From fleet monitoring to fighting money laundering, these companies are putting data to work

From fleet monitoring to fighting money laundering, these companies are putting data to work

How leading data science companies are helping businesses and entire industries turn their data into AI-ready assets.

BY Burt Helm

Data science thrives when advanced computing power is brought to bear on troves of information. In 2024, that’s exactly what’s happening. Blue-chip companies have gone all-in on data gathering. Now they want AI-powered tools to help them make sense of it. Those on Fast Company’s list of Most Innovative Companies in data science are leading this boom, helping multibillion-dollar industries develop tailored, practical ways to leverage their unique data. 

“Last year, we generated more data than in the entire history of the human species, and we did that the year before and the year before,” says professor Dan Koloski, head of learning programs at Northeastern University’s Roux Institute, which specializes in AI and data science learning and research. “That volume, coupled with computing advances, tees up the opportunity.” 

This gold rush has pickaxe sellers, of course. Unstructured Technologies, founded by former CIA intelligence officer Brian S. Raymond, has focused on helping companies clean up and organize the vast data troves they already have. Its open-source code optimizes unstructured files like PDFs and PowerPoints into more AI-palatable file types like .JSON. It has been downloaded from GitHub more than 6 million times and is at work in the codebases of 35,000-plus companies, including McKinsey and BlackRock.

Samooha, which was snapped up in an acquisition by data giant Snowflake after less than two years in business, helps its customers operate clean rooms, the term for protected data-sharing arrangements that allow businesses to compare notes without leaking company secrets. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Burt Helm has written for Fast Company since 2018, both as a freelance contributor and an Editor-at-Large. He writes about the video games industry, cybersecurity, big data, and the future of media 


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