Over the past couple of years, there has been significant lessons learnt in analytics and how various businesses have been benefitted by adopting it. Its adoption has helped the organizations in more than one ways— improving accuracy of predictions, enabling better decision making, and reaping profits are just a few. Quite simply, there’s data, which is quantitative and then there’s qualitative information a business can gather. And this startup is in the business of doing exactly that—taking out information from data.
Founded in 2012, Polestar is a boutique analytics firm focused on helping businesses recognize the power of analytics in solving problems. By using tools such as QlikSense, machine learning, big data and Power BI, they help small and large enterprises analyse business issues related to growth and performance.
In a candid chat with AIM, Amit Kumar, Co-Founder & Director, Delivery & India Operations, Polestar, shares the story of founding Polestar, its offerings, growth story and more.
Traditionally, businesses would wait for years to see valuable insights on their enterprise data but today they have gone beyond the need for only enterprise data to derive advanced insights. And as the company says, it enables the enterprises to put each pixel together for them to see a clear picture.
“Large enterprises are sitting on gigabytes and terabytes of data in their systems. Depending on the need of the hour – be it to analyse growth, risk or performance – we mine data to bring out meaningful insights for each enterprise. Quite simply, we help business leaders connect the dots from multiple systems in order to create a holistic view”, shares Kumar.
“Data provides meaningful insights and helps tell a story. For analogy, what we do is similar to bringing billions of pixels of various colours together to create an image. Having created several such images, these images are arranged in a way to tell a story”, he explains.
Polestar enables businesses to understand data and intuition in order to drive growth, enhance customer experience resulting in stronger revenue. Over the years, it has created a niche for itself in the analytics space and works closely with large enterprises to enable them with insights which they didn’t have access to earlier.
Idea behind its inception –
Kumar is quick to share that with the ability to collect, process and analyse massive amounts of data, analytics has emerged into a powerful technology and the founding team realized that analytics was going to be the next disruptive technology. This is how the founders Chetan Alsisaria, Ajay Goenka and Amit Kumar tapped onto exploring analytics that was soon set to be the focus area for large enterprises.
Having worked with various Fortune 500 companies, the founding team comes with years of experience in the space of analytics and consulting. “The three of us are avid readers and geek out on analytics, big data, AI and organizational culture. We have scale on our minds and are focused on building an organization based on value creation by means of innovation”, shares Kumar.
Analytics, Visualization, data warehousing and others at Polestar –
Kumar explains that just the way people process visuals faster than text, they remember and understand data more easily when it is communicated visually. “We bring data to life by visualising and presenting it in a way that best suits the enterprises we’re working with”, he adds.
Working with business across industries ranging from ecommerce to insurance, distribution to consumer durables and billion dollars IT/ITES to large auto ancillaries, Polestar’s analytics solutions enable the organizations to monitor their performance metrics as well as access their dashboards from a mobile device enabling decision makers to address areas of concerns on-the-go.
“We are focused on providing an end to end solution when it comes to analytics. In addition to providing data visualisation and analysis to enterprises, we also bring to the table rich consulting experience”, he says.
He further shares that they help MSMEs and large enterprises set up analytic roadmaps and help define best practices. “Once we bring an enterprise on board, we perform a health diagnosis of their current analytics setup and then engage with setting up the enterprise’s data warehouse either in traditional data warehouses or using big data”, he adds.
The growth story –
Polestar, that works across various business domains such as delivery, operations, HR, sales, procurement etc., has developed frameworks and accelerators for quicker results and better impact. For instance, Polestar works with HR functions in implementing solutions such as a prediction model to curb employee churn. In the retail space, for instance, they provide a holistic view by mining data on past purchases, social profiles and buying behaviour, enabling retail businesses to optimize merchandize and product promotions, among others.
With all the various industries that it has catered to, how has been the growth story? Kumar says that having started out in 2012 with fairly few enterprises on board, they’ve catered to over 50 enterprises since then. “We work with enterprises across various categories as well as across business domains such as delivery, operations, sales, HR and procurement and in three years between FY 13-14 to FY 15-16, we grew by 1166%”, he says.
Kumar says that one of the biggest achievements is the team that they have built over the years. “While we seek talented people to join our teams, we lay a huge emphasis on retention. We establish clear performance metrics for our people and encourage a workforce which is fully integrated into the organizational culture of accountability and entrepreneurship”, he shares.
In a nutshell, focusing on minimizing inefficiencies and providing immense value to their partners is what keeps Polestar motivated towards a significant growth every year.
Last word –
Amidst the fierce competition in this field, Kumar believes that they have an edge over others in terms of quality and accuracy of their analytics solutions which is presented using dashboards and lot of visualization. “What sets us apart from the other players is our focus on creating a culture of innovation and value creation. Once enterprises see value in our analytic offerings, not only do they come back to us, but they also tell their peers”, he adds.
The company that has been bootstrapped since 2012 say that in the early days they focused on getting traction on having a business model that generates cash as quickly as possible. “Having said that, we’ve been discerning about chasing revenue and ensured that we don’t get side-lined from building a solid business”, he concludes.