StepFWD Stories is an interview series with the graduated startups from StepFWD, the 6-week pre-accelerator for tech startups with gender-balanced teams.
We start this series with Zoom Report, a web data platform where you can find all public statistical data a business needs in a way that’s easy to access, read and understand. With a high level of granularity, you can drill down to the community level.
Why did you pick this project to work on?
Zoom Report: We’ve been working with data for over 8 years, and one of the most challenging issues we had is access to public data. There is no fast way to get open data from multiple sources because every institution has its own website, its own formats, and most of them are outdated technical solutions that crash half the time.
If someone wants to make a report from public data about an area in Romania, it would probably take around two weeks of work only to find and get the data. To make it easy to read and understand for everyone else, it would be a totally different story.
That’s why we decided to start https://zoom.report as a one-stop-shop for public statistical data. Our goal is to provide all the public statistical data in a standard, easy to read, and understand format for everyone who needs to make data-driven decisions.
How do you envision public datasets being used?
Zoom Report: There is a saying that we believe is right and relevant: You can’t know where you are going unless you know where you have been. Every decision-maker knows this, and that’s why businesses rely on data more and more. Most of them rely on their own customer data. Still, we believe that to get the whole picture that data has to be put in context, and this is what public datasets provide: background.
To give you a simple example:
A company that activates in the north-west region might know from their data that 90% of their customers are married, are between 30 and 40 years old, and have more than 2500 RON income and only with public statistical data they can put that in context. How many people over 30 get married in that region every year, based on the actual structure of the population? How many will be between 30 and 40 in 5 years from now or any income-related statistics for the specific age group and geographical area?
Public datasets, when used at their full potential, can provide invaluable information for any business or organization, and this is our vision: to help reach that potential.
What are the next steps for you and your startup?
Zoom Report: Right now, we have a pilot launched that has 3 layers of data: Demographics, Education, and Politics. We are in the full data mining process to add more segments like economics, labor, and healthcare. In the current version, users will register and get free access to the basic statistics. We plan to test a paid subscription for our users for extra features.
We aim to have our first customers within the next 6 months.