Verb Data is excited to release the public version of our platform after 5 months in private beta and 4 months after raising a pre-seed round of funding. We’re on a mission to make customer-facing dashboards easy for SaaS platforms.
Verb Data: Who We Are, and What We’re Solving in The SaaS World
Oleg and I met at ONOSYS Online Ordering, a SaaS platform for major restaurant chains, where Oleg was a co-founder. After ONOSYS was acquired by Livingsocial, we set off to start a different type of software design and development agency that helped customers build better software that their users actually wanted. Most of these projects included some form of a customer-facing dashboard which we custom built every time. Since then, we’ve built dozens of dashboards for both ourselves and for our customers – but it hasn’t gotten any easier. We found that this wasn’t just a problem for startup SaaS companies, but for large companies as well, after working with partners like Ticketmaster and Panera Bread.
Oleg and I had a hunch that other people in the SaaS space were also having these problems so we spent the first half of 2020 researching how others were building and managing these data experiences. It was obvious there was a problem to be solved because we kept seeing the same issues – teams often complained about their dashboards or had been putting it off as long as they could.
Armed with our own experience and learnings from over a hundred conversations, we set our sights on helping SaaS companies build better dashboards for their customers. Verb has identified a few core problems that product teams face when building their dashboard that we help solve:
The Iceberg Problem
Customer dashboards aren’t just the aesthetic implementation of pretty charts and graphs – they are all of the work below the surface to prepare and manage the data that powers those visualizations. This is a classic iceberg problem because the deeper you go, the more complicated the problems become, requiring even more sophisticated solutions. Verb helps solve this problem by offloading the majority of the development effort to our platform. Verb ingests data into a data lake and sets up materialized views in data warehouses for each dashboard. With the data in our platform, we can provide tools that allow customers to easily model and transform data across multiple sources and we’re able to optimize performance without impacting our customers’ production databases.
The Speed and Prioritization Problem
The second major problem in SaaS dashboards is an issue of speed and prioritization. When we spoke to product teams, a common theme was that they just didn’t have the time to build a good dashboard – so they just didn’t do it – even when their customers and sales reps begged them for one. Verb was built to get dashboards up and running in a matter of weeks and some customers even go live within one sprint. We can achieve this with our no-code, configuration-based setup. This makes an engineer’s life much easier and simultaneously allows less technical team members to help where they could not before. With a Verb, an engineer is only necessary to connect to databases and help model data, and then non-data savvy team members can easily build the dashboards or reports with our drag and drop editor.
The Evolution Problem
Many people we have spoken with struggled with evolving their dashboards and data models with the addition of new features and data. However, it’s important to make sure that customer data experiences are never outdated. Verb makes this easier in a couple of significant ways. First is with a data model that automatically adjusts to most schema changes. Second is by making the dashboard creation process non-technical, allowing for product managers and designers to quickly make adjustments as they see fit. Updates to embedded dashboards are made live through a publish process instead of requiring writing and deploying of new code.
While these are pretty big problems to solve, we’re really excited about the opportunity to help SaaS companies build better data experiences for their customers. In the end, this makes everyone better off – users, engineers, and even sales teams.
Gratefully, we’re not going at this alone either. In Q3 of 2020, Verb Data raised our pre-seed round of funding from 6 investor angels who are entrepreneurs and/or investors in the SaaS space who have seen these problems in their own experiences. We view their support as an acknowledgment that there is a problem to be solved and we’re heading in the right direction. Their backing has already been a huge help, not just financially – but also in providing guidance for our business and product. We know that these partnerships will continue to help our company grow.
We’re proud of these accomplishments and we plan to share highlights as we continue to grow in the next leg of our journey. Check back soon and follow us on LinkedIn for updates.