When former data analyst turned entrepreneur, Sreeram Sreenivasan, experienced the pain points of using enterprise data processing and reporting applications like SAS in his day job, he decided to develop his own solution (www.ubiq.co) to solve for the issues he experienced. We launched an offer for Ubiq Analytics on our Membership Program late 2013, and it has since gone on to generate a significant buzz from our member base. We were so impressed with Ubiq, that we shared the offer with our partners’ over at Startup Weekend, who have promoted it widely to their community as well. We caught up with Sreeram in Mumbai, to learn more about his influences, motivations and journey as an entrepreneur.
1. What is Ubiq?
Ubiq is a web-based reporting & analytics tool. Ubiq makes it easy to create web based dashboards to understand user demographics, product usage, sales performance and a lot more, without any programming. It is ideal for startups & SMEs that want to track progress & get insights regularly.
2. Who is Sreeram?
I graduated out of college in 2008 with a B.Tech in computer science and went straight to work at a global sales and marketing consulting firm called ZS Associates in Pune. I had already worked on a number of software projects as part of my curriculum so the natural step was to get a more holistic understanding of how the business world works. At the time I thought I would work for a few years after college and then go back to doing an MBA. The idea of starting my own company hadn’t occurred to me, I had never considered it. At that time a lot of interesting new technology was emerging- and I remember being excited by it all as I checked out the latest devices with friends at the local mall. iPad, iPhones, cloud technology, it was all happening!
At my day job at ZS associates, I worked mainly with large US pharmaceutical companies who tasked us with major analytics projects. The pharma industry in the US is very data-driven and relies on having structured datasets to make business decisions. Our remit was to help these companies to understand their data better through customized segmentation and deep customer analysis. In-house we used big enterprise data processing and reporting applications like SAS and Microstrategy to crunch the data. I remember being struck by how bulky they were to operate, typically IT are required to configure these tools and you needed to be trained for a minimum of 2-3 weeks just to be able to use basic features like querying, and viewing certain relationships. That’s when I started wondering if I can build something that would allow people to just sign up and start using immediately.
3. Tell us more about Ubiq. What problem is it trying to solve? What gives it the edge?
With Cloud and mobile technologies coming of age, and Ecommerce business moving to the cloud, everything became more ‘plug and play’, that’s when I started thinking that I could develop something which would allow businesses to jump into their data to see basic trends. My inspiration came from cloud technology apps like Dropbox, which are really intuitive and easy to configure.
The final deliverables on most data projects are typically Excel reports. In my former day job, one of the biggest issues we suffered was ensuring that the data was up-to-date and relevant by the time it got to the client. All too often, we would make up the reports in Excel and distribute them via email to the client. Then when the data was updated things would get messed up and fall out of sync because it was hard to keep track of which version the client had. That’s when I thought; there must be a web solution to this? Wouldn’t it be better to just send web links to clients?
Ubiq is a web-based tool so there is very little maintenance. There’s no need to reconfigure your database or dashboards and you don’t need to allocate dedicated developers or an IT team to manage it.
Ubiq works in real-time on your data or database- there is no need to manipulate the data in order to make it actionable. Also, you don’t need to upload your data to other people or service providers (that was one of the biggest pain points I experienced as a data analyst). Ubiq will update to show latest information when your databases update.
Ubiq is targeted at web-based business like Ecommerce, SAAS and Mobile apps. Right now, our customer base is largely from the ecommerce and saas world -they mostly focused their efforts in Ubiq on optimizing marketing campaigns. Saas businesses use it mostly to track conversion and retention rates, and assess the performance of product features.”
4. Why .CO?
At the time, ‘ubiq.com’ wasn’t available so I was researching other alternatives when I learned about. CO. I went straight to Wikipedia to learn more and liked the sound of it. .CO was perfect for me because I wanted a short domain name, and on an intuitive level .CO indicates company – so that was cool too!
When I did a search on ‘codomains’ in Google I was directed to the go.co site and learned all about the part that .CO plays in the startup community- it’s really great to see how .CO helps startups. The site helped build my trust in the .CO domain, you can see a lot of great people are involved and committed to making this domain work.
I also found an article on GO.CO about the SEO benefits of the domain extension and was relieved to learn that the domain is also SEO-friendly.
The Membership Program has been really great for me in a number of ways; I had a free SEO consultation with Gretchen, Ubiq.co was featured as a case study on go.co, and then Ubiq became an offer on the Membership Program and was introduced to Startup Weekend to get Ubiq to their community. Since then, I have seen a bump in my traffic and have also secured a paying customer in Africa!
To me quality leads are more important than quantity of traffic. One paying customer is worth more than thousands of visitors!
5. What’s next for you and Ubiq?
We’ve just come out private beta, so we will begin marketing and promoting in earnest. It’s now just about getting the product out there and letting people know that Ubiq can help solve their reporting and analytics woes!