It has been widely acknowledged that data is the new oil. Though easier to find, it is often difficult to make sense of it, especially for smaller companies, which lack the resources to acquire solutions that compile and present all relevant information in a comprehensive way. Committed to address this issue, Karel Callens, Haroen Vermylen and Thomas De Clerck launched Cumul.io. This imec-supported start-up offers an easy-to-use, cloud analytics platform that connects a company’s data from any source and displays it in interactive, real-time dashboards.
Listening to the market’s needs
In 2014, Karel Callens and Haroen Vermylen were working together at a Business Intelligence and Data Visualization consultancy company, mostly assisting larger corporations. While talking to some of their clients or through their personal acquaintances, they soon realized that smaller companies – though in need of solutions to provide them with rich data insights – couldn’t afford the IT support necessary to implement the platforms currently on the market.
“Business people are aware of all the data they have available, they simply don’t have the technical skills to query it, discover it and make it intelligible,” states Karel Callens, co-founder of Cumul.io. “We wanted to create a solution that would put the power of rich data analysis back in the hands of the businesses.”
The development of the Cumul.io platform started in March 2014. In October 2015, the start-up applied to Telenet Kickstart in order to get extra support to continue building their data analytics solution, which was launched in April 2016.
Easily making sense of your data
Cumul.io is a cloud analytics platform that allows users to effortlessly connect data from any source – local files, databases, cloud services – and build interactive, real-time, sophisticated graphs and charts in one user-friendly interface. After the dashboard is created, it can easily be shared with team members and clients, or embedded in websites, social media or other apps.
“The main difference between Cumul.io and other platforms on the market is the fact that it doesn’t require any IT involvement for implementation or support, it can be done by the business, non-technical people,” states Karel Callens. “Moreover, because all our dashboards are interactive and offer a more in-depth analysis than most solutions, users can ‘play’ with and re-discover their data, and get insights they weren’t expecting at first.”
When one solution actually fits all
Since launching their platform, the start-up has secured over 30 paying clients, spanning over Belgium, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The Ghent-based web agency Starring Jane is one of them.
“We were looking into platforms that could help us get a good overview of our business and our projects,” explains David Bintein, CEO at Starring Jane. “Cumul.io was the solution that offered us more easy-to-use, interactive dashboards at a very reasonable price, especially for a smaller business. The fact that it has integration with Teamleader – which we were already using for our CRM and project management – made it obvious that Cumul.io was our best option.”
Since October 2016, Starring Jane – which primarily focuses on designing and managing web shops and other applications – has been using Cumul.io’s solution across the entire organization, for both business administration (e.g. sales, invoicing or HR) as well as to monitor the status of their projects (e.g. online metrics or e-mail marketing stats).
“Each team has its own tailored, intelligent dashboards, with which they can easily keep track of their metrics and understand if they are meeting their targets. They can also share the dashboards, making reporting much easier and less time-consuming,” continues David Bintein. “With other platforms, it would have taken us days, complex technical configurations and much more money to get that level of insights.”
Starring Jane and Cumul.io are now looking into how they can further extend their collaboration. David Bintein explains: “We are exploring the possibility of having tailor-made dashboards for our clients as well, through which they can have a consolidated view of their projects - from metrics to invoicing and support ticket overviews.”
Growing the company with imec.istart
Cumul.io was accepted in the imec.istart entrepreneurship program in April 2016. The financial support and the expert network were crucial to strengthen the company. Karel Callens acknowledges: “Thanks to imec.istart we were able to get in touch with experienced entrepreneurs and experts who really pointed us in the right direction to grow our company. Moreover, the financial support was the security we needed to hire more people.”
The next steps
Having already secured a few clients outside Belgium, Cumul.io has set up a solid internationalization plan for 2017. Their primary focus is on expanding their presence in The Netherlands and the United Kingdom, as well as entering the United States, Spain and Italy.
Growing the team is also one of their targets for this year. “We are looking into hiring three more people to join us and support us with product development and sales,” discloses Karel Callens.
In order to achieve their goals, the start-up is currently searching for additional financial support, whether in the form of grants or subsidies, or through new investors.
Meet the founders
Karel Callens is the CEO of Cumul.io and responsible for the Frontend Development and design of the platform. A Big Data expert, before founding the company Karel worked as a senior consultant in Business Intelligence and Data Visualization for SMEs and larger corporations.
Haroen Vermylen is the CTO of Cumul.io and leads Marketing and Backend Development. An experienced Big Data architect and team leader, he worked as a Data Science consultant before launching the company in 2015.
Thomas De Clerck is the CCO and responsible for Sales and Finance at Cumul.io. With a background in Engineering, complemented by an MBA, he has had strong international experience, having worked in the headquarters of Google before joining Cumul.io in 2016.
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