Our founders had two key insights when they started Trifacta: data preparation had become a source of great pain and inefficiency inside most companies, and that as a result, an entirely new technological approach to the process was necessary. We were delighted to read a recent report that validated both these assumptions — and which in the process rated Trifacta ahead of all other data transformation products.
The study was the first-ever “End User Data Preparation Study” conducted as part of the Wisdom of Crowds™ series by Dresner Advisory Services, a well-respected research firm in the Business Intelligence community headed by former Gartner analyst Howard Dresner. It ranked Trifacta first among the 26 vendors it surveyed. Our top score was based on five criteria: usability, integration, output, data manipulation and deployment features.
This has been gratifying, because we’ve worked hard to make our platform intuitive enough that a wide variety of end users would be able to take advantage of it. That’s a big improvement over the status quo, where too often, the people most familiar with the data and its context aren’t the same ones doing the actual data prep. In addition to validating the proposition that there is a rapidly expanding market for data preparation platforms such as Trifacta, the Dresner study also provides a detailed look at what users value most in these products.
The study examined a cross-section of companies, large and small, in a wide variety of industries. We invite you to review the results of this study by downloading the full End-User Data Preparation Study from Dresner Advisory Services.
Here are a few highlights:
The overwhelming majority of respondents recognize the importance of data preparation.
- One of our key assumptions at Trifacta is that companies are beginning to understand that data preparation has become one of the most demanding steps in any analysis project. The survey makes that abundantly clear. A whopping 85% of the respondents rated it “important,” “very important” or even “critical.”
Sales, marketing and finance have a special feel for the pain of data preparation.
- Recognition of the crucial nature of data preparation is dispersed widely throughout enterprises, but is highest in sales and marketing and in finance, where more than 70% of respondents rated it either “very important” or “critical.”
- There isn’t much of a fall-off after that; even with Information Technology workers, where data preparation scored the lowest, 60% said it was “very important” or “critical.
Organizations small and large need data preparation tools.
- Data preparation is most appreciated at the two ends of the spectrum of company size.
- “Small organizations of between 1 and 100 people, and large organizations with more than 5,000, are most likely to take advantage of end user data preparation and most likely to consider it critical,” the report says.
Business users are already doing data preparation.
- Data preparation isn’t only important; it is something that business users do all the time.
- Sixty-six percent of respondents said they engaged in data preparation either “frequently” or “constantly.”
Current data preparation products aren’t effective.
- Whether relying on scripting, Business Intelligence tools or excel, the study found that the existing approaches to end user data preparation are not meeting market expectations. Thirty-five percent said current tools are “partially to totally ineffective,” further highlighting the need for innovation in the end user data preparation space.
Data preparation platforms need to support a variety of functions.
- One reason that Trifacta came in first among all 26 vendors is because our platform supports all of the data preparation functionality that survey participants regarded as very important or critical.
- These are, according to more than 70% of those surveyed, aggregating; pivoting and reshaping; deriving new data features; structuring raw data; normalizing and standardizing; the cutting, merging and replacing of values; and manipulating the order of data transformation steps.
Users need to output data in different formats.
- Trifacta allows users to output data in a wide variety of formats; nearly all of the formats in wide use at enterprises. The study found that this is something that market clearly desires.
- More than 90% of those surveyed wants to be able to write their results out for personal use, either as Excel spreadsheets or in CSV.
- More than 70 percent want tools that will let them output to data bases, usually those that they can share with colleagues.
- More than half want to be able to export directly to popular Business Intelligence tool formats.
Sampling and push down processing are critical to users
- Scheduled execution of data transformation, sampling for interactive tests, and push-down processing of data transformations are important to critical for 90% of respondents (and very important to critical for 70%).
Making powerful, intuitive and easy-to-use end user data preparation software remains our central mission here at Trifacta, and like Dresner, we are confident both that the market will continue to grow, and that customers will continue to see the superiority of our approach to data wrangling. We expect the conclusions of this first market report to be echoed in many future studies, and look forward to being able to share them with you!