News / AOL Blog

Area 51 Launches First Incubated Idea

Feb 2, 2017

The AOL Area 51 program is designed to empower top employees and select recent graduates by providing a startup environment within the AOL ecosystem. The AOL Area 51 creators receive up to six months of funding, mentorship and accelerated development with an open door to AOL resources, tools and support from the talented AOL team and mentors. is the first incubated idea in AOL Area 51 program which is today being launched by one of AOL’s own employees, Davood Shamsi. Davood has been working alongside his team of interns since September of 2016 to bring his idea to life.

Davood aimed to create a tool that would be useful to people in the digital marketing industry. Through his research he observed that in the last few years marketers and ad agencies have become more and more data savvy. “Data First” is a trending theme in market, and digital marketers are seeking deeper insights from their data. Big data is becoming a commodity in hands of data engineers but still not easily accessible for non-technical people in sales and marketing.

Through Area 51, Davood created a chatbot on Slack that is aimed towards these non-technical digital marketers. With the goal of building virtual data assistant, the bot enables marketers to ask it digital marketing related questions help them further analyze their data.

Working with is started by creating a direct message, the way one would with any Slack chatbot. is able to look within the available ad data provided and answer questions based on that data in simple natural language. “It’s like having your own assigned data scientist within arm’s reach - the added bonus being that these calculation are done in real-time, making answers available in seconds,” says Shamsi.

The product uses the recent advancements in natural language processing to communicate to the user seamlessly. As a user, there’s no need to have any training to interact with the tool. Using natural language, creates a much friendlier and easier user experience compared to traditional dashboards. For example, a marketer can ask to “pull impressions per country,” or “graph CPM in the United States” from a data set.

Brands interested in testing can visit to sign up.

Davood is expected to launch his final results in the upcoming weeks, making it available to selected AOL clients.