Seymour Duncker is the CEO and founder of iCharts, an embedded cloud business intelligence (BI) and analytics software startup in the Silicon Valley. His mission is to give everyone at a business the power of business intelligence (BI) and the tools to make data-driven decisions. With visual analytics that update automatically and embed right into existing business tools, iCharts’s software makes it easy to analyze data from a single source of truth. iCharts’s clients include Akustica, Bailey International, Candy.com, Fairlife, MailChimp, OldCastle, Medium, and Street Furniture. Seymour founded iCharts in Germany in 2008 and officially launched at the TechCrunch 50. The company was named the 2016 NetSuite SuiteApp of the Year and a Google Cloud Partner. Today iCharts has offices in Mountain View and Roseville, California. Seymour lives in the Silicon Valley with his wife, Valerie, who works in finance at iCharts, and their three kids. He enjoys hiking especially in national parks.
How did you get into the industry?
I was always interested in data. My university thesis was in management information systems or MIS. I designed the first sales information system for Compaq Europe. I then went to work for SAP, and began to really understand the challenges around working with data with the technology of the time, which ultimately led me to start iCharts.
Any emerging industry trends?
There is a massive shift happening in the business intelligence (BI) and analytics space, in terms of technology and business model. The traditional BI stack is disappearing as we move towards multi-tenant cloud BI. This becomes a huge opportunity for companies to empower all their employees with real-time analytics from a single source of truth. The companies that are able all their employees to effectively make use of the mounds of data being generated are the ones that will ultimately survive.
Any industry opportunities or challenges?
Any organization today faces the problem of way too much data. But what do they do with it; how do they make sense of it? A business has an exponentially better chance of succeeding when it effectively makes sense of that data.
Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for your business iCharts?
I saw startup after startup reinvent the wheel building their own custom dashboards for their companies and services. If everyone needed the same capabilities, why not do the heavy lifting for them and let them focus on what they do best? That’s when I started iCharts.
What's next for iCharts in the near future?
First, we plan to duplicate the success we’ve had with NetSuite by becoming the defacto standard embedded in other SaaS ecosystems. We are pushing into additional ecosystems in a systematic fashion. We think our relationship with Google as a Google Cloud Partner and our implementation of iCharts for Google BigQuery will help accelerate this vision of embedded analytics.
Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?
The best initiative we’ve embarked on was focusing on building a great team. It makes a world of difference. I think we have a built a great team and plan on continuously adding to it.
Our second key initiative was to focus on owning an ecosystem - NetSuite - first. It has really validated our product and strategy and has given us the credibility and insights to provide value to other ecosystems as well.
Your most difficult moment at the Business? (and what did you learn?)
The first year was the most difficult moment at iCharts because we launched right before the recession in 2008. But it was also an incredibly valuable lesson in entrepreneurship and focus, and getting through those tough times really build your resilience.
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
There is nothing better than when a client gets up and running with our software with no hassle. Our goal is for them to depend on iCharts to make business decisions every day.
How do you motivate others?
I find that people respond best when you trust them and empower them to completely own their areas of responsibilities.
Career advice to those in your industry?
Anyone entering the analytics space should develop a full understanding for cloud based business intelligence solutions. Once you enter the space, hyperfocus on a single goal; and then build a great team around mission.
11. Role model/hero:
Elon Musk for simultaneously pursuing space travel, solar energy and transportation