The large scale shift towards e-commerce has resulted in fierce competition and margin pressure in the retail industry. Consequently, staying updated on the competitive environment has become crucial for retailers and consumer brands to make data-driven decisions. However, obtaining meaningful data from the web is not an easy task as online data is massive, noisy, and continuously changing. Traditional methods demand time and resources, which makes it difficult for retailers to stay consistently updated on competitor activities. To compete effectively, they need to offer the right products at the right prices at the right time. Thus, enters DataWeave, a technology company that provides actionable competitive intelligence as a service to retailers and consumer brands.
DataWeave builds data products that provide actionable competitive insights from publicly available data on the web. DataWeave’s technology platform aggregates, organizes and analyzes millions of unstructured data points across multiple data sources on the web and provides retailers and consumer brands access to these insights through dashboards, reports, visualizations and APIs. Customers use DataWeave’s products to monitor their competition in real-time, optimize offerings for their customers, increase sales and more.
Presently, DataWeave works in Retail Intelligence and Brand Analytics.
Retail Intelligence: Their Retail Intelligence product provides real-time analytics at scale. It offers pricing and assortment intelligence, in-depth product feature based analytics, promotion analysis, and catalog benchmarking and analysis. Retailers using DataWeave can take quick and confident decisions on pricing, product assortment, and promotions .
Brand Analytics: The firm’s Brand Analytics product provides brands with insights into how their brand is being represented online. They have a comprehensive offering that includes pricing violation checks, momentum analytics to better understand assortments, demand indicators of their own brand as well as competitor brands, promotions analysis and catalog quality checks.
An Accidental Entrepreneur Leading the Voyage
DataWeave was founded by Karthik Bettadapura, CEO and Vikranth Ramanolla, CTO in 2011. Karthik oversees the company’s product and business strategy, while Vikranth manages the company’s technology platform.
Karthik is an alumnus of IIIT Bangalore with a decade of experience in developing and managing large scale web and data analytics products and platforms.
Prior to DataWeave, he was the lead programmer at Network18 and was handling the data team, where he realized the market potential of providing a solution that harnesses publicly available data and analyzes external competitive factors that impact businesses. This thought process led to the formation of DataWeave in 2011.
His specialties include web information retrieval, information management and extraction, distributed data processing, and scalable architectures.
“I am an accidental entrepreneur – I never imagined being one. I was always interested in how significant business problems can easily be solved by harnessing data. During the time when Vikranth and I worked together at Network18, we realized our mutual passion of building large scale data analytics systems. We felt the urge to use our skills to create a technology platform that derives meaningful insights, which can be used by businesses for strategic decision-making, by harnessing unstructured and noisy data from the web. This inspired us to found DataWeave,” asserts Karthik on his entrepreneurial journey.
Technology, Team, and Focus on specific market segments
DataWeave attributes their success largely to three factors:
The Technology: DataWeave has built a robust technology platform that can easily scale itself to meet with evolving requirements as the company grows rapidly. Their platform is entirely built internally and uses a host of open source tools along with proprietary systems and algorithms. Some of the techniques used include, deep learning and AI-based algorithms that are augmented with a “human-in-the-loop” approach, which guarantees continually improving accuracy of insights – a key competitive differentiator.
The Team: Their executive team consists of business and technology leaders from a range of backgrounds, which include IT, big data, analytics, marketing & sales, product & portfolio management, decision sciences, and UX design. The team’s considerable experience in its respective areas enables the company to respond to challenges effectively and continuously evolve to keep up with market and technology trends.
Focus on specific market segments: In principle, DataWeave’s technology platform can be used to aggregate and provide publicly available data to a large number of industries and market segments. However, they consciously made the choice of focussing on retail & consumer brands. With a large scale shift to online & omnichannel in retail, there is a burgeoning demand in this market for actionable, real-time competitive intelligence. As a consequence, they have garnered enormous success in this space.
Growing business with an eye on the US market
DataWeave is looking to grow the company’s business globally, with an eye on the US market. The firm will be ramping up their customer success presence in the US as well. In parallel, they are in the process of revamping and launching enhanced versions of their products, which will build on the actionable nature of their insights, as well as the ease of using their products. Additionally, DataWeave is looking at diversifying to serve other target segments, which include online travel & hospitality.
“Strive for a fine balance between unit economics and growth, be frugal where possible and create a culture of trust among team members,” concludes Karthik with advice for young entrepreneurs.