Le booster season 5: Geneafinder

Genealogy and technology, a new way of searching big data

You may not be aware but genealogy enthusiasts are faced with the time-consuming work of reading images from old manuscripts when trying to trace their family tree. Geneafinder will at last save them precious time.

At the outset of the project, Sophie Tardivel and her company Doptim specialised in big data, from product development to the provision of services. Geneafinder is her first baby!

Genealogy, a growing market

Once the precious documents that trace our origins have been digitised, there is still a lot of work to do in decrypting them onscreen. It is this decrypting and re-transcription that Geneafinder offers to do for genealogists. How? Thanks to big data technologies and image processing, amateur historians will be guided in the reading of ancient manuscripts.

On the menu: text mining and deep learning, powerful technologies with a concrete objective. Sophie Tardivel champions this pragmatic vision of data. This also explains why the entrepreneur is behind the co-creation of the Breizh Data Club Association.

Her business model is simple: a free offer to draw in users and encourage them to enter their family tree in the database and a paid offer to take it to the next step.Le Booster encourages us to go out and meet our users and future clients and we realised that our target audience was not the easiest to reach online. Aside from the websites that are fairly well-known among the general public, such as MyHeritage, genealogy occupies a slightly different place”.

In June, Sophie Tardivel boosted Geneafinder’s visibility thanks to ChallengeAZ launched by “La Gazette des Ancêtres”. The aim of this challenge for enthusiasts was to publish one blog article per day in alphabetical order on the subject of genealogy. Doptim team took part in the challenge with a description of Geneafinder on the blog highlighting the tool intended for amateurs.

Giving a new boost to genealogy

Geneafinder is being tested from September in Ille-et-Vilaine in partnership with the Archives and a genealogy circle, to then launch the paid version in 2018. Sophie Tardivel is already looking beyond the French borders. “We can easily imagine Geneafinder expanding rapidly into other countries, as long as these countries have digitized archives and be interested in their history”. Doptim currently has three staff members, this team will have to be strengthened if it is to achieve its international objective.

With Geneafinder, Doptim is hoping to give a new boost to genealogy, as Sophie Tardivel explains: “the volume of content that could become easily accessible is huge. Making links with other families would be easier and even re-contextualising life. The idea is to move away from family trees to explore all possible registers, which is not currently done because it’s too complicated. Simplified, genealogy could become a cultural leisure activity like reading or visiting museums. Geneafinder could also facilitate research pooling by putting individuals researching the same line in touch with one another”. In 2018, we could swap our summer reading for a stroll through the pages of Geneafinder!