About the Author
A sports lover, trained for a cross country marathon of 45Kms, and passionate about mathematics to keep challenging her brain, Esther at a very young age realized that she was born to be a leader. After graduating high school, she cracked a position at IBM where her path in technology began. She sees failure as learning and an opportunity to do things differently, “it is just that you are preparing yourself to grow,” she says.
Big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning are transforming economies and innovation on a revolutionary scale. They have great economic potential. Indeed, some have already hailed data as “the new oil.” This may be an imperfect analogy, but it does capture the excitement and high expectations surrounding the data-driven economy. The prospect of extracting lucrative insights from rapidly growing pools of data is galvanizing entrepreneurs and investors in all sectors of industry.
Esther Riveroll, Founder and CEO at Alldatum Business, brings a sophisticated capacity to collect, organize, control, and commercialize stores of data and intellectual property to help businesses with data governance. She accompanies them on their path to a successful digital transformation getting value on their data, as well as responding to the challenges presented by the digital economy and data management initiatives.
Please tell us about your educational/professional background. Who inspired you to become a business leader? Would you like to mention some of the highlights from your journey?
When I was 18, I studied at the “Colegio de Bachilleres”, a high school in Mexico that gives you a technical specialty and mine was accounting.
This school did not have a direct pass to the government universities and my parents did not have the money to pay me for a private university, so I took the exam at UNAM Public school and I was not selected. There were students from another high school who had a direct pass and the career I had chosen which was “Applied Mathematics and Computing” was fashionable, I was not fortunate enough to be chosen.
I had to work in the meantime in the Collective Transport System (Metro) for a year. There I realized that I did not want to be an administrative assistant, that I wanted to be a leader of something, and also with everything I saw, I realized that I wanted to help create a better world.
After that year I took the exam again and now I was accepted. I taught aerobics classes daily (3 hours) to help my family. I loved sports, I trained for a Mexico – Cuernavaca cross country marathon (45 KMS) and that was my passion. I loved exercise so much that my friend from college was upset with me because I was always doing homework at the last moment. At that time, I wanted to put in a gym and I loved to make people happy through exercise and music which is also my passion.
In this process, I had a car accident that stopped for a while the opportunity to continue teaching classes and that was where I received the message that my mission was not teaching aerobics, that I had to start to focus more on my professional career and that was when I tried harder in the University.
I love mathematics, to challenge my brain to solve problems, the more difficult I like it and that also I was passionate about. When I was finishing school I wanted to work in a company that was the IT biggest Company, where I could learn more and be challenged. That’s where I found out back then that it was IBM and a friend’s sister took my resume to IBM. I went on a scholarship and that’s where my path in technology began.
Since I was at school I always had the opportunity to be a leader. I was a group leader in secondary school for the 3 years in a row, and I loved it because I have the firm conviction that being a leader you can train and help people, and create high-potential teams.
My first position as a manager was when I thought I was ready, I asked my manager at IBM what do I have to do to become a manager and he assigned me goals that I met and they gave me a management position. I learned that if you want something you need to ask for it.
There is a lot of responsibility in being a leader because you become an example and inspiration for others, but if you do it well, you can create opportunities and a better world.
When was Alldatum Business established? What are the prominent services/solutions offered by the company?
Alldatum Business is a proudly Mexican company created in 2016. Our passion is to deliver and help customers derive value from their information and collaborate with them on their data strategy.
Headquartered in Mexico City, Alldatum brings value to customers by being a business partner that accompanies them on their path to a successful digital transformation getting value on their data, as well as responding to the challenges presented by the digital economy and data management initiatives.
We help companies to obtain the best information from their systems, and the vision of the data they don’t have today but need for future growth. create value with this data and thus share this data to the lines of business and the analytical area to make better decisions. We transform the data into wisdom for the companies.
Data projects are not only technological projects. Many customers need help to understand all about the data and the best strategy to get value from it. Sometimes their first pain is on the silos and integration of their information, sometimes they do not have the data they need, sometimes they had internal political situations that are difficult to manage, and the owners do not want to share the data, the data is poor on quality, and many other situations.
Data projects are business projects, it is not only to buy a platform is to collaborate with the customer on understanding where they are on their Data management components strategy and create a plan with them to gain quick wins and value and move forward to become a “Data-Driven Company.” It involves IT and business professionals inside the customer. It takes time and effort but it is worth it.
Data projects involve, people, analyzing current and future roles, understanding what is not working as a best practice and what is working, communicating very well the aspirations, and making the company a conscience that having the right data is not the responsibility of IT, but the whole company, all are part of it. And we help our customers with all these strategies.
I believe that if customers can gain value from their data and with that, they can improve their processes, sell more, reduce operating costs, and be more successful, then they will have the need to grow and then we can participate backstage in the opportunity of creating new job opportunities for my Mexican or the countries we work people.
Please tell us about the services/products your company is offering? How are they different from your competitors’ offerings?
I have created my own methodology to meet the needs of our clients’ data strategies. Over time, having studied, read several authors, and reviewed various methodologies we have realized that sometimes there is confusion between even the concepts of the things we want to do.
Then we start by understanding perfectly what our clients need to be successful in their projects and how we can get the value of information.
Some of our services are:
- Data integration solutions.
- Data Quality solutions.
- Data Management Consultancy.
- Data Governance. Help customers with their Data Processes, Roles, principles, data regulations, and change management. When you implement a data strategy there is a component for success, and it is that people are open to doing things differently.
- We help customers with their Master Data Management Strategies and gain value on their multidomain data strategy.
- Catalog, Metadata, and Lineage.
- Big Data Strategies.
We differentiate ourselves from our competitors by the attitude of each of our “Alldaters” to always work with excellence. We are very proud of our team.
We respond with speed to the requirements of our clients, we invest and show them through real Proofs of Concept (it is like a real small project), which would be the result of doing the project with us. Not only do we show the PowerPoint with the proposed solution, but we demonstrate it live so that they have a small sample of what the project will be.
We are always willing to negotiate on a win-win and invest whatever it takes for our clients to get what we both agree on in the projects and that this positively impacts their companies.
We firmly believe that by helping our clients with their data strategies, we are supporting their growth and with this, we can even generate new specialized employment opportunities and help the economy of the countries we are working with, thus we can also collaborate socially in creating Job opportunities.
Please brief us in detail about the current scenario of the business. How have the customer preferences changed over the years?
In technology, everything changes every year. It’s awesome and you never get bored. In the past, it was very defined what was the specialty of each technology company. Today companies have diversified their portfolio, new products, start-ups, solutions, and innovations appear all the time. It is an industry in which you never get bored and to continue growing you must always be up to date and never stop studying, reading, and learning.
When Alldatum started everybody was looking for a “Big Data” strategy, a year later the booz word was “Data Governance”, recently “The digital transformation”, now we all talk about the “Metaverse”, the “analytic”, disruptive solutions that in the past it was thought that we could not access.
Technology had become in a certain way a commodity. Customers are looking for real team members, companies that not only sell technology but that accompany them throughout the process of their strategies like real partners.
What are the unique challenges your company is currently facing? How have they affected your company?
The great challenge that I currently believe that all companies are facing is the lack of skill in the new solutions. The new reality after the pandemic changed the way we do business, it is not the same anymore. We all learned a lot and the way we do business has changed.
On the one hand, the pandemic accelerated the digital transformation of many companies towards collaboration wherever we were through digital conferencing solutions such as zoom, teams, go to meeting, google meet, Webex, Skype, etc.
Now you can hire professionals from other countries where you find the right profile and pay through innovative applications like Deel that allow you to easily contract employees around the world.
On the other hand, your competition and customers are no longer only in your country, so you must differentiate yourself, innovate, be up to date and focus on creating value and making your customers happy because now the world is more connected than ever.
What measures do you incorporate to ensure motivation and productivity within the workspace? How do you respond to criticism and disagreements?
I am convinced that motivation comes when you feel happy and productive with the activity you are performing when you feel that you are valued and that your contributions are taken into account.
As I mentioned earlier, there is no skill in the market for everything new in processes and technology that is emerging, so we are creating our own talent.
The people who join Alldatum go through an initial interview, two technical interviews with a technical evaluation, a final interview that is the most important where we seek to know if this candidate has the culture and attitude and could make a fit for Alldatum culture, in addition to the psychometric exams to evaluate their competencies.
Hence we are hiring and training people with whom we see the great potential and we give them all the tools to learn and feel valued. Each member of Alldatum is a team member and everyone supports each other.
We are digitalized, we use several platforms for collaboration and teamwork and performance like the Slack platform to keep us in constant communication during this digital era, Monday that helps us to be very productive and collaborative in projects. We have just implemented a Human Resources tool and as they say we “Walk the talk” as we help companies on their digital transformation, we embrace all kinds of technology that helps us be more productive and successful.
We want all “Alldaters “ (as we call our employees) to feel like part of one big family. We care about each of our employees and their professional development and we know they feel it. When a person feels valued, motivation and productivity come by itself.
Like all people when I receive a criticism it makes me uncomfortable, I am a very normal human being, but I think that everyone has an opinion and although I do not like it I always think about whether that criticism has a point that I am not seeing and that could be valuable to take into account to improve.
I think that when everyone thinks the same then one is thinking for everyone, then it seems perfect to me to agree to disagree because it is what generates ideas and options to innovate. You have to have the maturity to understand and accept criticism and to accept when someone does not agree with us.
What measures do you undertake to ensure optimum customer satisfaction? How much impact does the customer feedback have on the company’s strategies?
Our slogan “The Human Side of Technology” is really our point of view about who are we. So when we are developing a project, what we promote in our “Alldaters” are all of our values including honesty, confidentiality, excellence, and customer service.
The feedback of our customers is very important and we must take it into account to improve and grow.
In all the growth strategies we have, we consider several things: The first is that the only constant thing today is change and we have to be willing to listen and change, be flexible, move as fast as the market is requesting and be constantly innovating. Maybe take hard decisions, but take them on time.
Receive not only feedback from our customers but understand their concerns, requirements, trends in their industries, and competition and with this make decisions towards our strategies.
To win a customer when you don’t have a large company backing you up as its employee like IBM for example requires more effort to gain customer trust through referrals and a good reputation. Through having happy clients who are willing to reference your work.
Nowadays mouth to mouth recommendation like in the past continues, only now it is through social networks and digitalization, so having happy customers is the basis to continue positioning yourself and winning the market. A good referral can do a lot for you, as well as a bad reference, can make you miss many opportunities.
The most important thing for Alldatum is our philosophy to never fail to a customer and to meet the expectations of our clients. We care about the customers but we also care a lot about the success of the people of our clients who are trusting us in their projects.
Therefore, every feedback received from our clients is very valuable to adjust and improve in each project. We protect them.
Are you planning to launch any new products/services or advancements to your existing offerings? If so, we would like to know about it.
All the time. My mind is never static. We are always seeing how to innovate, that there is new around and the trends to incorporate them and give value.
There is something that we are working on and it is to create a social care company. I am certain that with all these ways of digitalization and digital transformation, there will be many people who will be digitally marginalized. There will be the supersonic and the Flinstones families.
Two types of people are going to be separated, those who have the ability to have a mobile phone and a computer and have the technical knowledge to use them and those who do not and those who do not understand technology.
We are forming a civil association that can support this marginalized segment with courses, and access to computers, the internet, and cell phones. Everything is being digitized, e-commerce, banking, and studies.
This idea arose because when I hired a second internet for our home during the pandemic, the man who went to install the internet at my house asked me to sell him a cell phone that he saw on the table of my house. I asked him why? and he told me that he had three children and that he left his cell phone to his wife so that one of them could take the digital classes that were taught at that time and on television in Mexico. We gave him the cell phone, but I realized how many families do not even have a mobile phone to be part of this path to digitalization and that was when we decided that we have to do something about it.
Tips for aspirants
You have to be passionate and work on what makes you happy because you will need a lot of strength for the times when things do not go as you want. When you lose or things do seem not to be working do not take it as a failure but as a learning and an opportunity to do things differently, it is just that you are preparing yourself to grow. That you must have patience, because everything happens at the best time and above all, you do not allow anyone to tell you that you can not do what you are fighting for, always you can if you have the confidence in yourself, a plan, the passion to surpass any obstacle and the certainty that is what you want.
Never lose the human side in your business plans, although we are in the technology industry, we must continue supporting digitalization looking for the connection between people and creating a better world all the time.