Big Data

The best data on customer relationships is in your email, RelateIQ says

RelateIQ - News Corps.
Image Credit: Michael O'Donnell/VentureBeat

SAN FRANCISCO — RelateIQ makes sales software that uses big data to give salespeople talking points. And customer News Corp. says those talking points are working just fine.

“As our business has moved from being a purely physical business… we’ve started to think about data much more strategically,” said News Corp. chief technology officer Paul Cheesebrough on stage at VentureBeat’s DataBeat conference today.

Since its split from its entertainment unit a little under a year ago, News Corp. has been taking a very deep look into its data, both user data as well as its business and sales data.

“How do we instrument that data for our newsroom, our journalists? [We also] built out models to predict who will convert and become a subscriber,” Cheesebrough added.

News Corp. and RelateIQ first had conversations about six months ago, and the relationship progressed from customer-vendor to News Corp. becoming an investor in RelateIQ.

“[It’s] automation but also augmentation,” said RelateIQ cofounder and chief technology officer Adam Evans.

“This is about reduction of cumbersome data entry … not cost reduction but productivity,” such as suggesting email followups, he added.

The companies hav also found common ground around privacy and striking a balance with the opportunities of sharing that data — securely of course.

“Privacy and security in general is something we obsess about,” said Evans. The company balances sharing and privacy by, for example, pulling an employee’s email and phone interactions with a lead to figure out that they are that lead’s closest contact, yet not sharing the particulars of this relationship with the employee’s company.

News Corp.’s privacy concerns are largely focused around its customers.

“We spend a lot of time really making sure our customers understand what they’re giving us and what we’re doing with it,” said Cheesebrough.

“It poses more organizational questions than management questions,” he added.


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