Essentia Analytics, founded by a former hedge fund manager turned software company president, wants to help traders identify decisions that make money and avoid those that don't.

By analyzing under what circumstances portfolio managers have underperformed - through a combination of machine learning and human analysis - the startup seeks to nudge them toward different choices in the future.

Her portfolio was soaring in tandem with the tech sector, but she couldn't find much information to explain why she did so well.

Could she have made any of those decisions better and outperformed even more?

"As a fund manager, I was looking for companies that maximized the return on capital deployed," Levy said.

See more:A top BlackRock exec says it's struggling to crack the data conundrum, and the process is full of 'headache and heartache'

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