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Vision: Empowering clients to make scientific, data driven decisions.

Mission: To create decision enabling tools, which combine the power of predictive analytics and the latest technology, and enable the user to make the right decision at the right time with the right data.

Headquartered in Kolkata, SIBIA founded by Angshuman Bhattacharya is an up and coming marketing and consumer analytics venture that Jigsaw Academy is proud to feature this week. Truly enabling smarter decisions, the team at SIBIA has more than 40 years of experience in the field of analytics. They bring to the table an expert knowledge of best practices in multiple types of marketing and customer analytics and multi disciplinary knowledge across technology, statistics and econometrics among others.

In a recent interview, Angshuman was kind enough take us behind the scenes of SIBIA. He told us what inspired him to start this venture, his vision for SIBIA as well as his predictions for the future of analytics. Here are some excerpts from the interview.

What inspired you to start SIBIA?

After more than a decade in analytics, working for top IT service companies as well as specialized analytics services companies, there were a few things that began to haunt me:

The way analytics was being served: We used to do very deep analyses on clients data, often without properly understanding the business or how they were going to use it. We would make presentations with limited connections to the business challenge. There was no way that the insights thus gained could be used by the client in the strategic planning process. In many cases, the outcome was a nice academic exercise.

Offline Approach: The overall approach of analytics, in general, was more ‘offline’, not a real time business enabler. The world being dynamic and ever changing, analytics has to be predictive and usable in real time in order to make it more useful in the hands of the business user.

SMBs were largely ignored: Traditional analytics solution providers as well as the specialized analytics softwares vendors have traditionally seen only the enterprises as their market, in mainly the US and UK markets. However, the large market of small and medium businesses (SMBs) area were also hungry to optimize their processes across functions, leverage their data and generate analytics insights as well as embed analytics in their decision making process.

In an effort to address the above issues SIBIA was born. We wanted to serve the SMB market with solutions that were affordable, usable and fast. It required coming out from the mould of serving large enterprises, but I believe we are successful in adopting this model.  It’s the classic bottom of the pyramid approach that Late Prof C K Prahlad has taught the world! Different from the traditional analytics model, but equally effective.

What is SIBIA all about?

The concept is simple – take the black box of methodology out of the client delivery, and provide them final predictive output and a system where they can create and evaluate scenarios. Take the data, create and run analyses offline in our development center, and deliver the outcome as a packaged solution. This way, the client need not bother about any technology or methodology, but will receive an effective outcome. We own the methodology part and do our best to optimize the models.

Our offerings are affordable. Created around open source technologies, cloud computing and valuable partnerships with software providers, we can offer a solution for almost any budget.

What advice do you have for others contemplating an analytics start up?

  • Keep your eyes wide open, and think out of the box!
  • Use available technology solutions to benefit the client. Leverage Database systems. Adopt open source statistical softwares.
  • Focus on a domain/ industry/ process you are knowledgeable in. If you have the business domain skill, your solution will be much more effective.
  • Create a solution or business model around the client objectives, not around a methodology/ process that you are comfortable with.

Learnings

There were many a humble learning experiences. We learnt that using cost effective technologies does not involve a trade off on quality/ effort requirement. New technologies are only limited by our knowledge and dexterity to use them. Every project was a learning experience and we are still learning but now we know the horizons.

Future of analytics/SIBIA

Analytics needs to break free from the captivity of the large and few. We need to provide analytics for all sizes and shape and for many purposes rather than a few. Firms that work towards this will not only be successful in the long run, but will also define the shape of the industry.

Open source technologies, cloud computing, newer methods of data mining/ pattern recognition, data visualization all will play pivotal role in defining the analytics of future. Also many new areas of analytics application, which are not traditionally thought of having potential for data analytics, will emerge as challenge areas.

We, at SIBIA, are focusing on creating a model where multi disciplinary and multiple skills are leveraged to create a complete solution. We are committed to bringing excellence and innovation to the solutions we develop.

In the few months of our existence, we have had some challenging projects that involved for example advanced analytics for digital marketing. This took us out of our comfort zone. But we were able to deliver successfully and this has done loads for our confidence. As a marketing analytics focused firm, it also opened up a new area where digital and traditional marketing can talk to each other and can be analyzed as a complete marketing process. We realized that a challenging area of fusion analytics in marketing exists. It was the best learning we had in recent times. We are now focusing our solutions in these areas too.

Interested in a career in Data Science?
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