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Hortonworks Customer


cloud Prescient Case Study


Prescient is a global risk management company providing full-spectrum intelligence solutions to corporate, federal and international clients. Prescient combines leading-edge technological solutions and analysis to humanize intelligence and help clients mitigate enterprise-wide risks. Prescient’s commercial solutions consist of a comprehensive suite of due diligence, traveler safety and risk management services that cultivate informed decision-making and situational awareness.

Business Challenge

Prescient’s roots are in the federal sector, so its first clients were within the US federal government. Prescient began developing and launching similar services for the private sector. From the beginning of its expansion into the private sector, Prescient wanted to make its products relevant and usable.

Company leaders knew that their target segment was comprised of busy executives on the road. Most didn’t have time to consume the long-printed reports that were the industry norm. By the time a report reached a traveler and that traveler had time to read it, the data was generally stale. Prescient knew that it needed to disseminate information as soon as it detected a threat and that it needed to constantly refresh that information. The company also needed data provenance—the ability to show the lineage of any data that led it to identify a region as “high threat.”


Prescient powers its services with the Connected Data Platforms developed and supported by Hortonworks.

Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP®) stores the wellspring of historical data that Prescient uses to evaluate emergent patterns.

Hortonworks DataFlow (HDF™)— collects, curates and delivers data from more than 49,000 sources prioritized by the Prescient team. Prescient ingests all types of unstructured data from sources like RSS feeds, news sites and blogs. Prescient can also correlate that streaming data with an individual traveler’s geospatial information and flag threats related to his or her location.

Prescient’s algorithms and analysts count on that steady flow of data to identify emerging threats to traveler safety. With predictive analytics, the company can then evaluate patterns. The company then delivers easily-digestible alerts to travelers on the road and other security.


Hortonworks’ adherence to a 100% open-source strategy created a collaborative data center ecosystem that makes it relatively easy for Prescient to leverage value from HDF and HDP with datacenter technologies provided by Hortonworks partners. Prescient Traveler has demonstrated the ability to process 19,000 location updates per second in order to send location-based alerts to millions of subscribers.

By using Hortonworks, Prescient was able to reduce development effort and ongoing maintenance costs, and they saved the company the $500,000 it had planned to invest in additional development. Per-analyst productivity has improved seven-fold. Prior to Prescient’s adoption of HDF, a geospatial threat analyst could complete one assessment every 3-4 days. With HDF, that same analyst is now able to complete an average of two detailed assessments per day. This efficiency improves Prescient’s business margins. Prescient’s most recent offerings have attracted new customers from the public sector, luxury travel companies, academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies.

Along with the financial benefits, Prescient achieved high-quality automated threat assessments. HDF presents threat analysts with more refined data, and it drastically reduces the amount of work required to assess specific geographic areas, events and threat domains.