How we’re giving BI & Analytics teams unprecedented visibility into their data flow
Metadata Management Automation Platform
Who are you & What business did you start?
My name is Gal Ziton, currently the Co-Founder & CTO at Octopai.
How did you come up with the idea?
Back in 2010 our VP R&D Itai and I were BI experts at a large telecom company. Someone discovered a bug in one of our system’s applications one day that was generating hundreds of false Subscriber Generated Keys (GK) — customer identification numbers, which basically meant our system was inventing fictitious customer accounts. If we didn’t address this, GK fields would hit maximum character capacity pretty quickly, and we would see loads of inaccurate reporting, invoicing issues and failed processes. It would be a total mess if we didn’t figure out what was causing the problem.
10 of us from BI were put on mapping out where the faulty GK field was located. We sat on the entire BI system for months – manually tracing, mapping, comparing the metadata journey, looking into all the databases, all the reports, all the different systems, all the ETL processes, trying to understand impact analysis and root cause analysis. It was insanely tedious – especially in the ETL with the tens of thousands of maps to sift through and trying to distinguish between all the different widgets.
This is the point when we realized the massive impact automation would have in this space.
Describe the process of launching the business
We understood we couldn’t continue working at the telecom company and so we quit our jobs, got together and started working on developing Octopai from coffee shops, from home. We worked on this for about 2 years and did some consulting on the side too. We began focusing solely on Octopai once we raised pre-seed funds in 2015.
Since launch what has worked to attract customers?
We talk about the painpoints, and the actual challenges people are facing. Stories like the one I just told you happen every day. This is the life of BI & Analytics - figuring out what’s behind reporting errors, understanding the impact of making a change in a certain calculation in a certain field will have downstream, migrating systems etc. BI & Analytics teams are suffering and the value proposition of saving them hours and hours if not weeks and weeks of manual data mapping is massive.
Describe a moment where you had to overcome a challenge – before or after launch
Before launching the company our product was very basic and dry. One of the largest challenges we faced was that we didn’t have a substantial product to show to potential customers in order to prove our value proposition. Today we can actually show what we’re doing for customers. We have case studies, tons of use cases etc, but at the beginning we didn’t have anything to show.
What platforms/tools do you use for your business
We use Salesforce CRM, Pardot marketing automation, Monday for team communication, Jira, Slack, Jenkins
Advice for other entrepreneurs who are just starting out
Focus. If you have something good that you believe in, don’t let anyone try to steer you off your path. Focus on your belief and your innovation. Focus on your product.
Where can we go to learn more about your company?
The best is to check out our website www.octopai.com