Previously, I wrote about the lack of intelligence in current BI tools. Looking forward, what are the traits of a modern BI platform that truly delivers on the promise of intelligence?

Trait 1: It understands the data it operates on

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This modern BI platform understands concepts like Sales, Churn, Upsell, Leads, Opportunities, Deals etc. Therefore it can immediately offer deep insights, no human coaxing required. For instance, it quantitatively understands that churn and sales are inversely related and is able to quantify that for the human decision maker. It understands that all steps in a funnel are connected. Therefore instead of offering step-specific numbers, it is able to contextualize a step’s performance and it’s impact on the entire funnel. …

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The Big Data wave has done exactly what it promised — landed dunes of data at our doorstep. Clickstream data, shopping data, customer support data, app usage data, user engagement data, email and ad clickthrough data…you name it, we have it. While there’s a continued appetite to collect even more data, we are grappling with our inability to extract intelligent, actionable information from the data to run our businesses.

Having been an operator and advisor at several B2C companies, I’m always amazed by the lack of insight relative to the volume of data being collected.

The three prevalent tactics companies deploy to overcome this challenge of data without insight…

You have a brilliant idea — great!

Next step: Talk to some customers to understand if it’s actually great. Do some market research to see what else is out there.

If this is a consumer idea, doing the research is simple. Run an ad campaign on Instagram. Talk to family and friends. Lurk around where your customers hang out, and then approach them. Run a survey. Search for similar ideas on Google or in the app store. Try out competitive products by signing up (which is usually free). All pretty simple.

However, if this is a B2B idea, doing the research is not for the faint of heart! …

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6 months ago I finally decided to start my own company. I knew the team and culture I wanted to build, and the value I wanted to create.

I just needed to figure out The idea.

Many founders I spoke with shared that their idea came from existing domain expertise, or from deep passion. I couldn’t relate since my experiences & interests are varied. Through trial and error, I’ve learned that it takes at most 7 days to weed out obviously bad ideas, and years to craft a great one. …


Mona Akmal

Startups. Big tech companies. Product person. Entrepreneur. Lover of cats, dogs and novel ideas.

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