Small Business, Big Data

From the Blog

CMU Spinout Brings Big Data Insights to Small Business

In an era where data is key to strategic decision making, a Carnegie Mellon spinout is making, big, expensive data research accessible to small businesses.

BlastPoint uses customer intelligence to gather, analyze and present the hidden stories that are told by data that every company collects. Co-founder Alison Alvarez says BlastPoint’s unique offering is customizing its models around a client’s specific goals. For example, utilities that want to grow electric vehicle (EV) adoption within their territories.

BlastPoint helps utilities identify which customers are most likely to switch to EVs and when, as well as how best to reach them. They apply their proprietary technology to key data indicators such as income, interest in green technology and housing type and then add information from the U.S. Census to literally map out areas ripe for growth in this sector.

Using these curated insights, one client saw a 55% increase in customers signing up for its EV rebate program simply by targeting people in their footprint who were identified as highly probable to change to EV use. They also increased signups for their EV variable rate program by nearly 100% and saw visits to EV-related web resources climb by more than 300% through similar targeting efforts.

Alvarez says these examples prove that opening up artificial intelligence to more organizations increases the possibilities for doing good in the world.

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TALI Offers Training, Networking for Black Professionals in Pittsburgh Region

An organization dedicated to preparing Black professionals for executive positions is winning rave reviews from participants.

The Advanced Leadership Institute (TALI) offers two programs: the Executive Leadership Academy, which targets executives and mid-level managers, and the Emerging Leaders Program, which targets people who are in earlier stages of their careers.

Each program lasts seven months and teaches participants to use coaching, mentorship and sponsorship to advance their careers and organizations. They also provide networking opportunities.

Stephanie Herring, vice president of human resources at Dollar Bank in Pittsburgh, credits TALI with refining her existing skills and teaching her to think critically. She says the experience helped her achieve visibility and success in her organization.

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“I’ve always been thrilled to be part of the Pittsburgh community; Pittsburgh really loves Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh really supports Pittsburgh, and that is something that’s really unique to that city. We’re glad to make Pittsburgh proud.”

Kathryn Fantauzzi, Co-Founder and CEO of Apollo Neuroscience Inc., a 2014 University of Pittsburgh spinout that’s recently completed a $15M Series A funding round
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CMU Spinout Brings Big Data Insights to Small Business