SOURCE: DataSift


August 08, 2012 07:30 ET

DataSift Expands Team With Finance Veterans; Opens New York Office

Robert Passarella and Paul Balser to Spearhead DataSift's Financial Initiatives

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Aug 8, 2012) - DataSift, the social data platform company, today announced the expansion of its team with the appointment of finance veterans Robert Passarella and Paul Balser. Passarella and Balser will continue to build on DataSift's robust real-time and Historics social data platform to help fund managers make faster trading decisions based on shifts in public sentiment towards companies, stocks and news. Passarella and Balser will be based out of DataSift's new office in New York City, located at 330 Madison Avenue. 

As managing director of finance, Passarella will lead DataSift's financial industry initiatives and begin to build upon the company's existing financial product offerings. Balser, DataSift's new managing director of financial institutions sales, will be responsible for the company's institutional relationships.

"The ability to understand the forces shaping today's financial markets has become a key skill and requirement to remain competitive, which is why DataSift's platform has become an invaluable tool. Twitter has already become a vital source of news and information to everyday consumers and it's only fitting to extend this capability to fund managers to allow them to make faster, more informed trading and investment decisions," said DataSift CEO Rob Bailey. "Robert and Paul bring the expertise we need to help our team better reach this market segment and further develop solutions that address the needs of finance professionals. We're excited about what's ahead."

Passarella brings more than 20 years of experience on Wall Street focusing on the intersection of business and technology. He was previously vice president and managing director for the institutional markets business at Dow Jones. While there he was responsible for Machine Readable News, Sales and Trading products, Venture Source and DJ FX Trader -- Dow Jones' first desktop product for the foreign exchange trading marketplace. Prior to Dow Jones, Robert held various managing roles at Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns.

"Working in the news industry gave me the opportunity to see the significance of analyzing news and data from social media channels to support trading models and decisions," said Passarella. "Other financial firms have taken notice that the future of high quality news, data and analytics are in the social realm. DataSift provides the financial industry with a platform that not only turns unstructured data into structured, digestible information, but also includes sentiment analysis into the mix, so that they can make faster trading decisions based on shifts in public opinion."

Balser has been in the finance industry for nearly 20 years, most recently serving as vice president of business development and head of sales at StockTwits. Prior to StockTwits, he held senior positions in institutional equity sales for Alex Brown & Sons, Lazard Freres, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Cowen.

"DataSift is a tremendous tool for both buy-side and sell-side institutions to augment their news and data feeds as they make capital allocation decisions," said Balser. "I look forward to working closely with Rob and the rest of the DataSift team."

Twitter provides a wealth of public real-time information and opinion on breaking news for companies, stocks and industries. But with an estimated 400 million Tweets per day, the challenge is finding a way to tap into this explosive stream of information to quickly identify trends that will support varying trading models and decisions.

As a Big Data platform for social data, DataSift aggregates billions of social interactions from more than a million public social data sources such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, forums and online message boards. DataSift provides fund managers with access to both real-time and historical public Tweets to filter and uncover insights and trends that relate to financial markets, financial news, brands, public opinion, etc. DataSift recently integrated with NewsCred, which extended its ability to monitor not just social media, but also news articles, to understand how financial news spreads through the social web.

DataSift's powerful platform evaluates each social interaction from multiple dimensions, applying natural language processing to turn unstructured data into structured, digestible information ready for analysis to identify sentiment, trending web-links, location, social influence and topics. These capabilities provide an unprecedented ability for companies to filter social data, extract meaning and create actionable insights. In its first eight months since commercial launch, DataSift has signed up over 200 corporate customers.

About DataSift
DataSift Inc. is a social data platform company, enabling enterprises and entrepreneurs to aggregate, filter and extract insights from the billions of public social conversations on Twitter, leading social networks and millions of other sources. Through a licensing agreement with Twitter, DataSift provides companies with both real-time and historical Tweets to filter and uncover insights and trends that relate to brands, businesses, financial markets, news and public opinion. DataSift is an on-demand platform with a flexible pricing scale that makes enterprise-level data accessible to companies of any size. DataSift has offices in San Francisco and Reading, U.K. It has received investment from IA Ventures (Roger Ehrenberg), a fund that is focused exclusively on Big Data, and from GRP Partners (Mark Suster). For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @datasift.

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