Currently funded by a select group of private individuals and angel investors, Crayon Data is defining the Big Data landscape by not just creating products and applications but by nurturing and developing ideas and thought leadership. With a development centre in Chennai, Crayon reflects the next phase of the journey of Suresh V. Shankar, Founder, Crayon Data, as an entrepreneur, an innovator and an analytics evangelist. Crayon is in the process of building a business and technology platform that democratizes the use of big data for the average business and consumer. VARINDIA spoke to Suresh V. Shankar to get an insight about Crayon and where the organization stands in the comity of players in the Big Data space.
What was the rationale behind the establishment of Crayon Data? When and how did the company come into being?
Crayon’s vision is Big Data Made Simple. We aim to do this by challenging the existing business models of vendors and by changing the way organizations handle the increasing complexity of using analytics in the age of “big data”.
How was Crayon funded?
Crayon is currently funded by a select group of private individuals and angel investors. However, as we proceed towards Series A funding, we have seen immense interest and response from the market, which we consider as a testament to – and validation of – our unique approach to Big Data Analytics.
How would you differentiate between Data and Big Data?
Traditionally, data and data analysis has been carried out by carefully structuring data in a pre-defined format, and processing it in batches which are easy to manage and transform to derive insights.
Big Data is characterized by the vast volumes of information now being captured by the variety of formats data resides in (texts, images, instrumentation data, etc), and by the immense velocity or pace of data creation. Consider that we are more connected than ever before and each one of us now leaves a trail of digital exhaust, an infinite stream of phone records, texts, browser histories, GPS data and other information that will live on forever. This phenomenon is called “Big Data”.
What are the big drivers for Big Data?
Over the past few years, it has become extraordinarily cheap to collect and store information, by virtue of plummeting hardware costs and the rise of software technologies like Hadoop. However, just storing vast quantities of data doesn’t mean that we are deriving or maximizing the potential benefits from it.
The ability to ingest disparate data sources and make sense of them in real time is the real driver of Big Data. Crayon’s “Whitebox” platform leverages advanced technologies to bring together various different forms of data to paint a picture about our behaviour, including intent, influence, and tastes to drive more intelligent decision making. We do this by using an innovative visualization element that removes the clutter in analysis and presents business users ideas they can act on immediately.
How can SMBs address the issue of Big Data?
Big Data puts information at the fingertips of SMBs to rapidly innovate and grow. We see Big Data allowing SMBs to target and acquire potential clients / merchants / vendors more effectively and gain a deeper understanding of customers, ultimately allowing them to seize new opportunities and transform the way they do business.
Tell us about your products and solutions?
We have built a big data platform that vastly expands the data sets beyond enterprise data. By connecting the internal data of a client with the world of data outside, including social data, we are able to provide richer and more intelligent data-led decisions for our clients.
Our data ingestion and curation engine (called WhiteBox) is the foundation on which we offer our unique “Choice Engine”. This engine (SimplerChoices) seeks to simplify the choices available for both clients’ internal decisions (customer lifecycle management, risk management, pricing, channel management, marketing and sales optimization) and for consumers.
SimplerChoices represents the next wave of analytics which allows for a predictive, algorithm, machine-learning led approach to decision making, rather than a historical, people-led model. Over time, this improves confidence in decisions, saves time and energy for managers, and vastly improves the cost efficiency of analytics.
Additionally, we have developed an innovative visualization element that removes the clutter in analysis and presents business users ideas they can act on immediately
Finally, Crayon’s business model is a pay-per-use subscription and success-fee based model that charges client not for effort but for output and value created.