At our core Owler’s mission is simple: we are striving to make the right information for the right person more accessible and accurate. Owler is specifically focused on company information — like revenue or employee data. What differentiates Owler is that we’re using some of the most advanced software technologies available today to achieve this.
There are a bunch of companies around that also collect business information and make it accessible to broader swaths of the public. For example, Dun and Bradstreet has been collecting detailed information on companies for over 100 years. There are younger players in this field, like Bloomberg and Insideview, that also collect and display company data.
Owler is differentiated from these companies in two major ways: first, in how we develop our database of information and, second, in how we serve members the information that they want. These differentiating factors are the ways in which we give our members the most accurate and current information they want.
How Owler Develops Information
We started Owler with two fundamental beliefs about company information. The first belief is that data is most valuable when it’s relative. This means that information about a specific company has greater significance when it is contextualized against another company. This has influenced much of how we display information. For example, Owler sends members weekly competitive intelligence reports about how the company they work for stacks up against their competitors along a variety of verticals. Another way that this manifests is on the web platform, where a company profile features a competitive analysis section and an sub-section entirely focused on comparing a company to its competitors. But, even more important is that our “relational” approach manifests in how we develop our data. (A brief tangent here: I want to call out that I am saying Owler develops rather than collects data because it does not merely aggregate information from other sources. Owler is a system that actually generates new information independent of crawling — and thus develops data). We are laser focused on understanding how a company operates within its “competitive landscape”. Owler uses its understanding of related companies to know if a member might be interested in a certain company or to predict in what ways those companies might be similar. Based on an understanding of a certain company and how it relates to other companies Owler can build general estimates around a multitude of data points about that company. For instance, if Owler knows that Big Burnan Oil Company competes with Heluva Pollute Gas and does $5 billion in revenue, Owler might use that information to infer employee count. Owler will then ask members of its community who are particularly informed about these companies – “is this accurate?”. Our members confirm or deny and then Owler re-runs the math and updates the database.
What gets me personally so excited about this process is that the Owler system is able to ask the right members the right questions. That means, if we’re on our game, that a question should need only be asked once to get the right response. As soon as it is, the information instantly becomes more accurate than even the oldest database in the biz. No one else in this space does this. No one else has the community or the technical processes to do this like Owler can. Compared to other data companies that run 1,000 person call centers where representatives are tasked with calling every company in their database once a year to update the numbers they have, the Owler system is so efficient and much more precise. We can run millions of updates to their one.
So what does Owler do with this data once it’s in the system? That’s where the member experience comes in.
Serving Members What They Want
None of us at Owler have a background in the hospitality industry — but we’re all incredibly interested in making Owler an awesome experience. Owler is intended to be a system that enlightens users on the businesses and industries they care about. This derives from Owler’s origins when Jim Fowler, our CEO, decided to found Owler because he was fed up with how difficult it was to locate accurate business information and just stay in the know about only the companies he cared about. Generating that experience is what we’re after. That means we’re creating an incredibly personalized and targeted experience for our members so that they can use any Owler product — web platform, Daily Snapshot, Instant Insight or Weekly Showdown — and learn the most important and accurate information they need to know quickly. Owler products that are pushed to members via email are there help members know the latest update, news or change in key data points about the companies they are following. The web platform is free and available for members to check data on any company, research specific companies, sectors, industries or locations. All our effort on the data-side is in service of this client-side goal — make company information fun, easy and fascinating. Owler is about Taking the pain and anxiety out of business research — in fact, our ultimate goal is to take out the research entirely! Let’s make this information so accessible and at your finger tips — in front of you over morning coffee, with you in a meeting, updating you on the subway — that you don’t even need to do research! You’re just always in the know.
I hope you’ll join us and the rest of the Owler community on this quest to get the best info on biz in the biz!