Roambi Sees 2013 as Pivotal Year for Data Analytics, Visualization
We all know the tide of “big data” has been rising, and there is no shortage of companies applying analytics and data visualization tools to help business leaders and other people make better decisions.
Nevertheless, the Roambi mobile visualization technology that Solana Beach, CA-based Mellmo has developed for Apple iOS stands apart in terms of innovation—especially when it comes to creating simple-but-compelling graphic displays for the iPad.
“We invent new ways of visualizing data that are simple, intuitive, and very engaging,” says Santiago Becerra, Mellmo’s founding CEO. Santiago and his son David, who is Roambi’s vice president of strategy and business development, say they’re encouraged by the five-year-old company’s outlook for 2013.
The Becerras maintain that Roambi is ideally positioned to resolve a paradox among enterprise customers, which the company highlighted in a customer survey released today. While more than two-thirds (67.7 percent) of enterprise customers rank big data analysis and business intelligence as technology investment priorities for 2013, less than half say they derive much value from their own business data.
The key to solving that unmet need, they say, are the kind of interactive data visualization tools that can instantly separate the signal from the noise, transforming statistics into meaningful information. They maintain that Roambi provides that capability with a variety of infographic tools, such as Roambi Squares, which provides an interactive grid for comparing, contrasting, and comprehending complex data. And they say there are more Roambi tools to come in 2013.
“I see next year as being a pivotal year for the whole industry,” Santiago says. “The evolution of different technologies is generating a perfect storm for making significant enhancements in our product. It’s creating perfect conditions for us to deliver on the promise of mobility to break new ground for new use cases.”
The company’s Web-based analytics enables mobile users to quickly create impromptu business presentations that convert business data from spreadsheets and databases into interactive infographic displays. “Mobility is changing everything, and the industry continues to change quite fast,” Santiago says.
Roambi, which now has more than 140 employees, has more than 6,500 customer using its cloud-based data visualization technologies and over 300 Fortune 1,000 customers in 23 countries. Roambi says its tools are now available in 12 languages.
Of Roambi’s existing customers, Santiago says pharmaceuticals probably have been the fastest to adopt Roambi analytics. He attributes that to the pharmaceutical industry’s fast adoption of iPads, which are well suited to the “always on” needs of pharmaceutical sales reps.
“In pharma, they’re visiting doctors who have little time to meet,” Santiago says. “So they have very short periods of time, and they need to be super-prepared. They don’t have time for a laptop to boot up.” Instead of taking time to create a customized sales pitch, pharma reps use Roambi to instantly display relevant data, Santiago says. “What has made Roambi so attractive is that they can save so much time that it enables them to do one more [sales] visit per day.”
Industry research suggests that most doctors also use an iPad—Santiago estimates that 65 percent of physicians use iPads—which is one reason why he says he has no plans at this time to develop Roambi for rival tablets based on Android or other operating systems.
“It’s not a priority at this point,” he says. “The tradeoff has been between continuing to accelerate our innovation in iOS or to divert development resources to work in a new platform that doesn’t show much signs of life. So far, the decision is a no-brainer.”
The company also has begun to see Roambi used outside business analytics. For example, the government of South Africa recently used Roambi’s Web-based publishing app to distribute new demographic data from the country’s 2011 census. Australia’s Sydney International Airport also recently began using Roambi to give managers real-time data visualization of airport operations, including flight arrivals, delays, and departures.
“Business intelligence happened to be the first market where we have seen a lot of growth,” Santiago says. “But it’s a small part of the market that we see now.”