Amid the advent of new technologies, selecting the right technology and exploring it to the maximum potential is a significant challenge that businesses are facing today. With the proliferation of data analytics into almost every industry and the promises of what it will deliver, it’s surprising that most businesses are yet to gain the ROI out of it. Limited access to talent stifles a technology-driven approach to business execution and development. Mashey is a company that is helping enterprises to gain the value out of their data analytics investments. In this interview with CIO Applications, Philip Lima, CEO of Mashey explains how the company’s solutions and services are turning the corners for their clients with the power of data and analytics.
Tell us about the founding principles of Mashey.
Mashey is the result of knowledge and experience that I gained over the years watching and helping companies use data and analytics to perform better. The story behind the inception was when a manufacturing company hired me as a business analyst for a new division. I quickly realized that they didn’t need me to produce more reports, they needed a new way of working. They needed to have easy and reliable access to information that helped them day to day, and the context to make it meaningful. After I set out to solve that problem, I realized it was really hard to cut through marketing jargon and figure out what various tools actually did and how best to use them. After delving deeper, I gauged a similar need in the industry and decided I wanted to solve this problem for lots of companies, not just my current employer.
What is your unique strategy to address the challenges faced by your clients?
First, it’s all about people—the breathing humans that sit on the other side of technology and make changes to the business. So often we read and hear talk about how particular products or services might benefit a company, and it’s easy to forget that companies are collections of people doing work. Technology doesn’t solve problems, people do, and great companies exist because of people doing great work. They didn’t just magically appear as successful companies, and it’s not random either.
Any analytics solution we build focuses on getting people the right information in context so they can perform at their potential. People are most valuable when they are acting, and technology is most valuable when it accelerates the decision-making process of the people.
Second, less is more. There has been a lot of hype around “big data” during the past 7 years or so, and it seemed to peak around 2014. Now it seems more people are realizing that they are not getting the clarity they expected from having more information.
It’s easy to forget that companies are collections of people doing work. Technology doesn’t solve problems, people do, and great companies exist because of people doing great work
Ironically, people often feel more overwhelmed and confused by all the information they now have at their disposal.
Most of the golden nuggets we find people using to drive high impact in their companies still sits in the simpler, structured and semi-structured data sets. For this reason, we have dedicated our focus on building expertise and solutions that are optimized for those parts of business data, and that present data people need along with the context required to make sense of it.
Can you demonstrate how you engrain customers’ success into the solutions you build?
A funny thing happens when the focus is shifted from company gains to enabling people to do better work. The problem becomes one of user experience, with the solution being something that makes people’s job easier. Technology typically outputs more things for people to look at, dig into and care about. Effectively they have made that individual’s job harder because now they have more to manage, and it’s frustrating to see this perpetuate.
For one of our clients, we have built a unified experience that allows users at hospitals to get all the information they care about in one place, powered by smart search and alerting on anomalous and favorited data points. Not only can they see their own performance, they can see how they compare to others—giving their data context. It’s the same experience and functionality we expect from apps we use on our phones in personal life, features that are somehow not making it into business applications. This is an example of how we use technology to help the users know what to focus on, rather than giving them a dashboard or report and hoping they find the gems. This solution we built has generated a new line of business for the company that now has the ability to generate millions in annual recurring revenue. Everyone that has seen the solution sees it as the best use of data and analytics they’ve seen in their industry.
We not only enable our customers to find new business lines, we help them improve existing ones. Another example is how we enabled a manufacturing company to better understand what was happening with their shipping revenue and costs. They lacked easy access to data and ran the function largely based on gut, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not scalable, especially for new people who join the team and don’t have the same well-trained sense of the uniqueness of the business. We stepped in and built a solution that associated order data with external data from UPS, FedEx, and other package carriers. This gave line of sight to past performance and ability to see where they were doing well but aren’t anymore. Now both inexperienced and seasoned logistics managers can prove or disprove what they thought was happening and really optimize their shipping function. The solution enables scalable, predictable, and repeatable performance management for all, and the best part is they reached positive ROI within a month!
Can you share insights into the future of Mashey?
It still feels difficult and slow to build a great data analytics ecosystem within a company, and success is still not guaranteed because everything is one-off. Soon, we will be launching an easy to deploy platform powered by the best technology in the industry. The plug and play platform will allow people to start small and build within a framework that has been proven across multiple years of experience and several industry use cases. We will continue to offer implementation and support services for the platform and seek continuous feedback from customers for product enhancement. Whatever we build or support, it will always be focused on making employees better so companies can benefit from their good employees becoming great ones.