Stripe is a payments company that has been breaking the waves with success stories since its inception. It’s a $9 billion startup that has managed to attract big names to its service including Target, NFL, SAP and many others. In an effort to offer an even better experience to its users, Stripe confirmed on Thursday the launch of a brand new feature called Sigma. Sigma is basically an analytical tool that is designed to help customers scrutinize payments. Sigma gives customers the ability to track payment data and interpret it easier.
The ultimate goal is simple, and that is to ensure businesses have a better understanding of the payments flowing in and out of their accounts. The tool will be ideal for companies that use Stripe for massive amount of payments. It will allow them to put together this data, analyze it, and make sense of it all. According to Stripe’s CEO, Patrick Collision, the payment system in any company generates a lot of data. We are talking about invoices that come in, the money that is sent out, and not to mention the receipts that come in and out on a real time basis.
However, this data is bulky and for a normal human being, it would be very difficult to make any sense of what is happening or identify any patterns that can be used to better the customer experience in the future. But, of course, it would be easier for a software and Sigma is being fronted as the tool that will finally solve this. However, analysts have been quick to point that even though the software will surely make the job easier, it’s not a quick fix. It is also important to note that this is not the first software created to help companies analyze and make sense of payments data.
Microsoft and Oracle are the leaders in this area but even then, the software solutions offered by the two companies have been criticized for being slow, hard to integrate with your data archives, and very expensive. Stripe’s CEO feels that such software options are out of reach for small startups and that is why Sigma is here to offer an alternative. Collision argues that Stripe’s Sigma is actually very easy to use and integrate. The only thing users need is to integrate Sigma into the Stripe’s payment system they already have and it will be good to go. The tool also uses the SQL language in analyzing the data and seeing that the language is very common, it will, therefore, be easier for regular accountants to get started without the need for any kind of training.
Collision also adds that while Sigma is a data analysis tool when it comes to payments, in a broader sense, he does not see it as a competitor to the other available payment analytics tools in the market like the ones offered by Oracle and Microsoft. It’s simply a tool that comes as a response to the increasing need by Stripe’s customers to have the ability to analyze payment data easily and cost-effectively. In other words, Collision sees Sigma as simply a response to what Stripe customers need and that’s that.