Monday, November 21, 2016

Cogint, Inc. (COGT) is “One to Watch”

Distilling complexity into actionable intelligence is the core focus for recently rebranded data analytics outfit Cogint, Inc. (NASDAQ: COGT). Cogint rang the NASDAQ bell ( only a handful of days after transitioning shares over to the exchange, amid a big push by the company to secure and expand an increasingly dominant footprint in massive scale, people-based digital marketing and customer acquisition solutions via its Fluent ( subsidiary. Fluent is a data-driven performance marketing suite powered by the same proprietary, next-gen data fusion platform known as CORE™, which also powers the company’s analytical and risk management solutions.

Fluent is changing the laws of marketing with a suite of tools that enable the company’s clients to serve personalized, targeted ads and acquire extremely loyal brand customers by leveraging user-generated responses and real-time interactivity. With digital display ad spending overtaking search ad spending this year for the first time in history – as the biggest categories like video, rich media and banners take up approximately half the $32 billion plus pie ( – a hyper-targeted and user-centric digital marketing/customer acquisition and retention solution like Fluent finds itself in an advantageous position when it comes to distinguishing itself.

Over 500 leading brands, such as online home improvement marketplace BuildDirect, Finish Line (NASDAQ: FINL) and Western Union (NYSE: WU), already trust Fluent to deliver the goods, and have come to rely upon the industry-leading data acquisition, mobile app install and performance display ad solutions located within the suite. BuildDirect, for instance, saw a 25 percent jump in user engagement thanks to Fluent’s ReConnect™ solution for supercharging an email marketing program.

One secret to Fluent’s success in this arena is the immense reservoir of proprietary consumer data that the company already has at its fingertips. The marketing suite is empowered by an enviable feedback loop with the consumers themselves, consisting of over 700,000 direct user interactions, six million survey responses, and more than 1.2 million ad responses per day. A brand looking to do consumer marketing through mobile user acquisition/retention, other audience engagements tool and data acquisition has a powerful over-the-horizon radar system in Fluent. And the platform has a proven track record of being able to produce tangible results, relying to a great extent on the unprecedented precision of the platform’s user-driven targeting matrix.

The company plans to dramatically increase the size and scope of Fluent’s business moving forward (, using a combination of diligent retargeting of pre-qualified audiences across all connected device types, and the enabling of mobile display, search, social, video and eventually addressable television campaigns. This is where Cogint’s Q Interactive ( subsidiary really shines, as a direct publisher crafting tailored lead generation for digital, performance-based campaigns – and one which is squarely focused on maximizing advertiser’s return on investment. Q Interactive works hand-in-hand with advertisers to hone the target matrix of ideal consumer profiles down to the ideal level, exploiting the company’s enormous user engagement envelope to intelligently place a given brand, product or service directly in front of those most receptive to it. At the same time, Q Interactive is able to drive high quality traffic generation by being able to offer publishers first rate monetization for the best traffic. Q Interactive’s various promotions, coupons, sample campaigns and the like are some of the most lucrative monetizing properties online today.

Again, at the center of all this is a cloud-based custom data analytics backbone engineered from the ground up to handle any kind of data type (such as behavioral and demographic, or transactional), and deliver actionable intelligence that is suitable to any industry. Actually the fusion of CORE and the company’s Agile Acquisition Engine™, this same technology backbone that enables complex digital performance marketing tasks also enables COGT to offer its clients the ability to do extremely in-depth investigative work. Tasks such as fraud detection/prevention, identity verification, regulatory compliance, and location (skip) tracing are a breeze for Cogint’s IDI (Interactive Data) subsidiary and its idiCORE ( investigative solution. This is really worth taking into consideration when you look at a report like the one out of IDC last month, which not only projected that big data and analytics would go more mainstream in coming years, but that the market is on track to top $203 billion by 2020 (

While similar data fusion architectures may exist, they are costly and largely outdated. On the other hand, idiCORE is an extremely efficient (and therefore less expensive) system, which is able to yield higher-fidelity data and at a lower cost. The idiCORE platform utilizes proprietary linking technology (algos/logic) and machine learning principles which, when paired with the company’s massive data repository (that includes credit header data, public records, private/proprietary sources and more), allows for superb relational resolutions, whether one is looking at connections, individual people, or assets. And idiCORE has an impressive pedigree too, being the next-gen data fusion solution that stands on the shoulders of data fusion pioneer Hank Asher’s work. Asher was the architect behind market heavy hitters Accurint® ( (now owned by LexisNexis, RELX Group) and TLOxp® (, now owned by TransUnion (NYSE: TRU).

CEO and Interim President of COGT, Derek Dubner, worked closely with Asher (regarded by many as the father of data fusion) for 15 years and was general counsel to TLO, from its inception through to its eventual sale to TransUnion. Dubner was quite proud of idiCORE’s recent successes during COGT’s Q3 earnings call (, where he highlighted the addition of key foundational datasets, including a gigantic database of motor vehicle records to idiCORE, as well as the platform’s improved data sorting features.

Most noteworthy among the quarterly data release is a 27 percent revenue uptick to $52.2 million ( (compared to Q2), with performance marketing having accounted for the lion’s share of revenues at around 70 percent. Dubner also threw a spotlight on the ongoing expansion of the company’s cutting-edge idiCORE investigative solution, particularly as it relates to Cogint’s risk management division, before touting the enhanced search functionality and accuracy idiCORE now possesses.

It’s no wonder the company recently tapped two industry veterans to join the team. Harry Jordan came on board as COO in early August ( and brought two decades with outfits like LexisNexis along, including a wealth of experience in M&A that led to such landmark deals as the ChoicePoint and Seisint acquisitions. Twenty-year industry veteran Jeff Dell was appointed CIO in mid-September ( A natural transition from the same roles Dell played at TLO and Seisint, roles which uniquely prepared him to be the top information security professional for COGT, as the company expands and looks to continue increasing security.

Dubner was keen to point out in the Q3 earnings call that there was a whopping 400 percent CAGR for Q3 when it comes to the number of online transactions done using idiCORE. It’s very exciting statistic about how ingrained this intuitive solution has already become among end markets, as well as being a positive sign about the raw, overall platform adoption rates. Additionally, Dubner cited the abnormally high number of contract versus transactional usages seen thus far with idiCORE, remarking how odd it was for a new product on launch. It’s a very positive sign indeed, as it indicates end users are having a very good reaction to the solution, from both usability and intuitiveness standpoints.

Wringing actionable intelligence from the complex web of information requires a database-spanning fusion engine such as idiCORE. This data fusion engine can deliver the kind of penetrating investigative and risk management capabilities needed to map and study the intricate connections between even seemingly disparate data points like assets, businesses, or people – and idiCORE can do it all in real-time.

To learn more about Cogint, visit

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