Data-based decision-making is the norm in business — huge companies (e.g., Oracle, Salesforce, Tableau) have been built around the market for managing, measuring and visualizing the data flows in large enterprises. But even mature companies struggle to find enough humans — a.k.a. “Data Scientists” — with the skills to manage these tools and interpret and analyze the answers buried within.
Other major sectors of the economy — including Government, Healthcare and Non-Profit organizations — have been slower to embrace the discipline of data-based management. But the tide of Big Data is now washing over those industries as well, with forcing functions like OpenData.gov, the Affordable Care Act and major non-profit funders like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation demanding greater accountability and transparency in the management of non-market sectors.
And if the human capital scarcity for data scientists and quantitative analysts is acute in business, it’s more like a gaping void in those sectors: non-market organizations struggle to compete with the for-profit market for these roles, and their weaker cultural legacy of quantitative management often means these organizations lack even a basic competence in the required disciplines.
Our mission at Founders’ Co-op is explicitly capitalist, but when we met Adnan Mahmud and his team at LiveStories through Techstars Seattle, we learned from them about the very real market forces at work in these sectors on the topic of quantitative management. Their seed funding came from the Gates Foundation, so we knew that major non-profit funders believed in their approach. And when they started closing six-figure deals with national and state governments we knew they were on the right track in that sector as well.
LiveStories makes “data tools for non-data people” — automagically turning huge flat files (including Excel spreadsheets and database exports) into beautiful, customizable vizualizations, with built-in digital publishing tools that make it easy to share those data-based stories with internal and external audiences. The markets they’re designed to support — government, healthcare and non-profit — are huge and poorly-served by the existing set of business-focused solutions.
We’re excited to be a part of the LiveStories journey and look forward to working with Adnan and his team to bring the power of data-based storytelling to some of the biggest and most important sectors of the global economy.
The image at top is from Wikipedia