Hi! Welcome to DataGrows.
I'm L'Mri, also known as Lim, Lynn, or pretty much anything that starts with an L. (This happens when you have a complicated name. At least introductions are never dull). I oversee marketing and client success at DataGrows. If you have ever looked at one of our videos, that's my voice.
I am writing this post to welcome you to DataGrows and give you a short history of how and why we came to be.
DataGrows is a no-code database management solution. That sounds like quite a mouthful. In essence, we aim to make data management easy and effective for customers who want a powerful tool to manage everyday processes without needing an entire development team.
When I was younger, if you told me that my family would start a business together, that would grow to employ multiple, exceptionally talented people. I would have never believed it. But here we are, excited, bubbly, slightly nervous, but incredibly proud of what we have built.
Why did we start My Data Grows?
After over 20 years of running his own IT business, specializing in developing, implementing, and managing databases for prominent local and international organizations, my dad, Japie knew there had to be a better way. Years filled with long meetings, red tape, and too many hoops to jump through seemed like a never-ending spiral. He wanted a solution that would make life easier for individuals to take charge of how their data gets managed.
It seemed that the struggle often came in with trying to explain a client's vision to an IT team, then getting all of the needed approval, getting past all the budget constraints, and finally waiting for an ever-extended deadline to someday be met. Japie has this amazing gift of sitting in a meeting and connecting dots that seem obvious to him but that others often struggle to see. Once these dots are connected, things start happening, and datasets within his client's companies start to perform, and growth accelerates. In his words, he turns steps that would take months into steps that take minutes.
He knows the ins and outs of databases and often says that he speaks SQL (database language) more than any other language. He also knows that too few people, even in IT, really understand the power of a database and how databases can help improve their business. He wanted to create a way to put the creation process in the end consumer's hands and allow them to take control of their own data needs. He believes that customers should be able to determine their growth. This planted the seed for My Data Grows.
In mid 2020 he approached me with the concept, and we started brainstorming. Could we put over 20 years' worth of database knowledge into a user-friendly, no-code experience? The ideas kept flowing, changes were made, heated debates were had, but eventually, we knew we had a solid concept. Now we needed a developer... After debating this for a while it hit us, we have an amazing developer right under our noses. This is how my brother, Ruan, with years of experience working as a senior developer for multiple companies, joined the team, and our IT department was born. Our sister, Dane', later joined as a developer. She was a great fit, seeing as she did study to do this, even after essentially training under my dad her entire life. By this point, My Data Grows was well on its way. The momentum continued to build from here, and we started employing more people. We are now a proud team of 10 talented individuals.
How dad actually started it all while we were still growing up
I have often looked back on my childhood, remembering little details here and there. Growing up with my two sisters and my brother was a lot of fun. The sun was almost always shining, and although it wasn't safe enough to run around in the streets, gardens were always big enough to spend your days outside.
My dad used to work extremely long hours. He would leave exceptionally early in the morning, get back late afternoon, have dinner with the family, then get back to work in his office. It was only a lot later in life that I understood he was working a day job to support his family while working in the evening to start his own business. I am incredibly proud of him for achieving what he has. We would sometimes leave him a note before bed, asking him for a porridge called mieliepap for breakfast. It would be such a treat, waking up to a fresh batch of porridge left by dad.
My mom was a preschool teacher when we were very young, before staying home to raise all us kids. Having mom at home was one of the best gifts I could have ever asked for. I think to a great extend, she also became a mother figure to a lot of our friends. Later in life, my one sister followed in dad's footsteps and studied to become a developer. The other sister followed in mom's footsteps as a teacher. My brother became a great web developer, and I entered the marketing and advertising space.
My parents often tell stories of when they were younger, how they would sit up till late in the evening, constructing elaborate toys and puppets for my mom's preschool. They would figure out how to build the most amazing things. I think a big part of the learning process for them during that time was figuring out how to break things down to their most basic components, understand the components and then build whatever they wanted from there. To an extent, this is what translated back to their kids as we were growing up.
I remember two key lessons: Everything you do in life starts with a tiny step. Keep the bigger picture in mind, but focus on the single step you can take today. The second lesson: If the current approach doesn't work for you, question it and find a way to make it work in a way that makes sense to you.
These became the pillars for creating DataGrows and will continue to be what we base our work on. If our clients keep on approaching each day with us, step by step, and we keep on listening to feedback of what does and doesn't work with our current system, before we know it, we will have achieved great heights. We aim to take steps that would typically take months happen in minutes.
What's the best thing about My Data Grows?
The best thing about all of this is the love and care that has gone into this product and the incredible support that comes with it. We value family and friendship very highly and understand the love, sweat and effort that goes into building and maintaining a business, while making time for family and friends. We also value the learning process and breaking things down into bite-sized bits, so small steps can be taken to learn and achieve something great. This is what we hope to share with you, our clients. We want to see your business grow, and we know, from experience, that the best way to do this is to build a business on clean, solid, data-driven decisions.
My challenge to you
If I want to market this service, I need to do what my parents have done so many times before and break it down to its most essential parts. I will then learn to understand these parts well and explain them to you, our users, without overcomplicating them. In essence, I need to start taking one small step to teach you why our product can help your business.
I invite you to join me, step by step, as I explain exactly what an online database is, how it can help any company, why so few people know about it, and why this product that we have built is something to be proud of and something that anyone can use.
We look forward to seeing your business grow with us.
Please reach out to a team member if you would like to discuss how our app can help your business.