A new year’s resolution

It’s that time of year again, to look both back and forward. So here goes.

The 2016 highlights

2016 has been a great year for us. Some highlights:

  • Customer traction. 2016 was the year of customer traction. We signed major deals with 9 leading companies; we completed the pilots and are now rolling out DISQOVER across these organizations.
  • Technology improvements. DISQOVER was improved in many different ways. The launch of our federated search was definitely a key achievement.
  • Business offering. We’ve improved our business offering, e.g. by optimizing our 3-day workshop to quickly get customers started with DISQOVER. The speed of implementation and integration has proven to be a key lever for many of our customers.
  • Opening up data. We are and remain very strong believers of open data. With the launch of our Community licence, we’ve opened up DISQOVER to everyone. Since the inception, we’ve been welcoming 5 new subscribers a day!
  • Being out there. It was not the most sustainable year for us, as we’ve travelled to the US, Canada and across Europe to attend events and meet customers and partners. But the upside is that we got to meet a lot of interesting people, we closed additional deals and were able to spread the news about semantic search.
  • Miscellaneous: sometimes, it feels like it’s going so fast that we can hardly keep up! We must also mention the white paper on semantics that we wrote with Dr Bhanu Bahl from eagle-i (Harvard Catalyst); we won the EIT award for EU Digital Health, we got quite a lot of press coverage…

None of this would have been possible without the tremendous efforts and talent of our team! Thanks guys!

Looking forward to 2017

But even more important than looking back, is looking forward. Now, instead of listing all the things that we’re planning for next year, like opening and scaling up our US office, I want to highlight a few trends we see materializing which will make our jobs and, in fact, all of our lives, more interesting.

  • The shift to the patient. It’s been on the radar for some time, but things are really changing now. The consumerization of patient data, in combination with a further democratization of health data, is opening up a brave new world for data-driven research. We’re moving away from the current ‘sickcare’ approach towards real ‘healthcare’. It’s becoming more important to stay healthy than to cure diseases. And that’s not just an individual responsibility. With predictive analytics, you can for example predict possible outbreaks and take precautionary measures.
  • Real world evidence. Real world data, used to establish real world evidence, is changing the life sciences business. As more and more open data becomes available and technology becomes smarter, we’re coming closer to a situation where we can get far more and better insights, be they pre-, during or post an outbreak, a clinical study, and more.
  • Tapping into ever more data. We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of what data can do for us. For example, we are about to close a partnership with a leading Flemish university to make unstructured data, too, fully searchable. Only 5 to 10% of data today is structured. Imagine the wealth of insights that can be found once we start to tap into all that unstructured data!

As ONTOFORCE, we’ll continue to build further on these trends and deliver value to our clients and users.

But we cannot do this alone. If you’re interested in helping us achieve this, than do let us know.

We’re always looking for talented people!

We hope you’ve had a great year and that you have wonderful plans for 2017.

Have a good one!


Photo ‘The Road Less Travelled II’ by Phil Dolby via Flickr

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