conduct transactions. Learn more