Working in three broad areas of retail intelligence, brand analytics and the emerging space of alternative data, DataWeave shows a great promise to be an emerging technology company, providing actionable analytics to businesses. With their technology platform aggregating and analysing millions of unstructured data points across multiple data sources, DataWeave has been producing insights through dashboards, reports, visualisations and APIs.
“The retail industry is at the cusp of a dramatic transformation, driven by the rapid growth of eCommerce. This massive scale shift has democratised the industry, resulting in fierce competition and margin pressure. Shoppers today can easily compare prices across competitors online, resulting in an unprecedented need for retailers to be the lowest priced in the market, even if that means significantly cutting into their margins”, says Karthik Bettadapura, Co-Founder and CEO, DataWeave. Karthik is an alumnus of IIIT Bangalore and has a decade of experience in developing and managing large scale web and data analytics products and platforms.
He believes that it is crucial for retailers (and consumer brands) to continuously stay updated on the competitive environment, so they can drive efficient pricing strategies and react in time to price and product changes performed by their competitors.
“Our purpose-built, AI-enabled data aggregation and analysis platform harnesses billions of data points from diverse web sources to provide retailers and consumer brands with key competitive insights on pricing, product assortment, and promotions in near-real-time”, he said. These data points and insights are typically accessed through their SaaS-based data visualisation portal or are directly fed through APIs into the client’s internal analytics platforms.
Founded in 2011 by Karthik Bettadapura and Vikranth Ramanolla, DataWeave delivers highly accurate data and insights, in a form that can easily be consumed and acted on by different teams for different use cases.
Detailing on the retail intelligence and brand offerings
Vikranth Ramanolla, Co-Founder and CTO at DataWeave explains that retailers use DataWeave’s Retail Intelligence to optimise their pricing, promotions, and product assortment strategies. “We enable them to identify and act on price improvement opportunities, achieve their desired competitive price position across product categories, plug high-demand gaps in their product assortment, and track the online promotions of their competitors, thereby enabling profitable growth”, he said. Vikranth, an alumnus of IIIT Bangalore as well, has over 8 years of experience in building big data platforms and large scale unstructured data aggregation and analysis engines. His areas of expertise include information retrieval, advanced operating systems, and web services.
Consumer brands, on the other hand use DataWeave’s brand analytics to protect their brand equity online, and optimise the experience delivered to shoppers on eCommerce websites. It aids them in their digital transformation journey and enable them to better govern and optimise their online presence. “Popular use cases in this area includes minimum advertised price (MAP) monitoring, tracking and optimising the share of voice (SOV) of online promotions, enhancing the discoverability of products, unearthing customer sentiments from online reviews, and other areas of revenue optimisation”, he said.
Using data to make better decisions
Quite often, for up to 20% of products that are the lowest priced, the prices are more than 30% lower than the next lowest priced competitor. Such inefficiencies in pricing (and other functions of retail) occur largely due to complexities inherent in the dynamic world of online retail. Retailers need timely information on their competitors, so they can react quickly and derive maximum value from shoppers.
“Our technology provides them with up-to-date information as often as they need it, while also sending them alerts and notifications to trigger swift price changes. Beyond such tactical advantages, we also help drive long-term strategies, such as building the desired price perception among shoppers by enabling consistent monitoring and tweaking of the competitive price position and delivering historical insights on the pricing of competitors – all of which can be accessed at a highly granular level.”, he said.
In theory, retailers today look to combine internal data with insights on their competitors’ pricing, product assortment, and promotions, to develop smarter, data-driven strategies. However, harnessing web data is a challenge, as it is massive, noisy, unstructured, and continuously changing.
This is where DataWeave’s technology comes to the aid of retailers. “Our clients have been able to consistently make sharper pricing and assortment expansion decisions, that have yielded up to 35% increase in the top line and up to 15% increase in the bottom line, for a set of products tracked”, said Bettadapura.
Exploring the space of Alternative Data
Entrusted by some of the world’s most recognisable retailers and brands such as eBay, Metro Cash & Carry, Rakuten, Adidas, Netgear, Unilog, and several more, retail remains the company’s primary vertical of focus. They have also taken encouraging strides forward in the emerging space of Alternative Data, which is the use of non-traditional sources of data by investors and asset managers to gain a competitive edge in their efforts to better predict and evaluate the performance of portfolio businesses or industry verticals.
Explaining a use case, Bettadapura said “For one of our clients, we scoped one of the world’s leading online travel agent (OTA) websites and aggregated critical data and insights on the number of accommodation properties listed, the number of available rooms, and the rate of bookings, across several regions. This information, on being fed into our client’s financial forecasting models, resulted in a strong correlation with the financial health and performance of the OTA website”.
Growth story and future plans
Following a series of funding from a diverse group of institutional investors from US, India and Singapore, the company plans to strategically expand their sales, marketing, customer success initiatives, scale the technology platform and grow a presence in North America. “In fact, we recently set up shop in the San Francisco Bay Area, which is in addition to our office in Seattle, WA. We will soon see more feet on the ground in this region”, shared Ramanolla.
With a 100-member strong team, with 30 head-counts in analytics, and mushrooming by over 35% in size in 2017, they have been building a robust and healthy financial foundation with a target to grow in terms of new customers and expansion within installed base.