#67 - Product Innovation: How to obtain new competitive powers by using AI for entity resolution to tell you who’s who in your data

An interview with Jeff Jonas, Founder and CEO of Senzing

This podcast interview focuses on the power of entity resolution, and how this powerful technology has the ability to give any organization a competitive advantage. My guest is Jeff Jonas, Founder and CEO of Senzing.

Jeff Jonas is an acclaimed data scientist. He is at the forefront of solving some of the world’s most complex business and big data problems for governments and organizations in a variety of industries.

A former IBM fellow, Jeff is the leading creator of entity resolution systems. National Geographic recognized him as the Wizard of Big Data, and today numerous organizations rely on his systems to extract useful intelligence from tsunamis of data.

He has tackled many high-profile challenges, including identifying potential terrorists, detecting fraudulent behavior in casinos, connecting loved ones after a natural disaster, and modernizing voter registration systems.

Product InnovationJeff is a three-time entrepreneur and sold his last company to IBM in 2005.

Jonas is a highly sought-after speaker. He regularly meets with government leaders, industry executives and think tanks around the globe about innovation, national security and privacy.

In 2016, Jonas founded Senzing, based on a one-of-a-kind IBM spinout of the G2 technology.  His team and patent portfolio – and was founded on the vision to revolutionize and democratize entity resolution.

The story behind Senzing inspired me, hence I invited Jeff to my podcast. In the podcast, we explore the power behind entity resolution as the fuel to create the most advanced fraud detection, scoring, recommendation or intelligence systems. We also address the need to democratize this type of technology, so that it can be of benefit to anyone anywhere. And last but not least, we address what’s required to create solutions that people want to tell others about.

Here are some of Jeff’s notable quotes:

“I became particularly focused, well really obsessed, with this thing called entity resolution, which is technology that figures out when two people are the same.

It’s a hard problem for folks, and when you can solve that well, you can solve all kinds of problems and create all kinds of competitive advantage.

But if you look at these solutions, they primarily require experts to make them operate. They’re pretty darn expensive, the good stuff’s at least a million.

So, the big idea is to democratize that.

Not just to help the big elite organizations understand who-is-who in their data, but what about the small nonprofit who just got duplicates in their Christmas mailing list? What about them?

That’s the big idea.

If you can take 10 x out of the complexity of getting it going, then why not take 10 x out of the price? So, when you change simplicity that much, and you change cost that much, it opens the door to being able to democratize something.”

During this interview, we hope you’ll learn these three things:

  1. Why you should sometimes bite the bullet to make the hard parts work in order to create real shifts in value
  2. That with today’s technology there’s a multitude of opportunities to democratize capabilities that up to now were only available to the elite
  3. What the ingredients are to create the solutions that turn customers into evangelists


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About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.