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Wissee’s Female Founders on Unlocking the Power of Social Media Data

Updated: May 12, 2022

Wissee’s founders @QingqingHan and @HuinaMao recently joined the @Founders_Live podcast with @NickHughes, where they discussed the process of developing a data analytics engine and shared their experience as female founders in the male-dominated data analytics industry.

Dr. Qingqing Han

Dr. Huina Mao

Qingqing (QQ) and Huina first met while earning their Ph.D. degrees at Indiana University in 2009. After their time together, Huina continued her research in data science at Microsoft Research, Thomson Reuters, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Respectively, Qingqing went on to pursue her mission of having a positive social impact and began working at the United Nations. Throughout this time the two remained best friends and eventually joined forces in 2018 to found Wissee.

Wissee’s work is built on the pioneering research co-authored by Huina, the first scholar to conduct impactful research using twitter data to predict the stock market. Now their mission is to unleash the power of machine and human intelligence, provide reliable and accessible insights, foster data-driven business decisions, and contribute to sustainable economic growth.

At the heart of Wissee’s mission, there are two main problems we aim to solve:

  1. The noisy and unstructured nature of online data: The sheer volume as well as the ambiguous and fragmented nature of the social media and news data makes it hard for people to find valuable and reliable knowledge. This explains why big data analytics is a 200-billion-dollar market and data analytics in the financial market is a 35-billion-dollar industry. While some may shy away from the challenge, Wissee believes when presented with a promising solution, the data presents tremendous opportunities.

  2. The information black box in business decision making: Business leaders are constantly looking for the next trends for innovation, or the early market-moving signals in order to gain an advantage against the competitors. There is an overwhelming number of signals online and in the social media data space with the knowledge that can greatly impact their decision-making. However, for the majority of businesses, the ability to unpack and use social media, news sources, and online data continue to pose a big challenge and an untapped wealth of information.

We strive to provide efficiency and granularity in processing the analyzing and cleaning of the data and reliability in detecting the market-moving signals with social media big data analytics.

In addition to unleashing the power of social media big data for businesses, the founders aim to confront gender and race discrimination in the technology industry as Chinese-born women and non-English natives. Through their current roles and previous experience in male-dominated areas, they hope to implement changes, such as:

  1. Be a role model for the younger generation looking to work in the startup world. At the beginning of 2020, there were only 37 female CEOs out of the Fortune 500 companies, which calculates to 7.4%. Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon all have male founders and CEOs. Qingqing and Huina inspire and dare the younger female generation to go for what they want, as well as pave the way for women as founders and leaders in the startup and financial industry.

  2. Create a community of female leaders. Utilizing their power and privilege, Qingqing and Huina hope to pose as mentors and resources to other female founders, leaders, and dreamers. At Wissee, they are immersed in many different industries and communities, allowing them to challenge these outdated ideals in their daily lives and meet many who feel the same.

As the founders continue to push forward for their company and fight against stereotypes, they believe a key takeaway is to think big and act small— break down your vision through actionable steps and be agile for growth for the long-run.

In light of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing, we would like to dedicate this article in honor of her memory and influential work. She was and will continue to be an inspiration for women everywhere. We thank her for all she has done, may she rest in peace.

“As women achieve power, the barriers will fall. As society sees what women can do, as WOMEN see what women can do, there will be more women out there doing things, and we’ll all be better off for it.”

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