Interview with Michael Georgakopoulos, CEO at Satori Analytics
Satori Analytics is a specialized and fast-growing company with the exclusive aim of providing data management and analysis services to important Brands. The company's goal is to offer its customers clarity in decision-making and competitive advantage through advanced data analysis, and is also one of the few companies in Southern Europe with the sole purpose of specializing in the exploitation of data. With solutions that cover the whole data and analytics lifecycle, they are a one-stop-shop for all things data, from data integration and warehousing to ML and AI.
Today, we had the pleasure of meeting with Michael Georgakopoulos, the company's CEO. Michael has more than 20 years of professional experience working with large multinationals and institutions in Europe, Australia and Asia, delivering data-centric and innovative solutions. Eight years ago, he founded Satori Analytics; the award-winning, Data and AI company with a clientele that includes global household Brands across Retail, Financial Services, CPG, and others.
Here's what he told us.
Tell us a few things about Satori Analytics. How did it all start? How did you discover the market opportunity for your technology, and where are you today?
Satori Analytics was established in London about eight years ago. We currently employ 75+ data and analytics specialists through our Athens and London offices, being a data partner for household Brands across various verticals such as Financial Services, CPG, Retail, Telco, and others.
The decision to set up Satori was more of a calculated bet rather than a safe and guaranteed move. Back in 2014, the economic climate was very tough; Machine Learning and AI were only buzzwords, and to add to that, I had never run a business before, so you get the picture of why I call it a bet.
Initially, our clients came from my network in the UK, where I had been working for about ten years before starting Satori. In the Greek market, opportunities were scarce, and it was difficult for the conservative Greek market to trust a very small Brand. Resilience and going the extra mile were the key attributes that allowed us to stay in the game until some Brands started to trust us. After the first couple of accounts and doing top-quality work, we started building our reputation, and things got on track.
What value are you bringing to the clients and partners? What differentiates you from the rest of the industry?
Our proposition is quite unique, not just for the Greek market but for the wider region as well; Satori was built, well before the hype, with the sole purpose of offering value through advanced data and analytics services. Our services are specialized and focused. We do certain things, and we do them at a level of quality that you can only find in companies that specialize in their craft.
We are neither a company that offered consulting nor marketing services and added some data scientists and suddenly became a data agency. Nor a software company that hired some data engineers and developed a data practice. From day one, we built Satori to do data and analytics. We take pride in what we do, which is why we are trusted by top companies. We also constantly invest in our people; in the last 12 months alone, our people have achieved more than 90 certifications across Azure, AWS, GCP, Databricks, and other relevant platforms.
What would you consider having been (or is) your biggest challenge so far?
Convincing clients that small doesn’t mean inferior quality. In Greece and South Europe, there’s often a misconception that smaller Brands may offer lower-quality work. That there’s a startup mentality that may not fit with the culture and maturity of well-established and traditional superbrands.
Being professionally educated in North Europe, I experienced firsthand that most of the best companies out there are boutique, niche players with excellent personnel, deep focus, and specialization. Pride and love for what they do. Those are the traits that I’ve tried to instill and maintain at Satori. If you want to eat a good steak or fish, you go to that special restaurant that does that special dish that you love. You don’t go to the big restaurant chain.
What are the biggest learnings from your journey so far?
Your biggest asset is your people. You cannot compromise on people if you want to run a successful company. A CEO’s or manager’s role, in general is to find the right people and make them the best version they can be. Keep them happy and motivated.
It is also very important not to take yourself too seriously. You will make mistakes, be harsh and unfair to people, and then regret it. You will occasionally think that you are God’s gift to business, but most often, you will be out of your depth. I keep telling myself that regardless of whether you succeed or fail, the planet couldn’t care less. Enjoy it.