06 – how to start with your idea?

06 – how to start with your idea?
from idea validation to your MVP launch

That’s the spirit! Launch a data dashboard product of your own; based on your industry knowledge and data expertise. In this chapter we will outline the steps to take to get started with a data dashboard product for your industry. If you just landed on this page and you have no idea what this is all about, it is a good idea to start at the beginning, “monetize on your expertise and sell insights as a service“.

read on

This final chapter will act as a practical step-by-step guide for you to check if you have a viable business idea for data dashboards as a product. We will use the MVP (minimum viable product) strategy for this, so you can validate if you have found a solid business opportunity with a minimal amount of investment.

These steps will mostly require a time investment from your side. If you do not have much time at your disposal, you could consider one or more of our services to help you in the process.

Five steps. The first two, will be the “paper work” that will result in a five year financial plan. If you have used realistic assumptions and the numbers still appeal to you, you have a GO for the last three steps: the actual build and customer validation.

Here we go.


step 1 – write your high-level business plan

2-4 hours of work

Sounds more complicated than it really is. We advice you to use the Sequioa model to draft your business plan, as it is clean and simple. You need to answer the following topics: the problem, the solution, why now?, market size, competition, product, customer acquisition and business model. Details on the Sequioa website.

The main goal of this exercise is to clarify your thoughts and
to see if there are blocking issues that would prevent you to continue.

To really quick start your plan, download our pre-filled PowerPoint presentation and amend it to match your unique idea.


step 2 – estimate your 5-year net profit

1-2 hours of work

We have set up an easy-to-understand Excel model for the net revenue. Use this to get a feeling if you really have “gold” at hand with your specific idea for a data dashboard product for your industry niche.

 Based on your estimates for the monthly subscription fees, the variable and fixed costs and the projected market penetration, the model will draft a revenue outlook.

download Excel model

time out – do we have a Go?

Do you have a realistic plan? Do the assumptions look realistic?
And, most of all, do you like the net profit outlook?

If so, continue. And keep in mind to re-check your assumptions during the next steps. May be you need to touch base with us as well on the details of the software pricing as your idea further develops.


step 3 – prototype your branch data model

In order to go smoothly through this start phase I assume you already have a data model for your industry that you want to use to launch a data dashboard product. If not, this step is very important. In order to successfully complete the next step, you need to set-up an prototype model applicable to the industry you have in mind.

Good prototyping tools are: MsAccess, Excel. But it is also possible to prototype in Tableau (if you have licenses), or PowerBI.

You can already validate the outcome against one or two (potential) customers and see if it resonates and needs some tuning.

icCube MVP

step 4 – build the icCube MVP

Transform you prototype into the icCube software: build the analytical model and launch your data in the icCube online dashboards. We provide you with a trial license and with the online help (and sufficient time on your side) you will be able to complete this step.

To really speed-up this process you can make use of one or more of our services, which range from:

get a ready-to-use secure and GDPR proof icCube cloud server;
get icCube training and learn how to apply best-practices in analytical model build, add smart logic and publish crisp clear dashboards;
get a ready-to-use MVP version of your prototype in icCube.

More on our services here.

validate & iterate

step 5 – validate and tune

Now with your data dashboard product live and online accessible you have a demo environment to invite one or more (potential) customers and ask them for feedback. Best would be to show the dashboards on their data (first be sure that your online server is secure (SSL) and certified in accordance with your industry (ISO9001, NEN7510 etc.)).

If required, cycle through this and the previous step, until you have a product for which your evaluation customers are willing to pay.

And with your first paying customer, you can easily grow now, customer by customer, towards a profitable business based on subscriptions and move away from your existing hourly-based consultancy business.

These are the five practical steps to a data dashboard product of your own. You can start now, there is really no need to wait. And if you need some help along your way, please feel free to drop us an e-mail.

the end

And here ends our series on building your own data dashboard product and grow a business by selling insights on a subscription basis. I hope you enjoyed it. If you have missed out on previous chapters, you can start reading here from the start.

I hope these posts will help you to stop procrastinating on a “would-be” and start by taking the first step to your own subscription based business … Good luck. Hope to meet and help you getting there.

Best regards,