I am very humbled to write this letter as the Cofounder and CEO of Numtra. I still remember the day I joined Microsoft after finishing my Masters in Computer Science back in the late 90s. I was very excited about my first job in Microsoft as a SQL Server support engineer. It has been a long and fruitful journey from a Support Engineer at Microsoft to CEO at Numtra. I am truly humbled.
Numtra is a data science company, and we are in the business of helping companies gain insight from the data they already possess. We do this through our Data Science & IOT Platform, and we employ our deep data science expertise where needed. The origin of the word Numtra is “Numbers and Mantra,” as in we do magic with numbers. ?
Or should the question really be what is Numtra’s Why? It saddens me to see so many companies unable to gain insight from the data that is already with them. I see three roadblocks they typically run into:
We knew there must be a better way. We wanted to make it dead simple for non-technical business folks and traditional software engineers to gain value from their data. To empower them to make a difference to their company’s bottom-line.
I am very influenced by my two role models – Satya Nadella & Jeff Bezos. I absolutely love Nadella’s Growth Mindset Philosophy and Jeff Bezos’s Day 1 Philosophy. We believe Numtra’s culture is all about the growth mindset (as opposed to fixed mindset), and it is always Day 1 at Numtra (as opposed to Day 2).
The three things that give me inspiration from the Day 1 concept are:
The three things that give me inspiration from the Growth mindset are:
These six themes drive the philosophy of how we do things at Numtra. It is imbibed in our company culture. In our employees. In our products. In our engagements with customers. In our partnerships. In everything we do.
Our philosophy would not be complete if I didn’t say a thing or two about Day 2 and Fixed Mindset so you can contrast them. Fixed Mindset means i) giving up easily and ii) avoiding challenges and Day 2 is i) stasis followed by ii) irrelevance followed by iii) painful death.
Wow! As you can see, the alternative is very bad. We might as well go for the gold J
There is a new term gaining a lot of momentum – Citizen Data Scientist. Imagine a single environment where business analysts, big data engineers, data scientists, devops engineers, and management come together and collaborate for the success of the company. Imagine working collaboratively with the data the company already has in this environment. Imagine accomplishing all of this, even when there are no data scientists in your company.
Imagine no more.
What you want is a Data Science Platform. If you are a small and medium business company that doesn’t have data scientists and big data engineers on staff, not a problem. Our real-time data science platform is built from the ground up on open-source technologies; primarily Apache Spark. It is easy to use, and includes drag and drop interface, digital canvas style, and palettes for category organization. Did I say easy?
Coming back to the term “Citizen Data Scientist” – who this really means is any employee in the company that understands the business they are in, what problems the business is trying to solve, and where the data is. That’s all. That employee is now empowered to use our data science platform and start gaining insights using machine learning and predictive analytics to their advantage. They don’t need to have PhDs, they don’t even need to understand the mathematics behind it. They just need to know which models solve what kind of business problems. And there are many resources freely available on the internet with that mapping. You can create simple to complex workflows that will guide you along the path of gaining insights!
Or maybe the question should really be what will the future hold for companies that are not using data science? There is hardly any industry not transformed by data science. To quote Tom Goodwin – “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate.” These companies are adding tremendous value by consuming data, and using it to provide value to their consumers. They are using data science to match a vacation planner with the right home, to match the consumer on the side of the road to the nearest cab, to match the reader with only the articles he would be interested in, to name just a few scenarios. And data science is not just for big companies! It can help small and medium business companies as well. I believe that companies who are not using data science, however small or big, will ultimately struggle against their competition.
The long-term plan for Numtra is simple: To make a positive impact on as many companies as possible across all industries and all sizes. To help the companies we touch gain actionable insight, so as to make a difference to their bottom-line. Data science is for everyone. I sincerely hope you will join us.