Siren, a Galway based provider of investigative intelligence, is making headway in capital markets following a €3 million round of seed funding early this year that allowed the company to offer its semantic data investigation technology to market sectors beyond its initial target of law enforcement and including financial services and life sciences. To date, and with more financial services clients in the pipeline, Siren is working with two large sell-side and two buy-side firms, as well as a data vendor that is using its solution to improve client experience.
At the head of the expansion drive is John Randles, who left the role of CEO at Bloomberg PolarLake in August 2017 and emerged as CEO of Siren in October of the same year. He says: “When I joined Siren, I saw a great opportunity to use the company’s investigative intelligence platform to interrogate the huge amounts of data managed by financial services firms. The platform would allow users to gain value from the data by gaining answers to questions in minutes, rather than days where coding is required.”
The company was founded in 2011 as s a spin-off from the data intensive infrastructure research group at the National University of Ireland Galway. Its platform and search engine use semantic technology and a unified data model – or ontology – to provide a unifying layer on top of big data infrastructure tools, such as Hadoop and Solr, and deliver search, semantic drill down, global joins and advanced graphing capabilities.
Financial use cases include fraud detection, risk management, opportunity discovery, Know Your Customer (KYC), anti-money laundering (AML) and cyber security. Use of the search engine can also highlight data quality issues.
Randles says: “As an industry, we spend a lot of time on the early part of the data lifecycle cleansing data. Siren comes into play later in the lifecycle, unblocking data across many systems, investigating real-time events and providing insight and answers to complex questions as quickly as possible.” By way of example, he describes the need to load data into market surveillance applications before they can be used versus Siren’s ability to span data on any scale and look at all data types as they exist.
Supporting the company’s market expansion is the release of Siren 10, a major software release that scales up systems federation capability to span more data sources – however diverse, upgrades the user interface to support enhanced knowledge graphs, and introduces natural language programming (NLP) to help users identify information they are looking for quickly. Looking forward, Randles says Siren will invest further in NLP, which will become a key element of the solution, as well as in usability. Scalability also remains on the roadmap.