Disrupting the $30 Billion BI market with Omni’s Founder Colin Zima

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Imagine a world where data isn’t just numbers on a screen but a vivid story waiting to be told. That’s the reality Colin Zima, founder of Omni and the guest of this podcast episode, is building. 

As the founder of a company that is rethinking the $30 billion BI market, Zima brings a wealth of experience from his tenure at Google and Looker. This episode covers the mind of a visionary reshaping how we interact with data.

“We’re building the next great BI company,” Zima says, setting the stage for an episode filled with compelling insights and transformative ideas.

Who is Colin Zima?

Colin Zima, founder of Omni, has a career that spans significant roles at Google and eight transformative years at Looker. At Omni, he’s tackling the complex challenge of bridging the gap between decentralized data analytics and centralized, governed BI systems.

Omni is a game-changer aiming to empower organizations with both agility and oversight in their data analytics. Zima’s vision is clear: to create a universal analytics product that caters to the needs of every company, big or small, tech-forward or traditional.

Follow Colin on LinkedIn and Twitter to learn more about his entrepreneurial journey.

Summary of the Podcast

Introduction to Omni and Its Mission

Timestamp: [00:01]

Colin Zima, representing Omni, outlines the mission of Omni in the BI (Business Intelligence) industry. He shares his extensive background in data and analytics, including his time at Google and Looker. Zima explains that Omni aims to bridge the gap between decentralized data analytics, exemplified by tools like Excel, and centralized, governed BI systems used by large enterprises. Omni’s goal is to offer a universal analytics product that combines governance and agility, allowing users to rapidly analyze data independently while maintaining organizational oversight.

Target Audience and Omni’s Growth Strategy

Timestamp: [02:07]

Zima discusses Omni’s current position in the market, targeting primarily tech-forward companies with 50 to 200 employees. He reflects on his experience at Looker, from its early startup phase to its acquisition by Google. Zima emphasizes Omni’s gradual strategy to scale up and attract larger companies over time, aiming ultimately to serve every company with more than 10 employees.

Entrepreneurial Journey and Lessons Learned

Timestamp: [03:39]

Reflecting on his entrepreneurial journey, Zima contrasts his experiences founding his first company, Prime Table, with his current venture. He highlights the importance of being deeply invested in solving real problems, unlike his first venture which was driven more by the desire to start a company. This deep connection to the problem space in BI is what drives Omni’s vision and product development.

Fundraising and Building a Venture-Scale Business

Timestamp: [08:24]

Zima shares insights into Omni’s fundraising journey, leveraging his network and reputation from Looker. He underscores the importance of building a venture-scale business, acknowledging the pressures and challenges that come with such an ambition. Zima talks about maintaining a balance between growth and rational business planning, focusing on product development and customer satisfaction.

Using Omni to Grow Omni

Timestamp: [15:10]

Colin Zima describes how Omni uses its own product internally to drive growth and development. He emphasizes the importance of customer usage data in shaping product improvements and maintaining customer health. Zima also touches on the balance between data-driven decision making and intuitive understanding of customer needs.

Data-Driven Strategy and Product Management

Timestamp: [17:01]

Omni’s approach to product management is described as data-informed but not data-driven. Zima believes in understanding customer problems and using team intuition to develop solutions, rather than relying solely on customer requests or AB testing.

Scaling Knowledge and Integrating New Team Members

Timestamp: [21:49]

The challenge of integrating new team members into a company with a deep, shared history is discussed. Zima acknowledges the current shortcomings and emphasizes the need for better knowledge sharing practices as the company grows.

Closing Remarks and Omni’s Future

Timestamp: [25:23]

Zima concludes by discussing Omni’s goals and providing contact information. He reiterates his commitment to making Omni the universal platform for data, aligning with their ambitious vision.


This episode with Colin Zima is more than just a peek into the future of business intelligence. Zima’s insights shed light on the evolving landscape of data analytics, highlighting the need for tools that balance speed and governance.

As we wrap up this enlightening conversation, we encourage you to dive into the full episode for a deeper understanding of Omni’s vision and Zima’s groundbreaking approach to data analytics.

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