Written by Andy Palmer
I’m thrilled that today we have announced GE Ventures’ investment in Tamr. This investment is based on the fantastic work that our joint GE / Tamr team has done over the last three years to create massive and measurable business value for GE — a story that Barb Darrow tells well in Fortune today. GE is truly transforming their business and I am proud to be part of their digital transformation with my colleagues @ Tamr.
In my experience at GE and other Global 200 companies, game-changing insights / analytics don’t come from pursuing ‘“business as usual” tactics or by just democratizing visualization. GE’s experience is tangible evidence that the unsexy act of cleaning up and mastering a company’s data actually creates low-hanging analytical fruit that can be picked quickly and easily to the tune of not seven, not eight but NINE figures of measurable benefit. It’s my belief that big companies that aspire to all kinds of cool AI and machine learning analytics need to take a step back and put the systemic data quality / unification horse before the AI cart.
For me, the best part of this investment is that it’s based on the $100+ million of dollars of ROI that GE has already realized working with Tamr. As Lisa Coca @ GE Ventures likes to say — “if Tamr can do for other Global 2000 companies what you’ve done for GE, Tamr is going to be wildly successful in the long term.”
Part of the success at GE is our shared belief that the best data / analytics projects are those focused on direct business benefits — in this case, cost savings / spend optimizations that drop to the bottom line and new insights that drive revenue growth. To date, Tamr has helped GE:
- Optimize Sourcing Strategies for ~$50 billion in material spend across business units
- Renegotiate Contract Terms to identify $80 million in savings
- Identify Cross/Up-Sell Revenue Opportunities through a complete, 360-degree client view
- Reduce Total Landed Cost of Products by unifying/cleaning tens of millions of shipping records
This is exactly the kind of success that customer strategic partnerships should be built on — proven ROI and the prospect of amplified value through a deeper relationship.
None of this would have been possible without business sponsors who focused us on analytic questions that had such tangible, immediate benefits — and who knew that getting the underlying data right was a critical first step in a transformational analytic outcome. Thank you to Emily Galt, Shankar Sengupta, Katherine Hainsey, and all the other executives at GE that have delivered big time for GE.
As Emily Galt, GE’s VP of Product Management – Sourcing & Logistics, said in her keynote at the Procurement Leaders Conference in London this week, “machine learning is a game changer… this is the foundation of 21st century analytics.” In the GE / Tamr collaboration, this has meant using machine learning to get GE’s data right first — unifying hundreds of data sources — in order to make all of the company’s advanced, predictive algorithms work the way they’re supposed to. With this kind of clean, unified data, GE will be able to build ever more advanced and effective machine learning-fueled applications and analytics.
GE Venture’s investment marks another important milestone in Tamr’s development. We’re particularly excited that GE has joined Thomson Reuters and other strategic investors as companies that began as Tamr customers, realized the disruptive nature of our mission and technology, and became a strategic partner by investing in Tamr (and in some cases reselling our software too). Personally, I’m delighted to welcome GE Ventures’ Lisa Coca and Kamal Vasagiri to our Board. The company and I have already benefited from their support and advice, and I look forward to continuing to partner with them.