Radhika Subramanian, is a serial entrepreneur with nearly 20 years of experience helping large, sophisticated organizations achieve competitive advantage through advanced analytics technologies. She co-founded Idmon Corp. in 1998, which was funded by Cordova Ventures and Imlay Investments.
Numerous associations have recognized Radhika for her achievements working with Fortune 500 and Global 2000 companies. She is recognized as a Leading Woman in Technology by WIT, was a finalist for the Franz Edelman Prize in Excellence in Management Science, and more. A sought-after presenter and speaker, she is a regular contributor to many publications including Forbes.
Emcien’s automatic pattern-detection engine converts data to actionable insight that organizations can use immediately. Emcien breaks through time, cost and scale barriers that limit the ability to operationalize the value of data for mission-critical applications.
MO: Where does your strong entrepreneurial spirit come from? Have there been any specific influences or early inspirations that have helped shape your path?
Radhika: One of my most significant influences was an experience I had while I was in graduate school. I had this amazing internship with Delta. The work we did blew my mind and was extraordinarily successful—our project actually resulted in saving Delta $100M. Though we worked around the clock, it was so much fun. It was time-critical and stressful, and the challenge was immense, but we were focused on this mission to deliver value and that was creatively intoxicating. I realized that my work preference is to be surrounded by people who are passionate and creative and who are driven by a mission. That’s why I love running a start-up company but more importantly building a business and working everyday with a great team of people.
MO: What are some of the most common barriers to insight for your clients?
Radhika: That’s a great question. But let’s start by what we mean when we say “Insight.” Everybody is talking about delivering insight, but what we mean by insight is it’s all about really understanding what’s in your data— the only purpose of data is to learn more about our situation. That is called insight. If the data cannot deliver on that promise, it is quite useless. Nobody wants data! They just want the insight so they can go about doing what they do much better. For many companies, the four main barriers to that kind of insight are time, money, manpower and ROI. But we break those barriers because our solution is fast, affordable, scalable and automates insight delivery, hence delivering on the promise of data. The only way to harness the value of data is with automated algorithms that convert the data to insight, and fast. A lot of companies have invested a lot in big data initiatives, including hiring teams of data scientists. Any method that extends old thinking or puts the burden of data discovery on the user will not win the big data battle. Emcien delivers the power of algorithms, empowering an analyst to move to the next level of acting on the insight.
MO: Can you talk about the development process behind your patented algorithms that can recognize what’s important and deliver automated insight?
Radhika: We’ve actually been working on our solutions for over a decade. It all started when a manufacturing company approached us with a complex data problem that they believed would take a supercomputer and more than a lifetime to solve. They needed the ability to tease patterns out of the data so they could determine how their customers, across the globe, were buying their products – also called customer buying patterns. Emcien developed the algorithms, funded in partnership with the National Science Foundation. This has led to a general-purpose pattern-detection platform. Emcien’s platform can automatically deliver insight from structured and unstructured data, text and numeric, static and streaming – and all of this happens at lightning fast speeds. Emcien delivers the gift of insight and time – both of which are mandatory for winning with data.
MO: What advice would you give to a startup looking for investment? Any tips for creating a great pitch?
Radhika: Run your idea by some prospects – people who would be your customers. Ask them if they will pay for the idea and why. Put that into a pitch and take that to the VCs for funding.
MO: What are some trends in big data that you’re excited about?
Radhika: This is really just the first inning for big data. The excitement has just begun… What I see happening with Big Data is a major shift in how organizations are run. The amount of data is not slowing down and companies across many verticals are quickly grasping that they can win with the insights from the data. However, there will be major shifts in how organizations integrate this to create sustainable processes. There is still a lot more work to be done and if we look back at this time 20 years from now, the shape of organizations will be very different. They will be designed around a department dedicated to insight discovery that will act as a guide for the rest of operations.
MO: What are some examples of how Emcien is delivering unprecedented value to organizations across various sectors?
Radhika: Emcien is working with companies across many sectors while delivering tremendous value such as telecom, manufacturing, insurance and finance. The common theme is that we get data from their systems and convert it to value. For telecom we can help them serve customers better based on behavior patterns, for manufacturing we deliver insight into how products are built and sold, for insurance we deliver insight into fraud detection saving hundreds of millions with earlier detection. We also work with Intel and law enforcement, helping them to stay abreast of what’s happening in neighborhoods and events, making it a fun and safe place. In each case – we deliver the value and let the organization build processes around how to implement the results in a sustainable manner.
MO: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?
Radhika: We are building partnerships with companies across the globe. I am super excited to build out a global brand, travel to meet great people who are wrestling with similar problems and work with fantastic teams.
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