Interview- BI Dashboards dMINE Sanjay Patel

March 7, 2009
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If you have ever felt frustrated in understanding business metrics at your client organization, or negotiated with a host of either legacy applications that don’t talk to each other or good solutions that cost more than the benefits they bring – a young man from India has a solution for you. With a total implementation time range of 1-6 weeks and at a cost as low as 10,000 USD for Enterprise WIDE implementation, dMine promises to shake things up. Here is an interview with the co-founder of this startup.

Ajay- Describe your career journey. What advice would you give to  new entrepreneurs in this recession?

Sanjay- Equipped with an M. Tech from BITS Pilani, and an MBA from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management, Mumbai, in 2000 I teamed up with Praveen Wicliff to start our own product company with a focus on delivering critical enterprise solutions…  

If you have ever felt frustrated in understanding business metrics at your client organization, or negotiated with a host of either legacy applications that don’t talk to each other or good solutions that cost more than the benefits they bring – a young man from India has a solution for you. With a total implementation time range of 1-6 weeks and at a cost as low as 10,000 USD for Enterprise WIDE implementation, dMine promises to shake things up. Here is an interview with the co-founder of this startup.

Ajay- Describe your career journey. What advice would you give to  new entrepreneurs in this recession?

Sanjay- Equipped with an M. Tech from BITS Pilani, and an MBA from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management, Mumbai, in 2000 I teamed up with Praveen Wicliff to start our own product company with a focus on delivering critical enterprise solutions. The company has now grown to a strong team of 100 innovative minds. My current mission is to make Icicle a strong leader in business-driven software products across all segments with the best of the delivery capabilities.  

Recession is a trying time for most people, and this is one phase that brings out the best in everyone as most of the innovative solutions are floated during this phase. My only suggestion would be to move from an emotional connection with customers to direct tangible benefits, stay focused on cash flow, aim high, set your goals and targets, and never give up on any of these. Even in the darkest moments, find the faith to keep going.

Ajay- One more Dashboard solution. How is dMine different from it’s competitors? What are your principal competitors?

Sanjay- If you just plainly look at dMine, you would think that dMine is just another Dashboard solution. But what makes dMine different from all other competitive products is its intuitiveness and user-friendly features, which help even the business users to use the product most effectively.

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dMine is positioned as a product for business users — not the IT team. Unlike other Dashboard or BI products, dMine can create Dashboards in just 3 easy steps:

1- IT team connects to data sources and create business views

2- Users can create dashboards and charts with dMine’s intuitive interface

3- Users can share dashboards and schedule email in PDF or PPT

The potent combination of best-of-class looking comprehensive graphical and analytical reports, easier representation and interpretation of key business data, the integration of data from multiple systems on a single chart and/or Dashboard for real-time analysis — and all these with minimized IT overheads — is a unique proposition from us. See dMine-in-action on www.dminebi.com and you will appreciate the difference.

Ajay- Where would dMine not be suitable for dashboards? Suppose I have data for 200,000 rows x 40 columns – would dMine work for me? 

Sanjay- dMine is positioned as a pure Dashboard product that does not implement a complete BI stack which requires to work on Transactional Data to create cubes and universe.

We look beyond data warehouses and datamarts and emphasize on summarized data to deliver key business performance metrics with a high focus on data visualization.

The idea here is to target business executives who would see these Dashboards and they are not interested in transactional data but the overall performance hence the summarized data.

Here, the summarized data could be in the form of any RDBMS database, flat files, spreadsheets, analytics output, cubes or universe. We Support almost 16 database vendors in the market, from as small as MS Access to as big as DB2.

Ajay- What is your pricing strategy for dMine? Are there any other products taht complement your product? Name some customer case studies or big wins.

Sanjay- dMine pricing strategy is very simple, keeping keeping in mind that the product can be used by customers in the SME/SMB segment or even at the Enterprise level.

Currently we are offering dMine in two forms:

  • firstly On-Premise, and
  • second one as a Hosted service.

In an on-premise version, dMine has a product license fee and per user license fees issued separately.

At additional cost you can have loads of add-on goodies catering to various needs of the customers. All the cost mentioned above are just one time.

The Hosted version is on a monthly subscription model where the cost is decided based on the various parameters like the usage of bandwidth, server configuration, disk space etc. Very soon it will be enabled for the Amazon cloud service.

Typically, for an on-premise version, a smaller implementation just at a corporate level with Dashboard access to only few top executives would cost anywhere between 10,000 USD to 16,000 USD plus the implementation cost and applicable taxes.

For larger implementation, such as in the BFSI segment where you need to roll out user licenses to branch managers in addition to the top executives, the total user licenses may be something like 100 licenses. Usually, the implementation period is as little as a week and not more than 6 weeks.

Among the customers using dMine are some of the marketing analytics companies that use the product for submitting the final report of their Marketing / Customer Analysis to their end customers.

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Case Study – Summary

We recently implemented dMine at a leading FM Radio channel to monitor the performance across its radio stations spread all over India.

The client, being a major player in the media and communication space, has to constantly monitor all their stations for their entire operations, such as revenues from sponsors, peak and non-peak time inventory and sales, market share and channel ranking, P&L, forecasts, and other critical information.

Currently, the client uses multiple applications for supporting these business functions, which capture data in different databases and sources. The MIS-reports were manually created by extracting data from multiple sources in spreadsheets. These spreadsheets are distributed among management, with a turnaround time of about 15 days.

The dMine solution collates information from multiple data sources like ERP and sales systems, including lots of spreadsheets. More than 70 metrics (KPI’s) and analytics are defined for the client and now the management has access to these information whenever they require.

All these metrics are identified as critical and are categorized under 5 Dashboards: Organizational KPI, Financial Dashboard, Sales Dashboard, Market Share & Metrics Dashboard, and Operational Dashboard. The metrics are parameterized, and drill-downs allow management to get the source of an issue or problem rapidly.

The implementation of dMine Business Dashboard helped the client in effectively monitoring business operations, KPIs, and organizational performance. Making actionable and real-time information available on-demand for the decision-makers and operational managers, has also helped in making timely critical business decisions, and all this while minimizing IT overhead cost. The short implementation time lines also allow users to see the benefits quite quickly and achieve the ROI within 1 to 3 months. The detailed case study is readily available for your reference at our website www.dminebi.com.

Ajay-  Do you read or write blogs? What do you think about the Web 2.0 paradigm for social and community marketing?

Sanjay- I do read and write lots of blogs and am myself a member with quite a few groups that share interest in the virtual community. Web 2.0 provides a platform for many-to-many communications, and in its social sense is based on the principles of collaboration and sharing information and content by putting social interaction at the heart of it all.

A recent study by Fox Interactive Media reveals that 40% of social network users rely on social media outlets to learn more about brands and products. Whether you’re a freelancer promoting your own brand or part of a company, social media marketing is an essential component of an integrated campaign. If you are looking to start a new business, launch a new product or service, or even expand your presence, you cannot miss out on the eMarketing process focusing on three-prong strategy:  social networking sites, your own website, and the blogosphere. These will help empower your brand and positively convey your message.

Ajay– Sanjay Patel is an experienced entrepreneur with Icicle Technologies and the Dmine dashboard is currently winning rave reviews ( see http://www.dminebi.com/ibm-nominates-icicle-as-isv-on-ibm-smart-business-platform/ ). Here’s wishing luck to Mr Patel for the summarized data dashboard that can be a game changer at www.dminebi.com.

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