A tech entrepreneur and web technology enthusiast, Or Lenchner is the CEO of the well-known public web data platform Bright Data. At citiesabc podcast with Dinis Guarda, Lenchner opens up about Bright Data’s transparent and ethical platform that contributes to an open and competitive market, benefitting both, business and society. The two explore the various use cases of Bright Data, as well as its pro-bono organisation ‘The Bright Initiative’, which uses data as a life-saving resource.
“I’m a great believer in being heads-on. That’s probably the best way to be educated.”
Or Lenchner had a passion for developing software products since his early years. During his initial years, he founded and managed several internet-based products and businesses. After developing digital assets and online marketing programs himself, he joined Bright Data in 2015 as the Head of Product Development.
“I’m a product guy, that’s what I love to do also today. Even acting as a CEO, I’m still enjoying most of the time touching, building, and working with our own products”, he proudly says. It is this ideology, he believes, that makes Bright Data successful in its ongoing drive to innovate. He further describes to Dinis the challenges that internet-based data is facing these days - lack of web transparency.
“The World Wide Web was designed to be the largest public database in the world - it should be open to anyone to use but in reality, it isn’t. This is the major challenge that we see. Though, the software that we develop overcomes this challenge and is able to collect this public data. This is why our products are so valuable to our customers. But, as a whole it’s not okay to block access to public data, it belongs to the public. This is why it is called public data”, he shares his concern. On being prompted by Dinis about the ethical practices of web data extraction that the company follows, Lenchner explains that trusting the data starts with trusting the data partner or vendor. This is what forms a reliable basis for web data collection and ensures that it is used in an ethical manner.
“It’s a very strong culture in our company DNA to be accountable. We’ve taken unprecedented steps to ensure that our products and infrastructure address the highest industry standards. In 2021, we rejected over 830 cases of potential customers for simply not practising the use cases we support, even though everything is legal, everything is okay, but we don’t perceive it as ethical or they weren’t transparent enough when they came talking to us and went through our KYC process”, he indicates sincerely about the ethical and responsible culture at Bright Data.
About Bright Data
A leading web platform, Bright Data, provides tools and products to extract, manage and utilise public web data. These could be used by any form and size of business, institutions, or even the public sector to research, monitor, or analyse the data and consequently make better and more informed decisions. Used worldwide by more than 15,000 customers, Lenchner states that the data is gathered in the most efficient, reliable, and flexible way.
“We build software for one purpose- to help our customers collect publicly available web data. So, if the internet today is probably the largest database in the history of mankind, it means that you can probably do a lot with that resource as a company, no matter what you are doing- selling stuff online, or developing medicine. This is a major resource you should take into consideration. We build the tools that allow you to collect the public web data you need, which is not an easy task”,
explaining the power of data in the current world scenario. Making public web data accessible to all keeps the markets open and in healthy competition. Major eCommerce companies and sites, finance, NGOs, research universities, public sector organisations, security operators, and travel sites are among the thousands of clients of this growing platform... With a strong customer base, Bright Data crossed the hundred-million-dollar revenue mark last year.
About The Bright Initiative
The Bright Initiative is a global program that uses public web data with the aim of driving positive change. This provides pro-bono access to leading web data technology for various public bodies, NGOs, Not-For-Profit Organisations, academic institutions, and others. What started as an exercise to help researchers during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in early March 2020, turned into an exciting venture for the company.
“We realised that we do really well as a commercial company, but you can actually also use these powerful tools for contributing to society in various ways. So, we just launched our new webpage, offering researchers and organizations the chance to approach us, if they think they should get these tools for free”,
Lenchner says excitedly. With over 400 partners already, The Bright Initiative has been contributing humbly to quite amazing causes. From being used for research purposes by universities, combating sex and human trafficking, to identifying victims of intrafamilial abuse (and helping them before it is too late)- The Bright Initiative has an extensive number of cases that have made a positive impact on society- all based on publicly available web data.
“You just need tools to collect this public data and analyse it. So, we literally know lives are being saved just by using our tools effectively”.
“We support over 400 organisations like Universities, NGOs, and the UK government, for example, to help them make a positive social impact using the largest resource - Web Data.”
Relevance of data in Web 3.0
Being interested in Metaverse and Web 3.0 himself, Dinis poked Lenchner to explain the role of Big Data in the future of this space. Or explains that living in Web 3.0 does not just mean being in this world with AR VR sets. It just means a portion of one’s waking hours being spent inside the web itself. He insists on the beauty of mountain amounts of data being generated throughout the process of transition and while living in it.
“This will, for sure, push companies like Bright Data and others to build newer tools, more sophisticated tools, to be able to extract that data that will be added on that new layer of Web 3.0 or inside the Metaverse. We’re already there, we’re thinking this way, we’re innovating in this direction. It’s just going to be much bigger”,
he exclaims. Concluding an extremely knowledgeable session, Lenchner leaves a message for those who handle data (or are willing to enter data handling),
“Start small, with a small data set, to validate your hypothesis, first. Then, scale up”.
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