INWT Statistics: Interpreting data the right way
Numbers don’t lie. But the crucial question is always, what do they mean? With every new mobile app data mountains grow higher and higher. The Internet of Things will provide even more data. Big Data is all the rage, but there’s only a thin line between data trash and data gold. It all depends on how data is recorded, structured and evaluated. Yes, there are statistical models. But those formulas would have no meaning without the people who cut to the issue, who use and interpret the numbers, while paying close attention to both details and the big picture. People like those of INWT Statistics.
In Numbers We Trust
The time was right for the service before the founders thought it was high time to start up. Martin Badicke, Dr. Amit Ghosh and Dr. Steffen Wagner had not originally planned to become entrepreneurs, Amit tells us. At Freie Universität Berlin the three have worked for the statistical consulting unit fu:stat, where Amit was even in charge of the whole project. At fu:stat they were eventually overwhelmed by requests from the private sector. The university management structures and the often time-critical needs for advisory services on behalf of private companies were no longer compatible. This led to a peaceful spin-off. However, the startup remains on close terms with academia and continues exchanging scientific knowledge.
The share capital for the GmbH (a renowned legal status for a German limited company) came from the three founders themselves, even a few regular customers bought some shares. Amit had brought in clients from his previous freelance consulting to the statistical consulting unit at Freie Universität. From there he took them along to the newly founded startup. The goal of self-sustaining economic activity was achieved during year one already, thanks to no loans, no debt, but slow and steady, organic growth. The ProFund network of Freie Universität supported INWT’s spin-off process in practical matters such as legal issues or looking for a tax advisor.
Big Data and data quality
Even after spinning off, the motto of INWT remains the same: data can generate benefits only when you work it. However, a suitable method and error-free implementation of data analysis may be useless if the data quality itself is poor. That’s why even before collecting data INWT asks: what information does a company really need? And which way of structuring it would be the most appropriate one? The hype surrounding Big Data enticed companies to spend too much money for storing all collectable data. But only crucial – not any data – are useful.
INWT offers consulting and implementation in the areas of CRM (Customer Relationship Management), online marketing, BI (business intelligence) and data management. Although the team of INWT is very heterogeneous (it ranges from PhD physicist to sinologists), all are well versed in statistics due to their academic training. All founders also have an economics background and have a good feel for business models and the processes of their customers. This is the only way they can bring to light new findings and insights.
INWT focuses on its core work and does not engage in cold calling. Satisfied customers recommend INWT to others and thus ensure new requests. The founders visit entrepreneurial conferences where they present interesting results and findings they have won during projects thanks to their statistical analysis work. This builds up reputation. After the talk there is always time for new contacts and maintaining existing ones.
Berlin has many advantages for INWT, especially with regards to recruiting: there is the prestigious statistical Masters course offered by Freie, Humboldt, Technical and Beuth universities, where INWT-employees also engage as lecturers. While teaching they discover early talent with a potential to join the company. Moreover, INWT can maintain many corporate contacts in Berlin. However, the startup has advisory mandates throughout Germany and beyond.