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Wolfram Data Summit Day 2: James Powell, CTO Thomson Reuters

Kicking off day 2 of the Wolfram Data Summit is James Powell, CTO of Thomas Reuters.

Thomson Reuters and Big Data

James Powell

CTO, Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters is the leading source of intelligent information for the world’s businesses and professionals. The massive changes in the scale, volatility, and latency requirements caused by big data demand a significant change in the way we build and manage our systems. The sheer volume of information our customers need requires us to think differently about how we build context and apply it to these information sources.

James gave a brief overview of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters reported 139 billion in revenue in 2009. James said with more and more information available, Thomson Reuters is adjusting to new forms of consumption, where data is stored, integrating information and providing high quality metadata.

James highlighted that the move is to make a complete solution with data for a client and deliver data in a way that is easy to find the most relevant information. Important to James was providing data to clients at the right time and quickly, while also leveraging privacy concerns.

One interesting highlight from the presentation was how customer services has changed over the years for data. The expectation of customers is less and less of the Bloomberg green screens, and more and more of Google/Facebook. Three approaches that James mentioned for Thomson Reuters and product development is:

  • Changing architecture
  • Changing tools
  • Changing media

James mentioned that Thomson Reuters is a company that grew through acquisition, and they have found that model does not quite scale for their products. Because of this Thomas Reuters has moved toward a more integrated solution while developing products.

WestLawNext is a legal research product that Thomas Reuters released this year. James mentioned the phrase “Left for an exercise for the user,” as the old model of WestLaw. The new product has a new interface, full integration, contextually driven, and law students get access to WestLaw for the rest of their legal career. James showed some examples of the product; it is actually remarkable how the product works. WestLaw leverages information from people who have done similar queries and similar profiles to yourself, and then provides you information you are searching for.

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