Written by Jerred Ziegler.
For the most successful businesses and brands, making a profit is often a complex numbers game. Each customer is a series of statistics, and each statistic can help predict what products are going to be hot and when. But if you have millions of customers across the globe, how do you organize that massive amount of data so it can be easily analyzed?
Data management, the process of collecting and organizing customer data, has traditionally been tedious work performed by human data engineers. Astronomer, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, transfers data management work from humans to machines. This allows data engineers to spend more of their time analyzing the data to help the company make better predictions in real time.
“Most organizations are behind on the sophistication of how they’re using their data,” said Ry Walker, CEO of Astronomer. “A lot of it just sits in a database unused. We help them pull it out and get value from it. This is essential in today’s data-driven world.”
For instance, sales teams are responsible for data collection during each conversation they have with new business leads. Before the world of data management, sales managers would have to go through all of this information manually to determine which leads were most likely to become customers. With Astronomer, machines can convert these facts into statistics so managers can make business decisions in real time.
Walker has been a web developer and entrepreneur for more than 20 years and entered the field of data management with the goal of harnessing new technology to help businesses grow. Astronomer’s target customers range from fast-growing startups to companies with $100 to $250 million in revenue each year. Although at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of size, these companies face similar data challenges.
“Right now engineers know what to do with the data, but it’s a challenge to access it in a way that is easy to work with,” said Walker. “Astronomer helps them organize the data to show the value of their product.”
Astronomer received early funding support from CincyTech, a southwest Ohio partner of Ohio Third Frontier. It allowed the company to improve its platform and make it as user-friendly as possible. Astronomer also works in close collaboration with Cintrifuse, another Ohio Third Frontier partner in southwest Ohio. Cintrifuse provided the company with business counseling and networking opportunities with investors.
Walker says this is just the beginning of the data revolution and that Astronomer will grow with it. He plans to double the company’s workforce to about 30 employees by early 2017, and says Cincinnati has the infrastructure and resources Astronomer needs to be a technology leader.
“The help we received in Cincinnati allowed us to get up and running, and the low cost to do business enabled us to grow faster,” said Walker. “We started with offices provided by Cintrifuse and have since outgrown the space and moved out on our own. We’re hiring team members and building what we believe is a one-of-a-kind company with its roots in southwest Ohio.”