Originally published by Marketing Mag on January 6, 2015
by Jeff Fraser
Toronto startup moves away from analytics "dashboard" with indoor signage network.
Toronto startup Dive Networks, until yesterday known as Performance Content Group, has launched a data analytics-slash-indoor signage network that agencies and marketers can use to keep tabs on a brand’s online and social performance.
Dive co-founders Mike Girgis and Jake Neiman drew on their previous experience creating OOH networks with Onestop Media to create a digital signage network that broadcasts real-time data visualizations focused on brands and audiences. Each broadcast “channel” curates a variety of relevant data on key brands or audiences, and presents it on flatscreen TVs installed around the office for account executives, creatives and marketers to follow along.
“The two data analysts in the backroom, they only generate these reports when brands need them for new pitches or campaigns. We’re saying, here’s a data and content channel for everybody,” Girgis said. “Everybody needs to understand data, action on it, be inspired by it every day.”
He said Dive wants to move away from the idea of an analytics “dashboard,” and instead work on the model of a broadcast network with channels and shows focused on different aspects of a brand, audience or vertical. The channels are each designed to tell a story based on real-time first-party data, and data from partners like Google and LinkedIn.
“It’s not about just social data, or just about campaign data,” he said. “What we’re saying is, if we can provide an output that puts a different picture in front of brands, that shows the data adjacent to each other in different ways, then that gives a clearer story around what’s happening with a brand.”
The team is in Las Vegas this week to showcase Dive at CES, which has become a big destination for global marketers. Inside the OMD Oasis Lounge, Dive screens will be broadcasting real-time info on the agency’s brand clients.
Girgis said Dive has been testing the system with several media agencies in Canada over the last four months. These charter partners will be announced over the next two weeks.
Canadian marketers will be familiar with Girgis and Neiman from Onestop Media Group, a Canadian OOH network serving malls, sports retail and hospitality industries that the pair founded in 2005 and sold to Pattison Outdoor. Girgis said he and much of the Dive team have a lot of experience working with digital signage from those days that contributed to the development of the Dive networks.
PCG, founded in 2013 by Girgis, Neiman and Deborah Hall, focused largely on building a proprietary data analysis engine that predicts what content specific audiences will engage with. Last August, the startup received an unspecified grant from the National Research Council to continue its work on the project. The algorithms PCG designed now power Dive Networks, Girgis said.
He said Dive expands the work of PCG to a much broader vision that processes a lot more sources of data and presents a more holistic brand narrative.
“While we’ve seen brands and marketers intrigued about the generation of topics and content that audiences are consuming, that’s just one element,” he said. “Dive was created to meet the demand of what marketers and brands are looking for, beyond the topic and content space.”