Genalytics ‘breeds’ insight into future trends

For decades, predictive analysis has been a key statistical technique in scientific research. Processing thousands of equations across hundreds of variables, researchers say they can reliably forecast the future performance of anything from car engines to antibiotics.

Newburyport, Massachusetts-based Genalytics is one of a handful of companies that has adapted such techniques to build predictive modelling tools for business intelligence.


Company: Genalytics

Main activity: Predictive modelling tools

Founded: 1998

CEO: Doug Newell

HQ: Newburyport, Massachusetts

Status: Privately held. Raised $1.5 million in seed funding from Egan Managed Capital, in addition to an undisclosed investment from German direct marketing company Schober.

Revenues: Not disclosed.

Key competitors: Traditional analytics vendors such as SAS Institute, SPSS, ClarityBlue and NCR; as well as predictive modelling start-ups such as Mantas and DemandTec

Infoconomy comment: Genalytics’ technology takes predictive analytics a step further by ‘breeding’ models for greater accuracy. It also claims to process vast amounts of data at a lower cost than its competitors, which may make it attractive to organisations that want to extend existing investments in business intelligence.


According to founder and CEO Doug Newell, Genalytics’ tools apply “Darwinian genetic algorithms” to large volumes of data to help organisations better forecast how, for example, a direct marketing campaign will perform.

Extracting vast quantities of information from organisations’ multiple databases, Genalytics’ GA3 application dynamically generates a series of predictive ‘models’, which reflect the likelihood of an event occurring if certain conditions are met. Genalytics’ software then takes the most accurate models, based on tests on historical data, and ‘mates’ them to generate even more insightful models – hence the Darwinian reference.

In addition, Newell claims that Genalytics GA can perform that analysis at a fraction of the cost of traditional analytic tools from companies such as SAS Institute and SPSS – and do so much faster. In comparison, data mining – one of the comparable technologies of business intelligence – requires such volumes of computing power that the cost of hardware can be prohibitive. With Genalytics, the same results can be achieved on clusters of low-cost, Intel-based servers, claims Newell.

Genalytics’ product, which is billed as being for “big businesses with massive volumes of data that are trying to find patterns in that data”, has so far been adopted by companies such as travel agent American Skiing, which is using GA3 to try to predict when holidaymakers are most likely to book off-season.

Most potential customers will almost certainly have invested in major analytics implementations already, but if the technology lives up its claims of greater accuracy at lower cost, that may be no obstacle.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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