Data analyst turned entrepreneur, Sreeram Sreenivasan, knew all too well the pain points of using data processing and reporting applications like SaS and Microstrategy, and decided to develop a simple and intuitive solution that caters to the startup and SME market. Launched in October last year, Ubiq is an intuitive MySQL and analytics tool ideal for eCommerce entrepreneurs who want to get serious about analysing their data and understanding how it can enhance their business.
Ubiq is a subscription-based, dashboarding tool for web and mobile applications, making it easier for businesses to understand user demographics, product usage, sales performance, and more, without any programming knowledge. Users simply sign up via www.ubiq.co, connect their web or mobile data and start creating reports straight from their browsers.
Sreenivasan was formerly working at a global sales and marketing consulting firm, ZS Associates, where he realised how expensive and inefficient older data processing were: “These applications are bulky and difficult to learn and use – not to mention, they’re quite expensive for startups and SMEs.”
“It used to take a few months just to get a demonstration from the team, negotiate the license, and get someone to install the application and conduct proper training. That’s when I started wondering if I can build something that would allow people to just sign up and start using immediately,” adds Sreenivasan.
He started developing Ubiq, when he was noticed by Sameer Guglani, Founder of The Morpheus, an accelerator programme based in India. Sreenivasan was invited into the programme – in which he received $10,000 worth of seed funds and mentoring from established entrepreneur. He met investors in the process, but decided not to take the relationship any further.
Sreenivasan quickly built a minimum viable product (MVP) – a term popularised by Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup. Sreenivasan says, “This is a good way to validate your idea – rather than building too many features only to find out no-one needs it.”
After he compiled a list of features, Sreenivasan created a few wireframes using the Pencil mock-up tool, and entered into the coding phase. Then it was just about building the website, a live video demonstration, dashboard examples and documentation so that visitors can understand the application’s utility.
“Communicating your product is as important as building it. Everything you see on Ubiq web site is a result of hundreds of iterations based on valuable feedback from friends, users and The Morpheus Gang,” says Sreenivasan.
When asked what makes Ubiq unique, Sreenivasan says that before user would have to do a lot of manual work to analyse their data, whereas with Ubiq users can drag and drop the information they want to analyse from the dashboard side bar, and the tool will automatically prepare a graph.
“Many businesses are starting to make product and marketing decisions based on data-driven insight. There’s definitely a need for effective and easy to use analytics tools. With Ubiq, you don’t need to allocate dedicated developers or an IT team to manage,” says Sreenivasan.
Sreenivasan decided to implement an SaaS business model – to make the tool affordable for startups and SMEs, while at the same time ensuring sustainability for his business.
At the moment, users get a 30-day free trial on signup. After the trial period ends, they can upgrade to one of the monthly paid plans. There are two plans at the moment – $18 per month and $45 per month. Custom plans are also available based on customer request.
His greatest achievement with the business to date, is the validation he has received from customers.
“Recently, people whom I don’t even know, have started signing up and becoming paying customers. That is a good validation of the idea. It is very encouraging,” says Sreenivasan.
The biggest challenge, on the flip side, has been marketing. Sreenivasan admits he’s had difficulty communication the concept.
“It’s important to be able to describe product benefits the right way to the right people. It’s very easy for people to not understand what you are doing or the benefits of using your product. You have to keep refining your pitch and targeting different types of people until it clicks,” he says.
Nonetheless, customer feedback has been very positive.
For more information, visit www.ubiq.co.