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First Look: FICO acquisition of InfoCentricity

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FICO has recently acquired InfoCentricity, makers of two advanced analytics products – Xeno (for building predictive scorecards, reviewed here) and StrategyTrees (decision trees). InfoCentricity has about 40 clients (some with over 100 modelers, some smaller). Most of these companies are also FICO clients though not generally for analytic modeling tools. Clients use the tools in risk management, fraud detection and marketing particularly.  InfoCentricity say that more than 300,000 models have been developed and deployed. Both the InfoCentricity products are cloud-based and thin client. They offer strong support for all the usual advanced analytic tasks from data cleansing to data visualization and understanding all the way to developing and deploying powerful predictive scorecards and decision (strategy) trees.

InfoCentricity was founded (in part by ex-FICO people) about 10 years and the companies are familiar with each other and have some shared DNA as well as shared clients. The InfoCentricity team is also local (based like many FICO folks in San Rafael) and the acquisition represents a significant addition of analytic software horsepower for FICO.

FICO of course has a long history in analytics and in particular in the kind of advanced predictive analytics that really maximize the value of Big Data. The Big Data market is growing fast and cloud-based advanced analytics is clearly going to be a critical component (see for instance our recent research on Predictive Analytics in the Cloud). However the continued growth of regulatory oversight around analytic model inputs, additional regulatory constraints, the need for auditability and more is making life more complex for FICO’s typical customers as they develop their analytic capabilities. This area of regulated, cloud-based advanced analytics is precisely where InfoCentricity is very strong.

From a product portfolio FICO has a complete set of Decision Management components for on-premise deployment and is pushing to support less technical users in assembling Decision Management solutions in the cloud. InfoCentricity’s cloud-based predictive analytic tools are a powerful addition to this portfolio, especially as FICO moves its Decision Management Platform to the cloud. The new capabilities will complement both the existing modeling analytic tools (FICO Model Builder reviewed here) and their existing cloud-based capabilities (FICO Model Central for analytic model management – reviewed here – and the FICO Analytic Cloud for deployment).  InfoCentricity’s solutions fit in the middle, offering very sophisticated analytic tools for modelers that work in and with the cloud.

FICO targeted InfoCentricity both because the solutions (Xeno and Strategy Trees) are highly complementary and targeted to the same financial services/regulated customers. Also FICO’s move to the cloud with its Analytic Cloud offerings make the platform used by InfoCentrcity an attractive one.  InfoCentricity has also had more success with clients that are linking risk and marketing analytics together and FICO hopes to build on this success.

FICO is a vendor in our Decision Management Systems Platform Technology Report and you can get more information on the InfoCentricity products here.

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  • Sid April 25, 2014, 9:42 am

    a highly redundant purchase that only shows how inferior FICO’s model builder is to Xeno. Anybody in the business understands that Infocentricity was the direct result of poor management at FICO…