Canadian Predictive Analytics Firm RIWI Determines U.S. Joblessness is Worse than What’s Being Reported

eResearch | RIWI Corp. (TSX-V: RIWI) is a global trend-tracking and prediction technology firm that uses its patented technology platform, Random Domain Intercept Technology (RDITTM), to offer its clients tracking surveys, continuous risk monitoring and predictive analytics in order to measure public sentiment.

RIWI has worked in partnership with multiple government, G7 security groups, and humanitarian organizations, and according to RIWI Founder and CEO Neil Seeman, a fast-growing portion of its clients are hedge funds, banks, and investment firms. Founded in 2009, the Canadian Company went public in 2015, reached profitability in 2018, and has been growing steadily since.

RIWI has a successful track record of predicting major political and socioeconomic events before they have occurred. For example, in 2011 data collected by RIWI led the firm to predict the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Prior to the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, despite what many polls and political pundits were indicating, RIWI data accurately predicted that Donald Trump would win the Electoral College vote and become the next U.S. President.

A Second Wave of U.S. Unemployment is “Well Under Way”

A report released earlier this week by RIWI in partnership with Cornell University’s Daniel Alpert, who is the founding managing partner of Westwood Capital LLC, shows that a substantial amount of individuals reported as “employed” in May and June in fact reflected those put back on payroll due to the U.S. Government’s Paycheck Protection Program. According to the data collected by RIWI, many of these individuals are now at high risk of being laid off or laid off for a second time.

The data also shows that the re-layoff problem is actually worse in non-COVID surge states, which suggests the re-layoff problem is reflective of overall economic conditions in the U.S. rather than the resurgence of COVID. This implies that the U.S. economic recession is much deeper than current jobs data is reporting.

How RIWI Measures Public Sentiment to Make Accurate Predictions

Rather than simply measuring social media sentiment using algorithms that scrape data from online posts and forums, as many trend-tracking firms do, RIWI’s patented machine-learning technology focuses on capturing the opinions and perspectives of what the Company calls the “quiet voices” of the world. That is, those who don’t tend to express their feelings and opinions in typical surveys or on social media – either because they don’t feel comfortable doing so, don’t want to give away personal information (like an email address), or because they are prohibited from doing so for other reasons.

“We do a lot of work on measuring attitudes toward highly sensitive topics where people in a live interface, like a phone call, don’t feel comfortable answering,” says Seeman.

RIWI’s domain-intercept global platform works like this: if someone is surfing the web and lands on an inactive, or abandoned non-trademarked domain – and that person is located in an area of interest to one of RIWI’s clients, they have a random chance of being exposed to an anonymous, non-incentivized survey or ad test, developed by RIWI. The questions in this survey or ad test have been carefully structured and framed to eliminate risk of biases.

“Because there is so much misinformation and disinformation on social media, there is a broad recognition among data buyers that they need to cut through the noise,” says Seeman. “Social media has become almost dystopic – it’s now a way for people to exclude others with opposing views, rather than include them. Those who post on social media are such a small portion of investor or citizen sentiment – so truth is very different than what’s on social media. Because broad-based dynamic sentiment is a driver of alpha for investment firms, having access to our proprietary sentiment can deliver an edge.”

Verified and Approved

RIWI does not collect any personal data of participants, so that they remain truly anonymous and can feel more comfortable expressing their opinions. Because no user data is collected or stored, RIWI’s method is acceptable to data protection regulations around the world. The Company then delivers the curated survey results and all raw data to its clients on a continuous, real-time basis.

RIWI’s technology has been reviewed, approved by deployed by research units at top universities like Harvard, Oxford and Australian National University, and has been verified by G7 agencies like the U.S. State Department. Clients include Freedom House, the United Nations World Food Programme, and the World Bank, among other global and government organizations.

2020 U.S. Presidential Election – Trump or Biden?

RIWI has also been tracking public sentiment toward the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, and published a report in May stating that President Trump and Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden had been “neck and neck” until May, when according to RIWI data, Biden took a small lead over Trump for the first time, with 37% of respondents preferring Biden to win, compared to 35% of respondents preferring Trump to win. However, a large number (46%) of respondents responded “I don’t know”, which the Company warned could indicate another case of the “shy Trump voter” effect, a factor that caused many polls to underestimate his support in 2016.

A second factor that caused underestimation of Trump support in polls was the fact that there was an underrepresentation of typically disengaged populations, including those in the Midwest. RIWI’s methodology addresses these factors by continuously randomly exposing anyone online to its surveys. RIWI will continue to monitor public sentiment leading up to the election, which will continue to shift, especially after major political events like the announcement of Biden’s vice presidential selection.

Profitable and Growing

Having validated its technology through multiple government and financial institutions like its client Bank of America Securities, RIWI is poised to continue focusing on further commercializing its products and increasing its recurring revenues.

During the Company’s first half of the year, ending June 30, revenue was US$2.3 million, an increase of 53% from the same period last year.

The Company sells its services via a subscription-based or long-term agreement model, whereby clients pay RIWI on a monthly or yearly basis to provide survey or ad test information that is delivered 24/7 via a customized dashboard. Seeman says the Company has been working diligently to grow its sales.

“Private sector work is where we see our largest area of growth right now,” says Seeman.

As for buyer trends, Seeman says he has noticed an uptick in several areas of interest of late.

“Clients are increasingly interested in China, in retail and investor sentiment from different parts of the world. Another area we are seeing a lot of interest in is ESG [Environmental, Social, Governance]. My definition of ESG is a little different. For example, a client might be interested in measuring consumers’ changing perception of information privacy toward a publicly traded ‘Big Tech’ company. So they could use RIWI to examine the public’s attitudes toward privacy protections connected to that equity. Another client might be concerned with the public’s perception of a company’s environmental sustainability or public governance activities.”