Dataminr acquired WatchKeeper, presenting an opportunity for innovative information professionals

Dataminr, a real-time information discovery platform, acquired WatchKeeper, a data geo-visualisation platform for corporate enterprises.

Academic libraries subscribe to a wide range of databases. Business students and the faculty who teach business courses turn to their library for journal articles, news stories, economic statistics, and corporate financial data. Outside of academia, other sources need to be evaluated. A case in point is Dataminr’s acquisition of U.K.-based Watchkeeper, a real-time data geo-visualisation platform for corporate enterprises.

Dataminr, founded in 2009, focusses on world events that could negatively affect commercial enterprises. Subscribers to Dataminr Pulse, which include not only security professionals, risk analysts, crisis managers, and others in corporations around the globe but also news outlets and journalists, receive real-time alerts about events likely to adversely affect them by disrupting business operations. This gives them the ability to quickly assess and respond to the events. Dataminr’s geospatial platform presents the information not as emails or push notifications but in a visual format that allows recipients to see the risks differently than in a textual format.

The acquisition of WatchKeeper, founded in 2018 in London, adds a broader context to DataPulse. The intention is to put WatchKeeper’s layers of internal company data and external contextual data in a single pane-of-glass interface alongside Dataminr alerts. WatchKeeper’s advanced geovisualization platform will also enable rapid navigation through diverse real-time data layers of contextual data, ranging from live weather data and traffic data to internal company security camera feeds and IoT sensor signals.

The new, integrated version of Dataminr Pulse will be available to corporate customers through an early access program later this year, with wider availability planned for early 2022. WatchKeeper’s Founder and CEO, Hugh Farquhar, said, “During my time inside one of the world’s largest global corporations, I experienced firsthand the transformative power of seamlessly geo-visualizing high-impact events alongside internal company data.” But isn’t that what librarians could also promote within their organisations?

It's clear from the companies’ websites that libraries are not on their radar. Yet librarians can take advantage of companies such as Dataminr in several ways. They can teach students, faculty and work colleagues the rudiments of evaluating new electronic resources. They can run their own tests to recommend or veto a purchase based on their knowledge of information sources and flows. They can educate companies on the value of libraries, explaining that it’s not just journalists and security personnel who should be part of their target market. A real opportunity exists here, both for academic and corporate information professionals.