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Introducing Premise

Multinational corporations, governments, NGOs, Central Banks, trading houses… every year these organizations spend billions of dollars in pursuit of econometric and human development data and statistics. The reality is that the quantity of information gathered is rather small, the quality can vary, and the latency is very high. Is it any wonder that conditions on the ground zig while headline indicators zag? Who can fault policy makers or consumer good companies or trading houses or relief agencies for basing decisions on out-of-date and lumpy data?

We founded Premise in 2012 because existing mechanisms of econometric data gathering are insufficient to meet the policy, trading, relief or business strategy challenges posed by an era of unprecedented economic and social volatility. Our experience at the grocery store had nothing in common with the inflation headlines we were reading in the paper. We wondered, what happens when you replicate and scale this divergence across ever-larger groups of people? Headlines over recent years call into question just what is going on with the global economy, with exports, with employment figures, with interest and currency rates… We grew tired of feeling like no one really knew what was happening.

Premise extracts raw insights from a noisy, chaotic world. We have street teams in over 25 cities worldwide. We have online shoppers in 30 countries. We have computational machinery monitoring the world. Premise currently collects millions of discrete data points every day from thousands of local and online sources, enabling our clients, who are among the world’s largest institutions, to navigate volatility in global inflation, industry competitive dynamics, and food security. Our data infrastructure gives our clients unprecedented leverage.

Premise has created a unique global network for on-the-ground insight into everything from fluctuating availability for consumer goods, to highs and lows in perishable food supplies. The proliferation of mobile devices provides a new way to collect information, and we have built a global Android network to map street-level economic reality thousands of times every day. The photos and the corresponding information become the basis of our data library and provide a map of local or country-wide economic activity.

In total, Premise captures between 40,000 and 50,000 discrete data points every hour by merging that offline library with online information from over 30,000 e-commerce websites around the world. The result is a one of its kind human-directed, machine-refined data collection that empowers customers to close the gap between index and reality, to detect trends and anomalies in advance of other indicators.

While today we introduce our first three commercial applications – a Global Inflation Monitor, Industry Price Intelligence and a Food Security Tracker – the platform offers a larger vision for the future. Our mission is to create faster, more accurate, more liquid data sets to deliver the critical transparency our electronic age demands. The fundamental nature of human economic activity has changed. It’s time for the means of economic analysis to catch up.

Premise is based in San Francisco with a global presence in 30 countries. We are growing. Our team consists of technologists, economists, data scientists and former academics. If you are interested in joining us, partnering with us or simply starting a conversation, contact us.