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Brave New World for Data Transformation

January 27, 2014

Over the Christmas dinner table, everyone was catching up and chatting about their life stories in 2013.  Then something interesting happened.  For the first time in over a decade, I was able to easily explain to my relatives what I did for a living.  They always knew I worked as a product manager in technology, but the whole concept of “Big Data” always seemed too abstract for them.  Until now.

From personalized shopping recommendations, to cities providing its residents with live street parking availability, to utility companies directly sending its customers energy usage information, Big Data is sexier and more relevant than ever.  Popular journalists have seized on the topic, extolling the “democratization of data.”

But is Big Data really being democratized?  Not really.

Having worked inside the enterprise data management industry for over a decade, I have witnessed the dramatic improvements that faster processors, bigger storage and smarter algorithms brought on, but surprisingly not a whole lot has changed in the way users interact with data, big or small.  The industry is ripe for major change:  Just as word processing brought publishing to the masses, the same should happen for data analysis.

During my first year at Trifacta, I went out and talked to a lot of business and data analysts, all of whom cringed when describing their experience working with data, calling it tedious, cumbersome and time consuming.  They want a set of tools that let them get at the raw data for analysis rather than purely relying on internal IT organizations.  Observing these people struggling to get data into the right format and consistency, even when it’s readily accessible — made me realize what we’re doing at Trifacta has the potential to change the world.

I can’t wait to share both our goal and our product with everyone — not just my relatives.