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Nov. 5, 2010 1:37 pm

Friday Q&A: Robert J. Moore of RJ Metrics and TedxPhilly

RJ Metrics, which Moore started in his attic with Jake Stein, now has four employees and, according to Moore, has seen year-over-year revenue grow by 10x in 2009. Because of this growth, the company is now looking to make the leap across the Delaware to expand its workforce in Philadelphia.

Though Robert Moore is obsessed with business data, it’s plain to see that his company is doing just fine.

RJ Metrics, which Moore started in his attic with Jake Stein, now has four employees and, according to Moore, has seen year-over-year revenue grow by 10x in 2009. Because of this growth, the company is now looking to make the leap across the Delaware to expand its workforce in Philadelphia.

After launching the business with a rap video (see it in all its glory after the jump), the company now has “about three dozen” clients paying four figures a month to use the RJ Metrics dashboard to help draw actionable conclusions from its data.

“It’s a monthly subscription service, and the beauty of that model is retaining customers to make your income highly predictable. It allows you to be aggressive,” says Moore.

Moore is also one of the many speakers slated to talk at Philly’s first Tedx conference.

We talked with Moore about being a data nerd, what he’ll be talking about at Tedx and the once piece of data that fascinates him.

What has happened since you released your rap video?

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We made that video in the attic of my house, which was our original office. At that time, it was just Jake [Stein] and myself. We made a decision not to raise any capital as he and I had worked in venture capital before and we’ve seen the benefits of waiting to raise money.

We’ve grown to the point where we are paying four employees, including ourselves totally out of cash-flow. And now we’re going into a proactive hiring mode as we move to Philly.

How do you get new clients?

We leaned on our venture contacts pretty heavily to get the first few clients in the door. From there we’ve been able to do a pretty good job of doing guest posts on TechCrunch and our own blog. That drives a lot of [attention] and traffic to our site. Although, we get more business from customer referrals now from any other channel.

So what does RJ metrics do for businesses?

It boils down to actionable metrics. Our big differentiator [from other metrics companies] is that we connect to people’s backend database, data that directly related to revenue that you generate. So the kind of insights that we draw can make your company more successful [See last year's feature on RJ Metrics here].

For an example, for an e-commerce company we can figure out a customer’s lifetime value. This helps e-commerce companies figure out how much they should spend on customer acquisition. We can even break that down by referral channel and demographics.

It’s looking at things like repeated event probability. If someone makes two purchases what’s the probability they will come back and purchase again? Stuff like that.

So is that what are you speaking about at Tedx?

I don’t want it to be commercial. I think what I’m likely to do is to use RJ Metrics to draw some serious social insights around the data explosion that’s going on right now.

I saw a quote from Eric Schmidt of Google that said “Between the dawn of civilization and 2003 we generated five exabytes of data. We now generate five exabytes of data every two days.”

That raises a million questions in my mind. How is that possible? Where is it being stored? How does it impact everyday people?

Give me one point of data that you’ve come across lately that fascinates you.

People are volunteering where they are more than ever. That information is only relevant for a short period of time. Ultimately, we need to deliver value to the consumer while they are where they are.

You might only be at a Starbucks for five minutes. How rapidly can we tie that to your habits?  Or at least turn that [data] into something that is valuable to the end-user or [that] drives commerce. I can’t wait for that to infiltrate our lives on a daily basis.

Disclosure: Technically Philly is a “media sponsor” of TedxPhilly.

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Sean Blanda is an adviser to Technical.ly, the local technology news network, having cofounded its flagship Technically Philly in February 2009. He is a media consultant, engagement editor for Behance and lives in Brooklyn, NYC.

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