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Civis Analytics Pivoted from Election Campaign to Data Analytics

Posted on Tuesday, May 4th 2021

According to a Market Research Future report, the global data analytics market size is estimated to grow to $132.9 million at a 28.9% CAGR by the year 2026. The widespread adoption of advanced technologies for business operations and the demand for data analytics for faster decision-making processes and cost reduction are key factors in driving the growth of this market. Chicago-based Civis Analytics has an interesting story where the founder leveraged his learnings from a political campaign to set up an organization focused on delivering operational insights to organizations.

Civis Analytics’s Offerings

Civis Analytics was founded in 2013 by Caroline Grey and Dan Wagner to help organizations use data and gain an advantage on how they identify, attract, and engage their audiences. Prior to setting up Civis, Dan was the Chief Analytics Officer for former President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012. The idea behind Civis was born from his experience in that role.

The analytics team for the campaign combined data from the party’s comprehensive voter roster along with demographic data provided by TV rating firms. It used machine learning tools to determine the voting habits of voters. The analysis revealed insights into factors such as networks, shows, and time slots that were reaching the intended audiences for the marketing message. They could then use these analytics to tailor more suitable messages to the specific voter types with greater effectiveness.

After the election, Dan discovered that many organizations, be it political, government or businesses, needed similar analysis to be able to convert troves of data into meaningful actions. He wanted to build a solution that could act as “a one-stop shop” for businesses to understand their data, use that data to predict, and get recommendations on what steps to take next.

Civis uses a combination of data, software solutions, and an interdisciplinary team of data scientists, developers, and survey science experts to offer data-driven decision-making tools. It helps organizations use data analytics to get a deeper understanding of their current and potential customers, while utilizing their in-house data and allowing leaders to make informed decisions based on the data.

Its services include its Civis Platfom, a continuously updated database of over 220 million Americans, which uses sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau and more than 500,000 surveys. Its Machine Learning technology allows the client to enter proprietary data into the Civis cloud, while Civis provides the infrastructure and in-house algorithms, along with tools for quality control and information privacy. It thus allows its customers to easily model using the platform’s machine learning capabilities and create reports and gain insights gathered from the data.

Civis Analytics’s Financials

Civis Analytics has raised $42.8 million in three rounds of funding from investors Almanack Family Office, WPP, Verizon Ventures, and Eric Schmidt. Its most recent round was held on May 11, 2020 when it raised $20.8 million in a round led by Almanack Family Office at an undisclosed valuation. An earlier round held in November 2016 had valued Civis between $50-$100 million. Being privately held, Civis does not share its financials. The company claims to be growing at 200% in the recent years.

Civis operates in a crowded space with competition from big players like IBM and Microsoft who offer several data analytic tools. There are also niche players such as India’s Mu Sigma that became one of India’s first profitable Unicorn player within the data analytics industry.

Disclosure: All investors should make their own assessments based on their own research, informed interpretations, and risk appetite. This article expresses my own opinions based on my own research of product-market fit, channel execution, and other factors. My primary interest is in product strategy. While this may have bearing on stock movements, my writings tend to focus on long-term implications. The information presented is illustrative and educational, but should not be regarded as a complete analysis nor recommendation to buy or sell the securities mentioned herein. I am not a registered investment adviser and I am not receiving compensation for this article.

Photo Credit: Pete ? from Pixabay

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