nGage Labs and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) have formed a partnership to utilize the Little Rock school’s Emerging Analytics Center.

In January, nGage Labs was named the 2014 “One To Watch” award winner by Talk Business Arkansas. The “Big Data” company has developed an “analytics engine” – software that digests a vast sea of consumer information in real time and then generates carefully calibrated deals and ads that drive traffic to vendors.

Through its partnership with UALR, nGage Labs will develop a 3D immersive data visualization project to help better understand customer behaviors of nGage clients, which include some of the biggest brands in the U.S.

“The challenge of big data and the use of personalization to predict future preference isn’t the science or math of the analytics, it is the inability to effectively represent the intrinsic truths hidden within the massive amounts of data,” said Rod Ford, CEO of nGage Labs. “We’re quantitative innovators and have developed the real-time analytics engine and now are looking to push the envelope of what is possible in the area of immersive environment data visualization.”

Ford said he envisions bringing clients and potential clients to UALR for 3D demonstrations to showcase how his firm’s technology and a client’s product or service will be experienced by its customers.

“This development work will allow our clients to step into a 3D immersive environment with enclosed 30’ digital screens and experience never before seen insights about their customers, preferences, trends, and value. It is my belief unleashing these new insights about the intentions, behaviors, and preferences of our brands’ customers will fundamentally change the way these brands choose to engage their customers on an ongoing basis,” Ford said.

“We are excited about the opportunity to ‘engage’ with nGage Labs on this innovative use of UALR’s new George W. Donaghey Emerging Analytics Center,” said Dr. Mary L. Good, UALR’s Special Advisor to the Chancellor for Economic Development and Chair of the center’s management board. “Advanced data visualization techniques can provide visionary data solutions for a range of possible solutions for their clients.”

nGage announced in October 2013 that it would open an Analytics Innovation Center in the River Market and would quickly hire 35 knowledge-based jobs at an average salary above $100,000.

The center will further develop the science and algorithms required to utilize large data streams that is expected to lead to more mobile shopping from customers of businesses in the retail, restaurant, education and sporting fields.

Ford provided an example of how his company’s technology will work with retailers at the October announcement.

For example, Ford said a national retailer that is an existing client is using the company’s technology to track customer trips in its stores. The technology allows that retailer to capture customer frequency, average expenditures, preferences for certain items and other relevant data. While that customer is browsing a store’s aisles, an alert can be sent to his mobile device alerting him to new offerings.

“It’s an Amazon-like shopping experience while in a retail store,” Ford said, noting that customers can also utilize his firm’s technology to look at ratings, reviews, how prices compare, and shop for complimentary products.

“The problem we’re solving for our retail customers is we’re driving a bigger basket for shoppers and more return trips to the store,” he said.