Home PublicationsData Innovators 5 Q’s With Daniel Avancini, Co-founder & Chief Data Officer of Indicium

5 Q’s With Daniel Avancini, Co-founder & Chief Data Officer of Indicium

by Martin Makaryan

The Center for Data Innovation spoke with Daniel Avancini, co-founder and chief data officer of Indicium, a Brazilian-based company that provides data and AI consultancy services and builds data management tools for enterprises worldwide. Avancini discussed what sets Indicium’s services apart, why organizations need to develop a data-driven culture to succeed, and the challenge of prioritizing areas of focus in a rapidly evolving industry.

Martin Makaryan: What does Indicium do, and what was the inspiration behind it?

Daniel Avancini: Indicium is a data company based in Brazil, but we have international staff working around the world to provide services ranging from strategy advising to hands-on implementation in the data space. We specifically focus on creating a data-driven culture for our clients and work on three key pillars: people, processes, and data. We have our own methodologies, training programs, and engineering services. We work with enterprises in different stages when it comes to using data to make business decisions or enhance their products or services. Our goal is to not just create a data product for them, such as a platform where they can migrate, organize their data, and create visualizations, but to also guide and advise them on best strategies on how data can best boost their business model.

We work with enterprises from different industries, such as manufacturing, retail, and financial services. Our clients typically have basic data management systems in place and seek to enhance their capabilities. For example, a few years ago, Burger King Brazil approached us to help them implement their digital strategy and find ways to use data to create a better experience for customers. Since then, we have had a very successful collaboration to create a single, centralized data platform for them where they store, organize, and manage data on sales, menu options, and supplies from all their locations in the country. We have also trained their staff to be able to use the data without necessarily always relying on external partners like us.

The inspiration behind Indicium came from the realization that while access to data was growing and new tools and technologies were becoming more readily available, many companies were still hesitant on how to use data to power their business and make data-informed decisions. We saw a market gap not in products or technology necessarily, but in processes that could truly help organizations leverage their data effectively. That is why we aim to provide a more comprehensive consulting experience beyond just technology by instilling a culture in our clients’ workplaces and helping organizations develop institutional knowledge and expertise in using data for their needs.

Makaryan: What is unique about the service you provide?

Avancini: What sets Indicium apart is that we are not just a typical consultancy hired to build data management tools or platforms. We have a unified approach, which means that all our engineers undergo the same rigorous training and onboarding process, adhering to consistent principles for building modern data platforms. This ensures that our experts not only create the necessary tools but also strategically advise clients on the best tools for their needs and help develop a culture for effective data use in the future. Additionally, we pride ourselves on our openness and directness with clients, providing constructive criticism when needed.

Makaryan: How has AI shaped what you do?

Avancini: Although generative AI has only gained significant hype in the past year or two, AI itself has been evolving for around 20 years. Indicium believes that AI has incentivized companies around the world to value data in their business models even more now than before, but the core need for companies to have good quality data and the tools to manage and harness their data remains the same. While generative AI has not fundamentally changed Indicium’s service lines, it has made our function more important. This is because harnessing AI for your organizations means that you must have the systems in place to mine the data that AI systems would need to use. And this is where Indicium comes in: our mission has become more critical in today’s digital world than before since AI is shaping every aspect of our lives at astonishing pace, and businesses need to adapt and catch up to be successful. Indicium is also leveraging AI to streamline our internal work and provide faster solutions in some cases.

Makaryan: Why is it important for organizations to adopt a data-driven culture?

Avancini: Adopting a data-driven culture is crucial for organizations to make fewer mistakes and achieve their goals more efficiently. Without data, companies are essentially testing their products and services blindly and run the risk of repeating the same errors, unable to leverage signals from their experiences to make better products, enhance customer experiences, or operate their business more efficiently. Data enables companies to make informed decisions and move faster and more effectively toward their desired outcomes.

Makaryan: What has been your biggest challenge in starting and leading Indicium?

Avancini: The biggest challenge in leading Indicium has been maintaining focus amidst the vast opportunities and challenges in this rapidly evolving space. Compared to more mature industries, the data industry is still very young, with numerous options and trends emerging constantly across data architecture, modern data stacks, software, AI, and in other areas. What this means for us is that we must carefully prioritize what innovative technologies and novel applications of data we will be focusing on to best help our clients. Navigating this information overload and determining which trends are truly significant and worth pursuing for clients is an ongoing challenge. It requires constantly reassessing priorities, partnerships, and approaches. The dynamic nature of the data market forces us to constantly pick and choose where we want to invest our energy and limited resources to advance our vision.

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