Startup AlpineMetrics debuted in beta this week, introducing its new business intelligence solution aimed at helping staff on the front lines of business leverage the same kind of insights that those working on the supply chain side, especially in industries dealing with the manufacture of physical goods, have long enjoyed. It’s an approach that, like many efforts these days, is designed to take some of the value of big data out of the hands of data scientists and put it directly into the hands of employees across a wide spectrum of functions.
AlpineMetrics is founded by Erik Udstuen, who used to run software at GE, where he developed industrial automation and asset performance tools using big data analytics. He’s had a long history of applying tech to performance and quality performance maximization, and during that time managing efficiency in a supply chain, he realized that there’s no reason the same kind of insights shouldn’t be brought to bear in areas like sales, customer service and financial modelling as well. And though others have tried approaches to this before, the big problem Udstuen identified that AlpineMetrics seeks to solve is making those kind of analytics easy to use.
“There are a lot of approaches and techniques here relative to analytics that historically we’d been applying in the industrial space to optimize process performance, quality and efficiency, and to take a predictive approach to managing a manufacturing process,” he explained in an interview. “We’re turning 90 degrees to the right here, and taking a lot of those principles and applying them to more business processes.”
Udstuen says that while a lot of the existing tools out there were tracking and gathering the right kind of information, few were taking the additional approach of turning that into a truly predictive analytics model. “I recognized that with a lot of the standard tools like Salesforce.com around marketing and sales, there’s a great opportunity to take a lot of that core data and apply a lot of the process optimization techniques to optimize sales and marketing as well,” he said.
AlpineMetrics is hoping that what will set it apart from others trying to bring big data insights to any company is a system that doesn’t require input from the user in order to deliver useful results up front. The platform can analyze incoming data and then inform users about what they should be paying attention to, and when. Users can define specific roles, and AlpineMetrics will offer up specific metrics they should be paying attention to, targets for each that are both achievable and relevant, and identify courses of action that should be a top priority, as well as flag key indicators regarding the health of performance in any given area.
Others like DataHero are hoping to do the same sort of thing, but pre-sifting data and delivering it to end users in a format that an average employee will be able to understand and employ. But AlpineMetrics is pursuing a very specific angle of process optimization, one that should prove very interesting to businesses who’ve seen what similar approaches can do on the manufacturing/supply side, and are eager to see if it can work as well in other aspects of their organization.
The bootstrapped company is seeking investment at the moment, which Udstuen says will ideally come from partners who can contribute more than just capital since the startup isn’t “capital-constrained” at the moment, and can instead offer opportunities to help build strategic relationships. Coming from the background it does and operating in the hot big data space, it’s likely that AlpineMetrics will be able to the right kind of venture interest for its business model.