Tamr Receives 2019 Crossing the Valley of Death Performer Award from Department of Homeland Security

Tamr’s data unification software, Unify, honored with DHS Science and Technology award for successful transition to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Travel Assessment System to improve international border security.

Cambridge, MA – March 20th, 2019 – Tamr Inc., the leader in enterprise data unification, announced today it has received the 2019 Crossing the Valley of Death Performer Award from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T).  

The award was presented during a ceremony at the recent S&T Cybersecurity and Innovation Showcase held March 19th in Washington, D.C. The award is given to companies that develop and successfully transition technology solutions for the Department of Homeland Security to address some of the toughest threats facing national security. Tamr received the award based on the ability of its data unification software, Unify, to improve the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Global Traveler Assessment System (GTAS) for screening foreign travelers. Unify is Tamr’s patented enterprise data unification system that combines and prepares data across myriad silos to help large enterprises tackle previously unsolvable data problems. The platform was the first project under the DHS S&T Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) to transition to use by the CBP.

CBP developed GTAS — an open source application that provides nation-states and border security entities the capacity to screen persons against a risk criteria for threat prevention, public health and a variety of other use cases. DHS selected Unify to provide improved entity resolution capability due to its fast, scalable human-guided machine learning-based approach.

Unify’s success within GTAS is in large part due to the following:

  • The solution employs machine learning to identify potential matches of international traveler records within and across disparate datasets from sources like reservation system and flight manifests
  • The machine learning itself is guided by input from subject matter experts well-versed in travelers from a particular region
  • Continuous expert input enables the machine learning models to be more accurate and trusted over time
  • By improving entity resolution of travelers’ data from different sources, the solution reduces the inefficiency, inconvenience, and associated costs of unnecessary secondary screenings

Ultimately, this approach provides rapid and scalable entity resolution. Moreover, due to the fact there is a human-in-the-loop, the results can be trusted.

“Ensuring that our customers get exceptional value from solutions built using our software is the animating focus at Tamr,” said Toffer Winslow, the company’s Chief Business Officer. “Being the first company to cross the ‘valley of death’ by successfully transitioning a solution from SVIP to CBP is testament to that focus. We’re grateful for this recognition from DHS, and proud of the work we have done with them in support of their mission to keep our country safe.”

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About Tamr, Inc. 


Tamr is the enterprise-scale data unification company trusted by industry leaders like Toyota, Societe Generale, GE, Thomson Reuters, and GSK. The company’s patented software platform uses machine learning supplemented by human expertise to unify and prepare data across myriad silos to deliver previously unavailable business-changing insights. With a co-founding team led by Andy Palmer (founding CEO of Vertica) and Mike Stonebraker (Turing Award winner) and backed by investors including NEA and Google Ventures, Tamr is transforming how companies get value from their data.