Three subsectors look set to dominate the tech sector across the next three decades. These are electric vehicles (EV), the internet of things (IoT), and virtual reality (VR). Each of these is very much in the early days of adoption, but at this point all have reached the when-rather-than-if threshold for mainstream acceptance, and all are widely discussed in various forums.
There is a fourth, however, that underlies the other three, and is already starting to change the way individuals, businesses, and governments interact with technology. That is, data. The amount of data collected by social media networks, email clients and online commerce platforms is staggering and exponentially growing, and a number of companies are working to leverage this data revolution to their advantage. Here are three tech stocks working exclusively in the data space that should not escape an investor’s notice.
MGT Capital Investments Inc.
MGT Capital Investments Inc. (NYSEMKT:MGT), AKA John McAfee Global Technologies, made the news last month for firebrand John McAfee’s surprise return to public markets as the next CEO of the company. Any company looking to collect, store and manipulate large swaths of data, especially consumer data, needs a solid security framework in place to protect this data from threats. A number of options in the space already exist – IBM and Cisco Systems to reference two of the biggest names– but MGT is working to become the go-to entity for data security solutions.
McAfee is a cyber security legend in the eyes of many, best known for his developing of the McAfee antivirus program, which Intel now owns. The company is young, at least in its latest iteration but it already has a helm comprising tech experts in their respective fields. It just announced the appointment of bitcoin and cryptocurrency expert Roger Ver as Chairman of the Cryptocurrency Advisory Board, which has been put in place to ensure that MGT remains current in the protection of cryptocurrency storage and transaction. At the end of last week, MGT announced the forming of its Hacker Advisory Board, which consists of some of the world’s most revered hackers – specifically, as its founding team, Chris Roberts, Bryce Case and Alexander Heid.
So what’s the plan, aside from the name change? At the beginning, it looks as though the name of the game is acquisition. MGT has two ongoing deals set to close near term, one that will see it acquire anti spy software company D-Vasive and another that should see it acquire Demonsaw, a file-sharing platform. The name change will take effect at the closing of the first of these deals.
Sysorex Global (NASDAQ:SYRX) has developed a number of tools with which businesses can collect and analyze data, with the goal of using this data to increase insight and drive a bottom line increase based on consumer activity. The company also dabbles in data security, but its primary offering revolves around its LightMiner data analytics platform, and its AirPatrol data collection technology.
To get an idea of how these technologies work, consider the following example. Sysorex is targeting mall retail property, with the goal of improving the property owners’ insight into how customers interact with the real estate. An example outlined in the Wall Street Journal earlier this month detailed the low rent Apple is able to negotiate based on the attractiveness of its stores to customers, and the increased footfall this affords mall operators. Through the Sysorex technology, these operators can monitor customer movement through the mall, and gain insight into how many just go into the Apple store, and how many go on to other stores post-Apple. It can then use this insight as a negotiation tool when dealing with Apple.
This, of course, is one of many many applications, but it serves to illustrate a real world example of the type of insight Sysorex offers its customers. With revenues for its lead products already coming in, and year over year financials gaining across the board, Sysorex is one to watch as the data and analytics space matures.
Qlik Technologies Inc
Qlik Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:QLIK) is similar to Sysorex in that it is at core a data analytics company, but different in that it is better described as a software entity. More specifically, it operates in the software as a service (SaaS) space, to offer businesses and individuals access to software that allows them to conduct their own data analysis.
Beyond this analysis, the company’s primary products Qlik Sense and Qlik View allow users to manipulate this data, and share and present it across a network of other users. As an example, a large retail headquarters might collect data that concerns stock and supply at its chains across various locations. The individual tasked with collecting this data can use the Qlik software to organize it, and then transform it into a digestible format – say, a chart. The software then allows this user to share the data in the format in question across a network easily and securely. In this case it would be the relevant individuals at the headquarters.
Qlik’s built in cybersecurity technology affords the user the ability to share across closed and open networks without concern that the data will spill beyond its target audience. At least, that is, while it remains within the Qlik software. The company just announced the expanding of an agreement with one of its long term partners, and perhaps more interestingly, has painted itself as a potential acquisition target of late. If any acquisition rumors surface, there could be some quick upside on its current $2.8 billion market cap.
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