We are still reeling here at VisualCue. On October 21st our CEO, Kerry Gilger, was in San Francisco to accept the Ventana Research Information Technology Innovation Award in Business Intelligence. Being the first major award we have garnered as an organization, there  was much congratulatory hand-shaking and back-slapping as we placed it right in the middle of our Orlando offices. And we felt we deserved to celebrate; what was an interesting idea two years ago had grown from risky gamble to professionally recognized platform.

Then, an interesting transformation occurred: the glass statue started to grow. Pretty soon it dominated the entire room and was always on our minds.

Before long this is how it looked to all of us. An enormous, shining reminder that things around here have changed, but we couldn’t figure out how exactly. So we asked some hard questions, namely what does a win really mean and where do we go from here? After some reflection and research over the past weeks, here is what we came up with.

What does it mean?

According to ventanaresearch.com, the Technology Innovation Awards “identify the technologies that have had or have the potential to have the most striking positive impact on business….” Staring at the award, we had to wonder where we fit on that spectrum. Giants like Apple, IBM, and Oracle were also recognized that day so one thing was certain: we had not already made our impact. These companies had changed the world through their technology and were some of the largest and most profitable organizations in the world; we are about to pass thirty employees total. Surely we’re not expected to turn into Apple overnight, right?

No, if we had not already made our impact on the landscape of business analytics this award must mean that we were in a position to do so: we have potential. In reaching that conclusion the award shrunk a little, thankfully. Having potential takes a lot of the pressure off because it means the future is still in front of you, it is both undecided yet exciting because someone out there believed enough in it to give you an award. It’s a designation we share with great companies like Paxata and Sumo Logic, so we find ourselves in swell company.

What now?

While deciding what the award meant helped, deciding what our next steps are was genuinely intimidating. What do we do? Should we stay the course, change our strategy or expand our platform? What we landed on was a combination of all three. We are still going to focus on where we believe we can do the most good: logistics, call centers and business process management. However, we decided that the award means it is time to have a more active voice in data visualization and operational intelligence. We have something new, and think it is worth talking about.

But, an award does not mean we shouldn’t do anything differently with our platform. Potential means there is work yet to do. So, we are starting to talk with new industries where our platform can shake things up. We are constantly working on tools that expand its reach while refining our software to keep it true to the original vision: data analytics based on natural, human visual intuition and pattern recognition. Makes sense, since this is what Ventana Research liked about us in the first place. When we asked Ventana Research about our award Tony Cosentino, VP & Research Director, said “…Their unique technology caught our eye for its presentation of information in a visual picture format and its ability to help make analytics more actionable within the lines of business.”

So, where do we go from here? The Ventana Research Innovation Award is ultimately a challenge: keep going and you, too, can change things. Do we seriously believe we can have the impact of an Apple or IBM? Our response is “someone has to.” And why not people working on how to help everyone understand data? When you allow anyone the chance to look at information in a new way and make better decisions, who can calculate the sort of impact that will have? We will never stop innovating because we believe in that future. As everyone in the office works on their projects today with a little more excitement we look forward to a time when we need a room just for awards, but there will always be a special place for that first one. So, have we changed the world? Not yet. But we will. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates on our progress.


Our founder, Kerry Gilger (right) with Mark Smith (left) receiving our award.

Learn more about the Ventana Research Innovation Awards.