Profile: Angoss – Taking Predictive Analytics Mainstream


March 24th, 2010 | Posted in Company Profiles by

The lunch room at Angoss Software is much like you would find in most high-tech companies, except for one thing—the conversation. High-energy physics is a popular topic. One recent discussion explored why travelling at the speed of light, let alone Star Trek‘s warp speed, would be deadly to humans. But it’s not just talk. These rocket scientists actually know what they’re talking about. Many of them hold post-graduate credentials in physics, engineering, applied statistics and mathematics—including three PhDs.

What draws these bright minds to a small Canadian software firm? Predictive analytics. Angoss is a leader in this specialized field that exploits advanced mathematics to anticipate consumer behavior for banks, telcos and technology companies.

Many people have never heard of Angoss, but our software has likely played a role in the approval of your mortgage or an insurance claim.
- Brandon Kane, Director of Software Development at Angoss

“Many people have never heard of Angoss,” says Brandon Kane, the company’s Director of Software Development, “but our software has likely played a role in the approval of your mortgage or an insurance claim, or helped to determine just the right discount to convince you to stay with your phone carrier.”

Angoss may be a well-kept secret at home in Toronto, but in the billion-dollar market for predictive analytics, the company is a recognized leader in the eyes of Forrester Research, Gartner and IDC. The low profile may be attributed to the esoteric nature of predictive analytics. Until recently, it was the domain of brainy types working deep inside financial institutions. Back then, Angoss was in the business of developing toolkits for Wall Street. But predictive analytics, which sits on the leading edge of Business Intelligence, is now finding its way into the hands of business operators.

“Instead of doing analysis to figure out what happened, predictive analysis gives you answers to the questions, “What is most likely to happen?” and “What should I do?”
- Ian J. Scott, VP of Consulting at Angoss

“Predictive analytics used to be really only accessible to highly skilled quantitative experts and staticians,” explains veteran Angoss vice-president Ian J. Scott. “Our solutions extend that expertise in ways that enable business users to address key business problems in credit risk and marketing.”

Predictive analytics takes historical data from a company’s operations and uses proven mathematical techniques to develop propensity models that can be tested against consumer behavior. “Instead of doing analysis to figure out what happened,” says Scott, “predictive analysis gives you answers to the questions, ‘What is most likely to happen?’ and ‘What should I do?’”

Angoss clients use predictive analytics in a number of ways. Banks use it to assess the likelihood that a customer will be a profitable borrower, and in many industries, it can determine the right conditions under which an existing customer will upgrade their service. The key to Angoss’ approach is how they provide insight to front-line employees in a way they can use it. “Our analytics solutions are designed to be integrated with client-facing systems and processes, embedded directly in the operations of a call centre, even a company’s existing CRM,” says Scott. “Predictive analytics is now going mainstream. ”

According to IDC research, predictive analytics solutions generate an average return on investment of 145%. An Angoss client among Canada’s big banks reduced its time-to-strategy by 50%, while PC Financial lowered the cost of its direct-marketing campaign by more than $250,000. Angoss powers growth, too: Bell Canada used predictive analytics to improve the efficacy of customer targeting, leading to six-figure increases in revenue.

For Angoss employees, it all makes for a rewarding career experience. Projects require solving a wide variety of unique problems, and ultimately make a big impact on clients. At the same time, company president Eric Apps empowers everyone on the team to share opinions freely. The result: employees have the opportunity to make the most of their abilities. And for this group, that’s the next best thing to travelling at warp speed.