172 episodes

Welcome to the the Data Gurus Podcast!

The world around us is changing faster than ever before. From automation, artificial intelligence, big data, geo-location to every aspect of how we work and live. This includes DATA. Welcome to Data Gurus Podcast… our mission is to bring you a real life perspective on what’s happening in the data industry and how successful companies and individuals in this niche navigate through the sea of change. Encouraging you to Be Bold, Be Brave and Be Fearless – Let’s navigate the Data Ecosystem together.

Data Gurus Sima Vasa

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 41 Ratings

Welcome to the the Data Gurus Podcast!

The world around us is changing faster than ever before. From automation, artificial intelligence, big data, geo-location to every aspect of how we work and live. This includes DATA. Welcome to Data Gurus Podcast… our mission is to bring you a real life perspective on what’s happening in the data industry and how successful companies and individuals in this niche navigate through the sea of change. Encouraging you to Be Bold, Be Brave and Be Fearless – Let’s navigate the Data Ecosystem together.

    Fueling Innovation | Ep. 172

    Fueling Innovation | Ep. 172

    Welcome to today’s illuminating episode of Data Gurus, recorded live at IIEX in Austin, Texas! Sima is happy to have Paul Gaudette, CEO of Dig Insights, joining her to talk about innovation!

    There are many opportunities for innovation right now. However, founders of companies are concerned about failure because 80% of the 600,000 new products and CPG launched each year fail, and 50% of all new businesses fail by year three.

    Dig Insights

    Dig Insights is a consultancy that has been around for twelve years. They built their own innovation software to assist their clients with innovation exercises and navigating their life cycles. They provide their clients with a foundational understanding of the consumer or the market and fill the gaps across the innovation lifecycle with their platform and other research solutions.

    Speed and agility

    There is a lot of pressure for innovation to get out into the market and innovations to be the first ones out. But, sometimes, large organizations get stuck in the process. So speed and agility are critical.

    Clients are taking more advantage of data

    Clients are taking more advantage of data, including survey, sales, behavioral, and social data, to find ideas and opportunities for coming up with innovations.

    Democratization of insights

    One reason companies present at AIX is that democratization of their insights function is happening across their organization. So they want to empower their internal clients with technological solutions to enable them to research independently and speed up the innovation process.

    Traditional companies versus smaller brands

    Years ago, large companies had the advantage because they had the resources, budget, and knowledge to launch new products. Now, they have to compete with many smaller and more agile direct-to-consumer brands with a constant finger on the pulse of the consumer.

    The stage-gate product development process

    Most large organizations Paul deals with still subscribe to the stage-gate product development process, but they try to speed up the process and shorten the time it takes to get a new product to market.

    Medium-sized companies

    Medium-sized companies are now doing a lot of iterative innovation, getting constant feedback, and optimizing everything before going to market.

    Equalizing the playing field

    Lately, startups have also been asking if they can leverage the Dig Insights platform to do their research. That has equalized the playing field and made the competition for larger companies even more stringent.


    Most companies recognize that they need to talk to a younger consumer base. They have to be quick in their approach and get feedback fast. They need a way to solicit information quickly, easily, and confidently, so they are looking for innovative, fun, and robust solutions that are agile, engaging, and have a great user experience.

    Consumer product failures

    Consumer product failures tend to occur when companies start without a strategy. Or when they do not know what they want to achieve or for whom their innovation is. To overcome that, they need to use specific methodologies to get feedback from a broad audience.

    On the flip side

    Some clients want to talk to a very niched customer profile, so they tend to miss potential opportunities outside of that profile.

    Avoiding problems

    To avoid those problems, understand who your innovation is for, think broadly, and plan. The market is changing rapidly, so it is vital to think ahead and consider whether your idea will still be relevant in six months or even a year from now.


    • 27 min
    Get the Beat on Sales | Ep. 171

    Get the Beat on Sales | Ep. 171

    Welcome to another informative episode of the Data Gurus Podcast! Sima is excited to have Veena Giridhar Gopal, the Co-founder, and CEO of Salesbeat, joining her on the show today!

    Salesbeat started in March 2019, and when Covid hit early in 2020, Veena and her partner pivoted the business.

    About Salesbeat

    Salesbeat has software that processes many different data points, including sales data from supermarkets and external data points, like weather forecasts, to predict how much a supermarket will sell any product for a specific period in the future. The purpose is to eliminate sales losses due to under or overstocking.


    Overstocking has become a big issue since Covid because people have changed how they live. So supermarkets are buying the wrong stocks.

    Too much stock

    Veena has worked for companies in the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) industry since 2007, so she knows the area well. She has also been in FMCG sales. So she knew that when Covid happened in March 2020, and people started buying things and stockpiling, it would cause a blip in historical sales numbers the following year. Supermarkets would then place their orders based on those numbers and end up with too much stock.

    Big losses

    A problem already existed due to climate change, so beverage companies and personal care companies would not know how much stock to order for some weather conditions, like heat waves. The industry lost up to 30% of its total revenue annually because nobody tracked the lost sales.

    Recent studies

    Recent studies show that lost sales increased due to supply chain issues.

    What they do at Salesbeat

    On a live basis, Salesbeat looks at how much stock is in the warehouse and whether orders get done regularly. They calculate in theory if orders get issued when they run out of stock. They also look for reasons if they have not placed the orders or made the sales.

    Factors considered in the Salesbeat model

    In the Salesbeat pitch, they say that they look at both micro and macro factors.

    Macro factors

    Macro factors include things like demographics. 

    Certain items do very well on promotions in middle or lower class areas, whereas they could cause money losses in affluent areas. The same thing applies to people from different backgrounds or ethnic groups. Salesbeat looks at those factors and others to advise supermarkets on what and how much to stock.

    Micro factors

    The micro factors they look at include social media. Although influencers increase sales, when regular people rave about a product, and it goes viral, there is even more of an uplift in sales.

    Weather patterns

    Weather patterns have been unusual recently. That can upset retailers purchasing decisions. To fix it, Salesbeat looks at daily weather forecasts for the next few weeks and makes predictions based on that.


    Supermarkets need the service provided by Salesbeat a lot more than brands do. So they now offer their service to supermarkets.

    Two different views

    Salesbeat provides two views: They have an automated system for sending orders to supermarket suppliers, and they also offer brands a view of similar data but in a different format. They tell brands which orders to expect from a supermarket at any point so they can plan their inventories properly.

    An early adopter program

    They are busy setting up an early adopter program for major supermarkets to try their solution out.

    How Salesbeat differs from other supply chain solutions

    Other supply chain solutions differ from that of Salesbeat in that they do not take the daily w...

    • 25 min
    The Second Mountain with Adam Jolley | Ep. 170

    The Second Mountain with Adam Jolley | Ep. 170

    Welcome to another interesting and informative episode of the Data Gurus Podcast! Sima is happy to have Adam Jolley, the EVP and General Manager of Americas for Paradigm Sample, joining her today to talk about how leadership has changed due to how the world has changed over the last two years.

    Adam’s background

    It was a shock for everyone when the pandemic hit. It was also a big shock to Adam’s career because he had quit his thirteen-year job as President of a stable company a few months before. At the time, he was navigating what to do for a career. He was also considering whether to get into leadership or be an individual contributor.

    Having to change

    If Adam had started with Paradigm immediately after quitting his old job, nothing would have changed, and he would not have gotten any better at what he did. Due to all the changes, including the influence of the change in the mindset of the employees, he had to change how he did everything.

    A routine

    Adam feels that before the pandemic, most people were in a routine. They were doing the same job repetitively, so they started getting lazy. People started becoming replaceable, and products became widgets and started becoming commoditized.

    Competition for your people

    Before, people had to think about competition in terms of market and product. Now, there is competition for people.


    It is no longer possible to have a playbook for sales. Currently, there is no one way to manage, sell, or communicate with everybody because that would be limiting.

    An opportunity for leaders

    All the changes have created an opportunity for leaders to personalize their message and motivate their people to show up for work.

    Customizing leadership

    When everyone started working remotely and communicating via Zoom, people learned more about each other. That helped Adam to customize his approach to leadership.

    How Adam changed personally after the pandemic

    Adam stopped looking at what had happened and what was happening that day when making decisions. He was forced to think differently about his goals, and he developed an emotional attachment to his job beyond the paycheck, insurance, and other benefits.


    Adam was never a big believer in teamwork before. That has changed because everyone has gone through a hard time and a change together, and everyone needs acceptance.


    With the change in leadership, there is more emphasis on branding. There is also more emphasis on companies because so much has changed.

    Personal branding

    Many leaders focus on their personal brand outside of the company. However, personal branding is just as important internally as it is externally.

    Have your house in order

    The most important part of a business is making sure you have your own house in order before putting anything out there.

    Leadership and embracing innovation

    It is scary for people to innovate and have foresight, especially when things are going well. However, to move forward, innovation needs to be company-wide. Everyone, including the sales team, needs to be thinking about where things are going and what comes next.

    A tough balance

    Even though it is tough to balance, leaders need to bring their people along throughout the innovation process.

    A fine line

    There is a fine line between taking market feedback, input from sales, input from marketing, and input from people building products, rationalizing what is important, why it is important, and getting everyone to agree about those decisions.


    • 22 min
    Visualize | Ep. 169

    Visualize | Ep. 169

    Welcome to another exciting and informative episode of the Data Gurus Podcast! Sima is happy to have Adam Baker and Majeed Saheb-Zadha joining her today.

    Indico Labs is a data-visualization business and product. They are based in London and have clients across the globe. Majeed is the Founder and CEO, and Adam is the CSO.

    In this episode, Majeed and Adam talk about their startup journey and discuss the pain points Indico Labs addresses in the marketplace.

    The pain points addressed by Indico Labs

    Indico Labs was born as a result of two main forces. The first was a push from the industry to deliver results and insights faster. The second was that the industry has become saturated with data. So researchers did not have the time to interpret it quickly enough to create something deliverable for the client. Indico Labs essentially create a data presentation product that streamlines the process of generating reports. That enables the researchers to interpret the reports quickly, create the visuals, and deliver them to the end client faster.

    Majeed’s story

    Before starting Indico Labs, Majeed worked in the Technical Operations Department of YouGov, an end-to-end market research company. Essentially, his job was to address ways to deliver and interpret results faster. The Technical Operations team addressed every part of the company’s workflow and found an obvious bottleneck when it came to the reporting element of the business. They identified that as the main pain point in the entire workflow.

    A code-based solution

    Majeed then designed a code-based solution that allowed him to deliver reports to the researchers much faster. He and his team at YouGov managed to save about 80% of the time it took for senior researchers to do data entry.

    An online product

    Majeed wanted to give the researchers the power to build PowerPoint decks using data they had already. So he quit his job at YouGov and created an online product that automated the production of data presentations. He wanted to satisfy the needs of tech-enabled products to integrate with his solution and the needs of traditional market research agencies. He launched the product in 2019.

    After building his prototype, Majeed asked Adam to join him.

    Adam’s story

    Adam left YouGov in 2017 and spent a few years doing consultancy work at other market research agencies. Everywhere he went, a lot of time got wasted on the reporting. Then, Majeed contacted him in 2019 to show him the tool he was creating. Adam was blown away by it and wished he had had it ten years earlier! Since then, they have developed that tool even further.


    Since day one, there has been a lot of interest in their product from big and small organizations globally. They have spent almost nothing on marketing.


    They have been finding a lot of success with small to medium-sized fast-growing market research agencies that need a way to compete with some of the big players in the market.

    The sweet spot

    Adam has been selling, and Majeed has focused on the product side. It took them a year to realize that their sweet spot lies with smaller agencies that don’t have an in-house development team or the money to spend on building in-house solutions.

    Growing and learning

    Since starting Indico Labs, Adam and Majeet have developed a lot of resilience. They have done many demos, and they have been learning how to close clients by focusing on the right questions to ask to ascertain whether or not their product will be useful to them. They have also learned to use time-saving marketing tools.

    Majeed’s advice 

    Majeed advises people to focus on the customers who are happy with what they...

    • 25 min
    Emotional Reactions | Ep.168

    Emotional Reactions | Ep.168

    Welcome to today’s insightful episode of the Data Gurus Podcast! Sima is happy to have Anne Beall, the CEO, and Founder of Beall Research, joining her today!

    Anne is a research expert and an author. She has been in the market research industry for over twenty-five years. In this episode, she shares her background, talks about her journey in the world of market research, and explains how emotions influence purchasing.

    Market research

    Anne got into the market research industry right after graduate school. Soon after, she got recruited to the Boston Consulting Group, where she spent several years in their Chicago office as the head of the market research function.

    Beall Research

    Anne had lots of ideas but did not have a platform on which to execute them, so she started her own small research firm, Beall Research, nineteen years ago. She started the business alone and then brought eight employees on board.

    What Anne loves about research

    Anne loves the breadth of the studies her company does. She also loves not knowing how things will work out. She enjoys helping companies figure out what they can do differently and how they could be better.


    Anne’s company is small because she did not want a sales function that pushed the work onto someone else after a sale. She believes that you cannot sell research if you cannot do it, so she wants her senior people to do rather than sell.

    A strong pipeline

    For Anne, having a strong pipeline comes from reaching out to people, connecting with them, and filling them in on her latest research.

    A specialty

    Beall Research specializes in how emotions influence purchasing, and they have funded studies to become smarter in that area. They study the internal experience of emotion. Particularly the emotions people feel in relation to brands and how those emotions lead them to purchase the same brand repeatedly.

    Two parts

    There are two parts to how people’s emotions influence their purchasing decisions. The first part is whether their immediate emotional response to a brand is positive, negative, or neutral. The second part is how much they emotionally identify with a brand. Those two parts go together to create a strong connection.

    A frustration

    All humans have some kind of emotional response to different things- even tires! It frustrates Anne when brands fail to take advantage of that, and people have a neutral response when brands could easily have created an emotional response.


    The first thing people tend to think about when they think of certain brands is a memory of family and friends.

    Strategic Market Research

    When business came to a halt in 2007-2008, Anne decided to write a book to keep her sane and give her something to do. She wrote and published the book Strategic Market Research as a marketing piece, and it became an unexpected success. It has been called one of the best books on market research. It gets used in colleges and universities and currently sells about two copies a day on Amazon.

    Writing other books

    Since then, Anne has written several other books on various topics. She is currently writing her eleventh book on how emotions influence purchasing decisions.

    Start writing

    Anne encourages anyone considering being an author to do it! It is a lot easier to publish a book now than ever before.



    Email me your thoughts!





    Anne Beall on LinkedIn

    Beall Research

    • 18 min
    Word of Mouth Marketing | Ep. 167

    Word of Mouth Marketing | Ep. 167

    Welcome to another helpful and informative episode of the Data Gurus Podcast! Sima is excited to have Ed Keller joining her today. Ed is a leading expert in word-of-mouth marketing and social media analytics. He is the Co-founder of Keller Fay Group, the former CEO of Engagement Labs, and the author of the book, The Influentials.

    Ed is passionate about word-of-mouth marketing because it makes a huge difference! It is critical to how brands grow and how consumers make decisions about products and the services they buy. In this episode, Ed talks about word of mouth marketing, explains why he is so passionate about it and discusses its effectiveness as a marketing tool.

    Intuitive belief 

    Many businesses intuitively believe in word-of-mouth marketing but do not fully understand what to do about it or how to use it to grow their business.

    Ed’s book

    Almost twenty years ago, Ed wrote a book called The Influentials: One American in Ten Tells the Other Nine How to Vote, Where to Eat, and What to Buy. He was the CEO of RoperASW, a large market research firm, at the time. Malcolm Gladwell had just written The Tipping Point, and Roper had an extensive database about the people that typified what Gladwell was talking about. So they put all the data together in the book.

    The Keller Fay Group

    After writing the book, Ed met many budding entrepreneurs in the early stages of social listening. He enjoyed the space and wanted to jump into it as an entrepreneur. So he and a colleague started the Keller Fay Group to become the measurement standard for offline word of mouth.

    What is word-of-mouth marketing?

    Word of mouth can be technology-driven or with person-to-person small group interactions.

    Offline word of mouth happens when people talk face-to-face, over the phone, on a Zoom chat, texting, or IMing. It occurs when people seek advice or want to share an experience with friends and family.

    Social media and writing reviews are also forms of word of mouth.

    How important is word of mouth?

    Word of mouth can explain between thirty and forty percent of purchase decisions. It is not as high as that in fast-moving consumer goods, however.


    During Covid, word of mouth became even more important to people as they needed new products, and new ways of buying came onto the market.

    AT&T Mobility

    AT&T Mobility was one of their first clients to model with word of mouth data. Word of mouth came in as a close second to paid advertising as a determinant of new subscribers. That was the first time that Ed and his partner had concrete evidence of something they intuitively believed important.

    An important factor

    After that, they started modeling word of mouth against many different categories. In every case, it proved to be an important factor. It also has an important relationship to the effectiveness of paid advertising.


    Their research found that Americans have about ten word of mouth conversations offline, about brands, per day.

    Word of mouth marketing

    People think about word-of-mouth marketing in several different ways. Word-of-mouth marketing agencies recruit people who love talking about brands and are willing to try new products and share their experiences. In other cases, people are doing different types of experiential marketing, hoping that people will end up energized by the experience and talk about it with others. There are also a growing number of companies thinking about creating earned media with their advertising.

    Helping brands quantify the amount of word of mouth lift

    Much of the work Ed has done over the years was about helping brands to quantify the amount of w...

    • 16 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
41 Ratings

41 Ratings

JoshCrist ,

Entertaining, insightful and actionable! 🙌

Whether you’re well established as a data innovator, or just getting started carving out your niche - this is a must-listen podcast for you! Sima does an incredible job leading conversations that cover a huge breadth of topics related to the ins and outs of navigating our shifting technological landscape - with leaders who’ve actually experienced success themselves. Highly recommend listening and subscribing!

Hhrbsjdjdkebbhbv ,

I love how this podcast is focused on all the right things

A data-intensive podcast that focuses squarely on business - that’s a rare find! The guests are absolutely fascinating, I might add. Thanks for this valuable contribution to the world, Sima!

J. Barshop ,

Awesome show, highly recommend!

Sima and her guests provide some incredibly actionable and compelling content, spotlighting the latest data trends that will help improve your business and / or life.

Highly recommend listening and subscribing to Data Gurus if you want the knowledge AND mindsets to take you and your business to the next level (and reach your overall goals as a result)!

Top Podcasts In Business

Ramsey Network
Pushkin Industries
Jenna Kutcher
Jocko DEFCOR Network
Andy Frisella #100to0

You Might Also Like