Ann Njuguna is passionate about data analytics. And her more detailed approach to the subject has helped her propel her Nairobi-based startup OB Analytics overseas.
Founded in November of last year, B2B web analytics company OB Analytics has already made significant client gains in Kenya as well as Australia and Belgium, and has expansion to the Americas in its sights.
Njuguna claims the startup’s speedy growth is due to her realisation that there is “more to data than numbers”, which inspired her to dig deeper into how best an organisation can convert data into knowledge, and knowledge into information that can help optimise and grow their online businesses.
OB Analytics specialises in basic and advanced analytics services, digital strategies and lead generation, data-driven conversion optimisation, and data analysis, reporting and configuration, with the goal of helping online business owners make informed decisions in improving their products and services.
“There are so many online businesses in the world today and the internet market keeps growing each day. This enables the businesses to become great data collection resources. This data, however, is not being utilised for the benefit of online businesses,” Njuguna told Disrupt Africa.
Whereas most business owners simply look at the numbers in their spreadsheets to see their progress, OB Analytics is able to convert data into meaningful knowledge that can be used for business intelligence (BI) purposes.
“We help them fully understand their clients and their behaviours in a way that can help them offer the services required optimally, efficient and to the right client,” Njuguna said.
“With this kind of specification and also with the help of predictive analytics, dealing with an online client will be almost as easy as dealing with a client face to face. With proper data analytics, you can reach the right client, with the right product or service.”
She said OB Analytics takes a “wholesome approach” to web analytics strategy for conversion optimisation, helping businesses understand their objectives and set key performance indicators that the organisation can use to monitor progress. It decides on the segments that will be required for Google Analytics setup and analysis.
The startup’s data analysis goes beyond what is provided by more established analytics services.
“As a business analyst, I have various tools I use for data collection and analysis. Some of these include Google Analytics, Piwik, Watson Analytics and KISSmetrics, among other tools,” Njuguna said.
“But even with this tools, nothing beats the power of the human mind. Using statistical and analytical skills we are enable to know the best way to analyse the data, based on a business’ needs. We provide business intelligence to the client – based on the analysed data – which the client uses to make informed business decisions.”
The approach seems to have paid off, with the startup having clients across three continents and targeting further growth. All the more impressive since OB Analytics is self-funded and faces challenges in marketing.
“Due to the flexibility of the services we offer – they can be done remotely – we can work with clients from any part of the world. Our main aim is to become a major brand the the growth and optimisation of online businesses worldwide,” said Njuguna.
“We are working on ways to get more funding that can boost our online presence and help us grow to reach even more clients worldwide.”
By charging at an hourly rate, OB Analytics is able to hone its offering to different sized businesses. “There are large as well as small online businesses, and we want to cater for both, at a fair price in each case,” Njuguna said. “The larger online businesses with more data tend to take longer to work on than the smaller businesses.”
Though revenues have been pleasing so far, and the company is steadily growing, she said the main challenges she faces remain financial ones.
“Due to the limited amount of money, we are short on resources as well as the ability to market our startup to reach out to more clients,” she said.
“The other challenge that we have encountered is the lack of knowledge of technology-related issues for some of our potential clients. When people do not understand the power of technology and data, it becomes challenging to explain to them the benefits of utilising data analytics for the growth of their businesses.”