If I were to say the phrase “Temporal Analytics Engine” to you, would you think I was quoting something off of Star Trek: The Next Generation? Well, it would turn out that (this time at least) you would be wrong. A temporal analytics engine (TAE) is actually a method of searching documents that discuss related people, places and events and then attempts to determine what will happen in the future. The website Recorded Future is one attempt at creating a usable TAE, and it has got the interest of a number of competitive intelligence organizations, including Google and the CIA.

Many of us that compile competitive intelligence analysis understand that some of the best information is freely available, especially in the Google Era.As  However, uncovering the golden nugget of information in a mountain of raw data is how most CI Analysts make their marks within organizations. It looks (from my brief review anyway) that Recorded Future is attempting to not just pick out the gold nuggets of information from publicly available documents, but to also create a map to locate the next golden vein within the mountain of future data. The trick, according to Recorded Future’s CEO Christopher Ahlberg, is that “you can actually predict the curve, in many cases” of what will happen.

Here’s the blurb and a short video that Recorded Future has on its competitive intelligence gathering approach:

Competitive intelligence research
Media analytics on corporate activities…
Competitive intelligence- follow future strategic plans and historic activity ; learn from your competition

  • Find out which products your competitors are using
  • Spot mergers, acquisitions, financial ratings, analyst guidance,accounting changes
  • Monitor for product recalls, companies using products, legal issues, IPOs, patent issuances, product releases
  • Uncover strategic alliances and business relationships
  • Find quotations and track sentiment in analyst, commentator, news and blog statements

There is a free version of Recorded Future that gives you some limited functionality (email reports, but none of the cool visualization widgets).  To get all the bells and whistles of Recorded Future, you need to upgrade to the Premium Package of $149.00 a month. I’d be very interested in hearing from anyone that is using the Premium Package of Recorded Future and seeing if it delivers as well as the presentations appear… because it and the whole Temporal Analytics Engine idea appears to be a very powerful resource.