Discover more from The Security Industry
Reproducing DataQuest for Cybersecurity
Building the IT-Harvest Dashboard
When I launched IT-Harvest in 2005 I had a vision of recreating the functionality of DataQuest. Back in the ‘90s DataQuest was a dot com success in the market research business. Its scope was the entire technology arena which was exploding at the time. IT security was a minuscule component of what they covered.
Gartner acquired DataQuest in 1995 for $75 million. In today’s dollars that would be $146 million.
I have always been enthralled with technology and consumed DataQuest’s feed of technology news every day from the Lotus Notes dashboard we had at PwC.
Until now there has been no single source of information on the cybersecurity industry. There are millions of websites for news of course from blogs to the individual sites of each of 3,123 vendors. Reddit, YCombinator’s Hacker News, even Twitter are rich sources. Quarterly reports from Momentum Cyber are probably the most comprehensive for M&A and investment data. There are sources like Pitchbook, Crunchbase, Tracxn, Sourcescrub, and Craft.co, that harvest data on millions of companies, but create a problem for anyone reseaching a specific sector. You have to wade through tens of thousands of companies to find the ones that belong in the sector of interest.
In recent months IT-Harvest has achieved our goal. We have recreated DataQuest for cybersecurity. The final element was provided by Feedly which trained their AI to look for and extract all news on the vendors from the vendors we provided them. In addition to a feed of all cybersecurity news from millions of sources, we have Feedly’s Leo AI finding news on specific companies which the Dashboard funells into buckets for M&A, Funding, Product Updates, Press Releases, and even Lawsuits and Patents.
Subscribers can search the news or even create their own feeds based on our feeds.
That’s the news, what about the data? The Explore page is a powerful tool for filtering vendors by category, subcategory, tags, head count, growth in head count, funding, founding date, even specific conferences they have exhibited at.
In seconds, a subscriber can answer questions like:
How many IoT Security vendors in Israel have received over $10 million in funding?
The answer is 19 out of 39 Israeli IoT Security vendors have taken in at least $10 million.
A frequent question we get is:
How do we find the vendors?
Here is how:
Conference sponsors/exhibitors. This is most valuable for regional conferences. We laways find new vendors in local conferences that are not on the radar yet.
Investor portfolios. We count 3,500 investors in cybersecurity. Many of them publish their portfolios on their websites.
Twitter and Linkedin. I have a good presence on these sites. On Twitter the vendors connect to @stiennon early in their marketing journey. On Linkedin I see the founders as they announce a Stealth startup.
News feed. The funding feed we have created is still a rich source of new vendors as they announce their seed rounds.
All of this research takes a dedicated team to first regester and categorize a new vendor, then track it every month as head count, investment, and executives, change. When they are acquired that has to be noted. When they fail, that too has to be recorded.
Our job is not done of course. There are dozens of tasks ahead of us. We are working on a formula for estimating revenue. The variables include revenue per employee, tenure of each employee, region, and recent funding events. We are building a Portfolio Tracking service for investors. They will be able to refine a custom report on their portfolios delivered every month to their inbox.
There are always other data feeds to incorporate. For instance, a user doing competitive analysis may be interested in Twitter followers, Linkedin page followers, and YouTube subscribers.
Sign up here to follow along in our journey to create a single source of knowledge on the entire cybersecurity industry.