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Summary:

Analytics startup DataHero hopes it can build “a BI layer over SaaS” and is opening up its cloud service in order to prove it. Users of the free version can now combine data from popular SaaS apps without a trial-period limitation.

Chris Neumann
photo: Jakub Moser

Analytics startup DataHero, which launched in 2012 with the promise of letting everyday business users visualize their important data, is moving to an entirely freemium model. The new pricing strategy kicks in as the company is experiencing high growth in its number of paying customers and adding integrations with a lot more services.

Co-founder and CEO Chris Neumann (pictured above) said the new pricing is in response to “ridiculous” interest in its combined datasets feature, which was rolled out about six weeks ago. Since its launch, DataHero has supported popular data sources such as Stripe, Google Drive, MailChimp and Salesforce.com, and on Tuesday added support for several new sources, including Keen IO, Zuora, Pardot and Zendesk. Users of the free version can now combine data from two sources into a single view and analyze files up to 2MB in size, while users paying $49 a month can combine an unlimited number of sources and analyze 10MB files, among other premium features.

Connecting MailChimp and Stripe data.

Connecting MailChimp and Stripe data.

As DataHero’s business plan begins to crystallize, it’s clear the service has a lot more to offer than just being a free, easy way for people to turn their spreadsheets into charts (which is valuable in its own right, if not necessarily financially). While legacy business intelligence vendors — and even hot, newer companies such as Tableau — continue to make centralized data warehouses and databases their focal point, DataHero is catering to users for whom SaaS data itself is the stuff that matters most. Users of any combination of services that DataHero supports can analyze data from all of them in the same place, often with more capabilities than their native reporting tools offer.

“It’s not that you can’t do some of these things in Salesforce, it’s that the reporting interface is atrocious,” Neumann said as an example. He added, “Longer-term, our goal has always been to build a BI layer over SaaS services.”

That goal encompasses a potentially very large use base, but is also fraught with potential challenges. One is the onslaught of simplified, business-user-focused analytics tools that I assume is coming as more companies try to cash in on the SaaS economy and mirror the bottom-up success stories of companies such as New Relic. (One such company, DataPad, recently launched with initial connections for Salesforce, MailChimp and Marketo.) Another big challenge will be keeping a service like DataHero true to its relatively simple self in the face of growing enterprise revenue.

Already, Neumann noted, the company is at an inflection point where individual users trying to buy services cheap enough to not require budgetary approval are starting to give way to larger multi-user license deals. He said the the company is cognizant of not selling the same type of product it set out to displace, and he expects any “enterprise” changes will be less about UX and UI, and more about additional integrations and administrative functions.

“[It's] not, ‘Hey, suddenly we’re going to make it a really complicated product,'” Neumann said. “At least if we’re doing it right.”

  1. Smart bunch of people there.
    Leslie

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