Contextual Intelligence Turns Information Into Insights

Laurent Kinet
Bisnode Analytics
Published in
3 min readJan 10, 2018


Data are everywhere. They pervade our world. This data-deluge affects most domains of human activity. Business is by far the most concerned in an increasingly complex world.

Companies have always relied on external information to steer their business; the Business Information/Market Research industry is huge, still growing, but is facing a deep challenge. The exploding supply of unstructured data brings, at the same time, a problem and a corresponding opportunity to the business community.

  • A problem, because the last couple of years have been the beginning of an exponential flow of disparate and unstructured data, making the information difficult to distil from the chaos.
  • And an opportunity, because those who will be able to draw value from this data-deluge will get a sustainable competitive advantage.

The current Business Information industry is facing the challenge of embracing the wide variety of new data sources and deriving relevant, timely and actionable business insights to their B2B customers, even more in Europe where data sources and policies are mostly nation-based. This challenge is an opportunity for a new generation of data providers, built upon the foundations of Big Data, Data Science and Predictive Analysis. There is a call for a new-generation Business Information platform made upon the Contextual Intelligence principle.

A platform that covers the widest range of data sources, ever

The explosion of available data gathers an incredible potential value in the process of understanding markets, competitors, leads, prospects, customers and professionals. This value resides in the combination of public B2B data, news feeds, social media, activity data (patents, tenders, job posts), as well as of various premium sources. The challenge is to connect dots between those sources that make sense to a company’s specific objective or issue.

A platform that separates the wheat from the chaff

The widest reach requires the best matching. We need to go far beyond mere monitoring: all incoming data sources must be cleansed, disambiguated, contextualized, and matched with your specific goals and needs. The Data Science capability of our PhD-level team provides the highest rate of quality thanks to Data Matching, Enrichment, Characterization, NLP and disambiguation algorithms. We have a touch with separating the wheat from the chaff.

A platform that delivers insights at the exact right time

Existing solutions provide insights from an external perspective: a given market, a given segment, a given geography, a given technology. Yet, actual business activities are based on actual, daily customer relationships. This is a gap we want to solve, by bringing the intelligence onto the everyday life of business. Business information must be delivered to the person actually in charge, at the most adequate time so that one can react accordingly, to activate conversion or prevent churn. The integrates the company’s specific business triggers to identify relevant events, insights and profiles that can be immediately put into action.

What is Contextual Intelligence?

Contextual Intelligence is the ability to build and understand the widest landscape around an information. In Business, an information is useless. What’s useful is an insight. What’s the difference between the two?

An information is a piece of knowledge that is the same for everyone, that everyone shares. It is dead, inert. On the other hand, an insight is an information that truly matters for me, here and now. An insight for me can just be an information for you or my colleague. And my insight today might loose this status tomorrow, because the context will have changed.

So, how do we turn information into insight? Well, you got it: with Context. Context is what turns an information into an insight. This is the very mission of Swan.

We have identified four main dimensions of context. The graph below shows them in a readable way. The goal is to try to give the most consistence possible to those four dimensions, by combining data, by applying algorithms to reveal hidden information.

This reflexion led us to shape our work approach, called Context Mining. That way, we believe that we will be able to contribute to the foundations of the next generation of Business Information and Consumer Marketing. We help Bisnode with that.