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May. 12, 2009 8:35 am

RJMetrics mining business database information

At least two Ivy League kids graduated in 2006, took fat-salaried jobs at the same New York City equity firm and returned to Philadelphia to reach fame and fortune by mining data for the nation’s small businesses. The story continues still. Today is the public opening of RJMetrics, a business intelligence dashboard and brainchild of […]

At least two Ivy League kids graduated in 2006, took fat-salaried jobs at the same New York City equity firm and returned to Philadelphia to reach fame and fortune by mining data for the nation’s small businesses.

The story continues still.

Today is the public opening of RJMetrics, a business intelligence dashboard and brainchild of a pair of 25-year-olds with regional ties: Robert J. Moore and Jake Stein. They want to help small and medium-sized businesses that collect data about their customers better use that information to chart user behavior.

And like any good idea, it came to them while they should have been doing something else.

Back at that New York equity firm, they’d spend hundreds of hours hand perfecting data from a company’s database, deciding just what might be likely revenue projections and user-action based on available information. Their research was valuable, time-consuming and costly.

It’s been done that way for years, almost always in one of two ways, Moore says.

The real detailed work would be done by either an in-house database administrator paid a six-figure salary or a high-end business intelligence agent that has its own consultants to cobble it all together.

That personalized work is still valuable for larger, older and more established companies with multiple legacy databases. but many smaller, newer e-commerce companies driving less than $100 million a year in profits don’t have a cost-effective alternative — until RJMetrics, our Ivy League boys say.

They’ll focus their business on e-commerce and subscription-based clients. Their software, developed by Moore, segments a company’s customer set to find user behavior trends for things like likelihood of repeat visit or purchase, preferences and future actions. The company’s focus, Moore says, is any business with an e-commerce division, online subscriptions or any other business that collects user data, from social media sites to online newsletters. RJMetrics will be able to offered detailed assessments of trending user behaviors and likely preferences.

“This is valuable stuff at a far cheaper rate for people who really need it,” Moore says.

Watch their product demo below.

Last summer, Moore left the equity firm and began refining the software that could do those tasks more reliably and far faster. Stein followed suit in October — focusing on the user interface side of things. The team founded RJMetrics and began testing reliability and efficiency on the businesses of friends and known clients.

Turns out, the thing actually works, and they want to base their operations here, where it’s called a hoagie.

Moore grew up in Glassboro, N.J. and followed the local high school with four years at Princeton University. Though he spent two years in New York, his family and his high school sweetheart – to whom he is now engaged  - are decidedly Philly regional entities.

Stein grew up in North Jersey’s Morris County but got an education at the University of Pennsylvania. His girlfriend got a gig in Philly and has an affinity to the city.

Now, Moore is the primary programmer and Stein the primary hawker. Moore lives in Collingswood and Stein in Rittenhouse.

With those ties, cheap real estate, a certain uniqueness and a valuable urban hub, Philadelphia seemed like a simple choice.

“There were a lot of reasons pointing us this way. A lot of the best portfolio companies I’ve seen are not in Silicon Valley — they’re doing something special somewhere different,” Stein says.” We’d also like to play a significant role in the growing up of a tech scene, and we can do that here.”

“I like that.”

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Christopher Wink

Christopher Wink is a cofounder and Editorial Director of Technical.ly, the local technology news network. Previously, Wink worked for a homeless advocacy nonprofit and was a freelance reporter for a variety of publications. He writes regularly about news innovation and best business practices on his personal blog here. The bicycle commuter loves cities, urban politics and squabbling about neighborhood boundaries.

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