Thinking Beyond the Obvious through Quality Data

Murali Vasudevan, Founder and CEO, Datonique Inc.

The inception story of the companyfrom the idea to materialization:

I have spent almost a decade in data and analytics. During this time, I have worked with companies in technology, entertainment, mobile gaming, marketing, legal, etc. As I spent more time within the product, business, and analytics teams, I realized that every company needs a data wrangler–someone who can tame this beast that is data the company regularly spins out of its products and businesses. I then started seeing patterns in what the different asks for analytics were and started formulating a 3-pillar approach to data analytics, which I call my IRIS pillar approach–infrastructure, reporting, and insights. Further I began consulting independently with companies that needed these services. Once I started seeing traction there, I formally formed my company Datonique Inc to focus on world-class data engineering and analytics services.

Since inception, we have successfully helped our clients get better equipped with their data and making sense of it to grow their business. Looking back, I am proud of myself to start the company and would have started earlier than that, but it reaffirms the most important thing about entrepreneurship. Do not think, analyze, plan too much–do it, just do it. Doing is more important than thinking beyond a certain point. It is easier if it has been your forte and your field all along the way.

The unique pain points you address in your market:

The addressable market for us is any small, medium, or large company that is looking for data or analytics services. However, our sweet spot lately has been startups that have just raised money or have their product out in the market and do not have the technical know-how on building the data pipelines or defining KPIs for their products. They do not have the means to hire a full-fledged analytics team, so they benefit tremendously from Datonique being their “outsourced data team.” We take care of everything from them from scratch–setting up their data infrastructure (data warehouse, SDK), defining their success metrics, measuring those metrics, setting up reporting tools, and performing regular analyses and occasional data science projects to answer some hard questions.

"Since inception, we have successfully helped our clients get better equipped with their data and making sense of it to grow their business"

This has propelled our growth in this segment, and we want to be the industry leader in the SMB and startup segment.

The experience gained, the evolution, and the elements that triggered the evolution:

We have gained a lot of valuable experience in this space and this geo in the past year or so. We have learned that the startup world and the SMB world are looking for services like ours to help them grow their business through data and analytics. So, we have evolved to be the Outsourced Chief Digital Officer to these startups. The chief element of this evolution is that there is no data and analytics service provider to help these fledgling startups and hold their hands as their launch and grow their products. There are a lot of products for these startups, but none that can help them truly the way they want to be helped.

Towards this, we are working on productizing our offerings and services to the SMBs and startups so we can scale our set up while trying to grow our clientele. This is easier said than done, but we are actively looking at ways to achieve 60-80 percent of this goal, so it does not have to be customized for each and every client.

Advice for budding entrepreneurs:

Here are a few points of advice to budding and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Do not be afraid to try, test, and fail: Think of your idea deeply first and then try out a few ways to implement it, test out some mechanisms and be fine to fail at first. Remember! The faster you fail, the faster you learn and grow.

Understand the worst case scenario along with the best case scenario: This is going to be different advice, but before you take on risks, my advice is always to understand the worst case scenario as well as the best case scenario. This helps you look at the risks and what happens if the initiatives you undertook didn’t pan out the way you expected them to.

Try to carve out a niche for your company: As is always with your identity, try to carve out a niche for your company. Think of the sweet spot, the niche, the unique selling point, and build on top of it. Your identity as a company is very important to its attention and growth.

Partner with other companies and providers in the space: Do not be afraid to partner with other companies or people in the space. Help spread their word as they do to yours.

Complementarity is beneficial: Try to find other products or companies or business models that complement yours. This makes it more beneficial to clients to have a more holistic solution. Example: If you are an analytics provider, try to find SDK providers, marketing solution providers, attribution platforms to work with or provide as reference to your client.

Hustle, hustle, and hustle: When you start off, hustle as much as possible. Pitch to as many people/companies as possible, get feedback from them or your colleagues/mentors, go to meetups sign up for meet and greets, travel to conferences, and get exposure/marketing to your company.

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