Big data

Big data can be a powerful tool. And while many companies scramble to collect data with hopes of mining it for key information, most lack the means to interpret and parse the data — or to use it to make decisions for the future.

That’s where Green Tree-based OThot comes in.

“The problem with adopting predictive analytics is that they’re very complex, and most companies don’t have the expertise internally to do it,” says Andy Hannah, CEO of  OThot, which provides cloud-based predictive analytics.

Predictive analytics is a system that uses a combination of data mining, modeling and statistics to forecast the future. For example, OThot’s algorithm can analyze a client’s data to determine how likely it is that a lead can be converted into a customer. That, in turn, lets companies make better-informed decisions, such as spending resources cultivating more promising leads.

OThot has just received a strategic investment from Palo Alto-based Opus, a provider of software-as-a-service based compliance solutions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Hannah said it will allow OThot to further grow. He cofounded OThot along with John Abbatico, of Hiperos, which was acquired by Opus in July.

“Our investment and collaboration will enable John to stay connected to Opus Global and directly connects us with a thought leader in predictive analytics,” Opus CEO and founder Doug Bergeron said in a statement.

OThot has been building the product for the past 18 months, Hannah says, working with several customers who he’s not ready to identify. But he says it was important to OThot to build a product in collaboration with customers, not just present a finished product which may not have what companies need.

The Opus investment also will allow OThot to further grow its Calisto vertical, which focuses on higher education analytics. Using OThot’s algorithm, colleges can better predict which students are most likely to attend and focus recruiting efforts more wisely.

Over the next several months, OThot plans to add more employees, and is considering verticals in other areas such as insurance and healthcare, Hannah says.

Kim Lyons is an award-winning writer and editor always on the lookout for a great story. Her experience includes writing about business, politics, and local news, and she has a huge crush on Pittsburgh.