Open Password – Donnerstag, den 7. Februar 2019
Anthea C. Stratigos – Outsell – Layoffs – Partnerships – Consolidation – Data Marketplaces – M&A – IHS Markit – FinTechs – Trimble – Business Models – Cengage – MarkLogic – Bisnode – EDI – Plan S – Elsevier – STM – Going Private – Thomson Reuters – Springer Nature – Stock Market – GDPR – Fake News – EU – Regulation – Digital Marketing – Analytics – Lexis Analytics – AI – Machine Learning – US SEC – IBM – Watson – Gender Diversity – Outsell Women´s Conference – Trust – Ad Fraud – Facebook – UCL Press – UCL Open – Science Open – LexisNexis – LexisNexis Rule of Law – Postgraduates – UK – Equifax – Thomas Thrash – Bertelsmann – Content Alliance – EBSCO Health – Health Decision – Startpage – EU Commission – Coordinated Plan AI – State of the Art Report AI – Algo: aware – BIIA
2018 – 2019 in Perspective
From Passwords International Partner
Trust is the New Algorithm
By Anthea C. Stratigos CEO Outsell (London)
With no shortage of headlines each day, our analysts identify the most important announcements of 2018 and what they mean for the data, information, and analytics economy.
With a Happy New Year and a welcome back, here’s our take on the most important events from 2018 and their impact on our industry.
This was the year when the cold war in trade warmed up, a stock market correction led by tech stocks took hold, and the era of easy credit and cheap capital drew to a close. Political drama around the globe played out on the public stage, and closer to home, drama continued to unfold on our industry stage. In recent months and weeks, layoffs were announced at Refinitiv, Thomson Reuters, McClatchy, IBM Watson Health, Omnicon, and WPP, to name but a few. Partnerships picked up steam, with dozens announced each month, and there was no let-up on the continued consolidation that drives growth in our industry or closes the cycle of PE ownership — a rhythm as natural as the seasons.
Amid all this, we’ve picked ten announcements (or groups of announcements) that are bellwethers for our industry’s future. They are as follows, in no particular order.
- Data Marketplaces. Nasdaq bought Quandl, and Factset and Pitney Bowes joined Battlefin, in the competitive march into the emerging world of data marketplaces. No definitive winner has emerged, and the horizontal and vertical data marketplaces that will take hold in the future are still up for grabs. Data marketplaces will be a definitive part of the industry’s future, as the need for speed in data trading and compliance with what we call the “6 Ds” of the data economy — data provenance, data enhancement, data history, data latency, data atomization, and data delivery format — become requisite for trade. This is a space that is heating up, and one that will be hot in the coming years.
- Game-Changing M&A. Cisco bought Accompany in an acqui-hire, Oracle bought Datafox to acquire technology, S&P bought Kensho, Informa bought UBM, and Fortive bought Gordian. Forrester bought SiriusDecisions, and Gartner completed the integration of its massive bet on CEB. Ascential bought WARC, and Autodesk announced its acquisition of PlanGrid, while IHS Markit spent over $1.8 billion to acquire Ipreo, effectively making the financial information titan a broker of knowledge and ideas in the booming FinTech market. Trimble bought Viewpoint for $1.2 billion and then e-Builder for $500 million, building on the back of its investment in Iron Solutions and pointing to even more investment in data by large enterprises to cement their position in their industry value chain.
- Business Models. Cengage’s unlimited access subscription model launched in August — a bold move to watch, as it tries to address issues of affordability. MarkLogic rolled out its Data Hub Service, an example of technology becoming increasingly available. Bisnode launched its “Internet of Me” initiative to provide consumers an opportunity to benefit from allowing others to utilize their personal data while leaping into the consumer data market by creating over 100 million unique identifiers for EU consumers. EDI has announced its startup funding initiative, EDI Ventures, where data is the investment currency — not cash — putting a true twist on the common phrase, “data is the new oil.”
- Plan S. Nothing sends shudders down the spine of a CEO more than regulatory or outside influences that force significant business model or margin change. While tensions have been brewing between customers, consortia, funders, and regulators, the groundswell of business model changes afoot in STM is taking root. While Plan S is undoubtedly controversial — including researchers protesting against it for limiting academic freedom and questions about its relationship with an OA publisher that will benefit hugely from its approach — it is still pretty limited to a small group of funders that account for just 3–4% of global funding dollars and largely concentrated in Europe.
The announcement that three Chinese funders are supporting it, along with Plan S architect Robert-Jan Smits continuing to claim that two other non-European countries will join in the coming weeks, point to momentum. At the same time, agita in the sector is indicated by push-back on big deals, ongoing complaints against RELX / Elsevier over abuse of dominant position and anti-competition — the latest filed with the EU Competition Authority — and the announcement this week that the Max Planck Society is discontinuing its agreement with Elsevier at the end of 2018. While the largest companies are natural targets and often buffered by scale, contentious relationships with customers are rarely a good thing and point to the continued stress on the STM business model. We believe seismic shifts in STM are on the horizon.
- The March to Private. Thomson Reuter’s spinout of Refinitiv, D&B going private, and PE interest in Nielsen, all on the heels of Neustar going private in 2017 and McGraw-Hill being broken up and taken private years before that, point to the continued challenge large companies have had investing in reinvention and digital transformation in the public eye. We question whether the Thomson Reuters we have come to know will even exist in two to three years, putting our odds on the last bits also going to PE one day. Springer Nature remains private with its withdrawn IPO, and Qualtrics, at the last minute, canceled its IPO and sold to SAP. While Survey Monkey IPO’d and Gartner’s stock is up, both companies benefit from scale and distribution, fitting the profile of a public market much better than many others who have come off the public block. We forecast a similar fate for Centaur and expect continued erosion of the stock market as a friendly place for much of our industry.
- GDPR. GDPR put data privacy and security in the spotlight, helping to make it one of the biggest issues facing the data, information, and analytics industry in 2018. Not only was it the most significant change in European data protection law in 20 years, its influence is being felt globally as governments around the world follow its path, including those of Brazil, India, the Philippines, and California. Some businesses overreacted by cutting off their markets in Europe, while others still have their heads in the sand, pretending it doesn’t apply.
But one thing is for sure: between fake news, the battering of Facebook, and the continuous litany of hacks — most recently announced by Starwood and US Navy contractors — consumers are much more aware. We expect to see more movements for consumers to have control over their personal data, and we applaud the EU for taking a stand. Between Cambridge Analytica and Google announcing Gmails being readable by developer partners, it’s time to say: “no more.” Testimony on public display in the US and EU points to continued and overdue regulation, reminding us of IBM, AT&T, Microsoft, and other crackdowns in the past. Look for more regulation, not less.
- Agencies Out in the Cold. The Fed subpoenaed all the major holding companies, and even though it found no smoking gun, this was a major distraction; Martin Sorrell’s S4 Capital snatched MediaMonks and MightHive after bidding wars with other holding companies; Accenture is rumored to be acquiring all of holding company MDC Partners; and WPP continued to consolidate its holdings and put Kantar on the block. Publicis took an earnings hit and further consolidated its Sapient and Razorfish parts. Accenture and Deloitte continue to add agency services across strategy, planning, implementation, and operations as a managed service, further marginalizing the big agencies. Google and Facebook still dominate digital marketing, putting pressure on Verizon and its asset OATH (newly renamed to Verizon Media). The promise of the AOL/Yahoo! deal didn’t deliver, and out the door went the name — along with its CEO — followed by a massive Verizon write-down, proving that all that glitters is not gold in telecom advertising pursuits, either. Expect continued pressure in ad-land.
- Analytics. In almost every sector, we’re seeing the launch of new technologies being applied to new solutions. Just looking at legal as one small proxy of activity, this year we’ve seen Thomson Reuters launch Westlaw Next, followed the next day by LexisNexis launching a new analytics platform, Lexis Analytics. Bloomberg BNA and Wolters Kluwer have also launched or revamped legal analytics products in 2018. Smaller players vLex and Casetext launched AI research assistants while Fastcase acquired Docket Alarm as its way into the analytics space.
AI is hot, as is machine learning, and the convergence of data, information, and software into the workflow to drive predictive and prescriptive analytics is on the march. Innovation in the industry often starts in financial services, and two noteworthy announcements point to the future. This year, the US SEC announced that it would create a portal for working with companies using AI, blockchain, and other financial technologies. The new site provides a single access point for the SEC and companies to communicate with the public. On the froth front, Wall Street bet big on RPA. Provider Blue Prism was just valued at £1.7 billion, 34 times its predicted sales for 2018, despite still operating at a loss. Its key competitor, UiPath, grew 500% in revenue in 2017, with nearly $100 million in recurring revenue, and is currently valued at 11 times sales. Automation Anywhere has told the Street that it plans to raise $250 million at a $1.8 billion valuation (10 times revenue), and the march to AI continues.
- IBM Layoffs at Watson. The moral of this story is that despite the certain promise of AI and the impact it will ultimately bring, raw computing alone won’t solve the world’s problems. Proper product design is still required, and that starts with crisp strategy followed by level-headed execution. The company’s missteps reminded us of the days of vaporware, when software companies would promise robust solutions well before the code was complete. There are many lessons here about why data monetization must be addressed as a fundamental business issue rather than one of technology and the importance of subject matter experts being involved from the get-go in product design.
The very public meltdown at MD Anderson over the failed Watson implementation finally came home to roost in 2018 with the marketing hype too far ahead of the reality and stakeholders being taken for a ride. Nearly simultaneously, however, Google acquired Workbench, and YouTube invested $20 million in education content, showing that there’s continued demand for tech solutions to be underpinned by quality content resources. But the pipes and the water have to flow together and solve real problems in real time. Health was just too big and too complex for IBM to take on and having one or two data assets (overpaying for Truven) when Watson needed so much more showed naivete about how much Big Blue could do with its investments. Solve a small problem and prove the technology: That’s the order of the day with AI and next generation computing. Curing cancer was simply a moonshot too far.
- 1 Gender Diversity in the C-Suite. For the second year in a row, we measured the top 350 companies in our industry and assessed gender diversity in the C-suite. Only 6% of our industry’s top companies are led by women CEOs, and only 21% of C-suite positions are held by women, mostly in HR and marketing. While we lament the dearth of talent and talk of mirroring the industries we serve, it is clear that we have far to go to advance the business of information.
Attracting talent is essential, and we’ve heard of companies unable to attract top talent, who leave or choose to drop out of the running when they look up through the glass ceiling at people who don’t look like them. It sends the message that there’s no room at the top, and with one lifetime and one career to manage, the talent goes elsewhere, through friendlier doors. This is a business issue as much as an ethical one, and the launch of the Outsell Women’s Conference this year was a step in the right direction. On the horizon, we’ll analyze gender diversity at the top 1,000 companies, with a roster showing those most friendly and those near the bottom. We have work to do, and the journey for women and diversity to the corner office is one we must all promote.
Why This Matters
The theme for Outsell’s 2019 Outlook, announced at the Outsell Signature Event — co-produced with JEGI in London in October — is Trust is the New Algorithm. Many of last year’s announcements simply are about trust: failed trust in digital transformation, failed trust in agencies, the need for GDPR; even agita in STM can boil down to trust. Gender diversity is about whether we can trust our leadership to advance careers and whether there is equal opportunity and pay for all. How our data is used — and misused — is critically important in the new era. Whether acquisitions are successful often comes down to trust and whether cultures clash or can be melded together wisely.
Trust remains in crisis in our industry and beyond: trust in news media, in governments, in today’s advertising ecosystem, in the big social platforms. There remain bad AdTech data-related practices, seen by the uncovering of Rocketfuel mixing client data into its AI without consent, Index Exchange and the bid caching controversy, and the continued existence of a lot of bad actor websites / bots / troll farms. Despite industry attempts to self-police and clean things up, ad fraud is still going strong. Look no further than video ad platform Telario cutting earnings significantly after its failed plan to focus on premium publishers; Videology going bankrupt; Google, White Ops, and the FBI uncovering a massive ad fraud scheme; Pixalate uncovering a mobile app laundering scheme; the list goes on.
Facebook is the daily poster child for bad actors on trust, with little consequence besides a tarnishing brand and falling stock price. It is still dominant in digital advertising, with both users and marketers persisting in their participation, and despite its slower growth, its investments in Instagram and What’s App are continuing to pay off. However, look at the fine print and see that permission has been granted for actors to listen to phone conversations or track locations in order to serve up ads. That these actors can no longer be trusted begs reflection about how much we want to give in exchange for the promise of commerce.
In many respects, this year provides the “authoritative source,” once out of fashion, with an opportunity, a moment in time, to educate markets and demonstrate value. Technology is an enabler; content quality, brand, and delivering value and trust are what matters. It’s time for the industry to take hold, invest in trust, and recognize that in the era of AI and machine learning, Trust is the New Algorithm. Whether the regulators do it for us, or we do it ourselves, our industry’s future points to establishing stronger ties to trust.
Megajournal für radikalen Blick
UCL Press has launched its new open access megajournal ‘UCL Open’ and will start accepting academic research submissions from January 31, 2019. It is the first university megajournal providing an open access and transparent end to end publishing model, enabling research to be accessible to everyone. Powered by the ScienceOpen discovery and publication platform, the megajournal aims to showcase radical and critical thinking applied to real world problems that benefit humanity.
Initiative von LexisNexis zur weltweiten Verbreitung von Rechtsstaatlichkeit. LexisNexis Legal & Professional announced the launch of the LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation, a not-for-profit entity established to further achieve its mission to advance the rule of law around the world. The LexisNexis Rule of Law Foundation will enable leading entities from the legal, judicial, academic, NGO and other sectors to support and implement projects that address one or more of the four rule of law components: equal treatment under the law, transparency of the law, access to legal remedy, and independent judiciaries.
EU-Postgraduates wenden sich von britischen Hochschulen ab. The number of postgraduate researchers at UK universities who come from other European Union countries has fallen since the Brexit referendum in June 2016. This is according to the latest data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, released on 17 January. If the trend persists this would mark a reversal of years of growth, from around 12,700 postgraduate research students in 2008–2009 to more than 15,000 in 2015–2016.
Equifax muss für den Diebstahl von 150 Millionen Konsumentendaten vor Gericht. Two consolidated class actions filed against credit bureau Equifax over a 2017 security breach that exposed the data of nearly 150 million consumers can go forward, a federal judge in Atlanta ruled. The decision by U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash allows consumers and financial institutions to proceed with their separate lawsuits over the breach, one of the largest in U.S. history, although parts of each lawsuit were dismissed.
Bertelsmann startet interne ‘Content Alliance’. Bertelsmann is launching a new “Content Alliance” in Germany. Starting February 1, 2019, the Bertelsmann Content Alliance will manage the collaboration among all of the international media, services and education company’s content businesses in Germany. Bertelsmann’s objective is to develop and market collaborative formats across all divisions and thus create comprehensive offers for creative professionals.
EBSCO Health kauft HealthDecision. EBSCO Health, the provider of evidence-based clinical information tools, has expanded with the acquisition of HealthDecision. HealthDecision is a clinical decision support and shared decision making tool for clinicians and patients at the point of care. The software platform provides decision support tools enabling clinicians and patients to explore their medical options.
Preis für diskreteste Suchmaschine der Welt. Am europäischen Datenschutztag gewann Startpage.com den Dutch Privacy Award in der Kategorie Consumer-Lösungen.
Quelle. Outsell, Startpage
Coordinated Plan for Artificial Intelligence
The European Commission has recently published a „Coordinated Plan for Artificial Intelligence“. In a nutshell, the Plan lists actions on AI that the Commission and Member States plan to launch in the immediate future, and in doing so it ensures synergies and avoids wasteful duplication – hence its name “Coordinated Plan”. The plan is based on annual reviews and updates to keep up with developments.
The plan (i) focuses on investment to ensure Europe’s presence at the forefront of AI; (ii) addresses societal issues such as the impact on skills requirements, and (iii) underlines the urgent need for an ethical dimension to be taken into account from the start. In addition, it also looks at availability of data and the use of AI in public services. The Communication
recalls that a first version of the AI ethics guidelines being developed by the European
Commission High-Level Expert Group on AI will be published by the end of 2018 and the experts will present their final version of the guidelines to the Commission in March 2019 after wide consultation through the European AI Alliance.
European Commission (2)
State of the Art Report on AI
Algo:aware, the project commissioned by the European Commission, dedicated to identifying and analysing the challenges and opportunities posed by the use of algorithms on online platforms, has released the first public version of its State of the Art Report. The study is carried out by Optimity Advisors and follows a call from the European Parliament for a pilot project supporting algorithmic awareness building.
The report – that is now open for peer review – includes a comprehensive explanation of the key concepts of algorithmic decision – making, a summary of the academic debate and its most pressing issues, as well as an overview of the most recent and relevant initiatives and policy actions of the civil society as well as of national and international governing bodies.
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