Welcome to the Tough Cookies series where we interview and celebrate the strong and determined individuals who are making waves in the tech industry.
We are thrilled to be able to catch up with the lovely Helen, founder of Data3 (Data-Cubed). Breaking out of the corporate world, Helen is an inspiration, in particular for other women who are working in STEM and aside from that, a smiley ray of sunshine for other companies working around her.
For her take on savory cookies (?!) and her latest project to connect software tools in a dashboard for SMEs, read on…
What is Data Cubed and how did the idea come about?
We’re a data lab and we help businesses to make more money using data – either through collating data into one place, building dashboards, running predictive & advanced analytics or through directly monetising data. I founded Data3 two years ago after spending a lifetime in the corporate world and realising that most businesses, big & small, would massively benefit from hands-on, super friendly, jargon-free help to collate, analyse & monetise data.
At want point did you decide to launch yourself to become a startup founder?
I always knew I’d run my own business one day… it was just a case of when and what… and it took me 20+ years! I started my career in the public sector coding, drifted into financial services and headed up 60+ people global marketing teams. This experience has been critical grounding to the rollercoaster ride of setting up, running & growing my own business. I originally started the business when I had a realisation, on an Oman beach of all places, that data-enabled intangible services to become tangible, sparking loads of data-driven ideas… and so sprung Data3.
Running my own business gets harder every day… but I get stronger.
How have you changed since you founded the company (if at all!)
Running my own business gets harder every day… but I get stronger. From the day I recruited people, my anxiety levels have shot through the roof… from the exhilaration of winning big new clients to the ups & downs of managing day-to-day cashflow… this is as hard as it comes. I’m managing risks better. I’m making smarter decisions. I’m asking for help more. I’m recruiting super smart people. And, generally, I’m getting better at riding the rollercoaster.
What is the best piece of software you have to help you run your company?
I’m building it… we have data all over the place. We use Google Analytics, Mailchimp, Hubspot, Quickbooks, Asana, Slack, Google, Linkedin & more… it’s disparate, disconnected and complex. So much so, that this is what sparked our idea for a new dashboard tool for SME businesses, like ours, call My Data3, which we’re testing with clients right now and will launch in early 2020. Watch this space…
What excites you most about tech at the moment?
I’m loving the natural language and voice space… we’re doing more and more on natural language processing and natural language search now. I believe this is transformative in terms of democratising access to data and information, without the coding or jargon. Love it.
You’ve been in several accelerator programs: How have these helped you?
We’re members of SETsquared and Natwest Accelerator, and we’ve received support through Innovate 2 Succeed. This help & support has been AMAZING… from sales training to networking business planning to strategic thinking to IP advice to funding. I can’t imagine I’d be where I am now, without that support – Bristol is a fantastic place to set up a tech business.
Get started, work hard, ask for help and learn quick.
What would you say to younger people looking to launch their own tech company?
Get started, work hard, ask for help and learn quick. It’s not at all easy, you’ll work 24/7, you’ll have sleepless nights, but you’ll learn loads. And you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve in a short space of time. Go for it.
What’s your favourite flavoured cookie?
I’m a savoury gal…they should do savoury cookies…sweet chilli anyone?