In my view, the report’s big picture is one of tremendous opportunity and major growth in the data preparation market as a whole. Forrester notes that “the data prep solutions market is growing and maturing.” More significantly, to my mind, they cite “enterprises’ critical need to move at the speed of their customers by scaling more data faster with governed self-service.” It’s not just that data preparation solutions have taken strides. Customers, too, are far more knowledgeable and eager to assess, implement and manage these solutions.
When reports like the Forrester Wave come out, we can’t help but reflect on our own growth. It was only a few years ago that my co-founder Sean Kandel was a graduate student doing field research, interviewing data analysts about how they spent their time. Many analysts he met talked about their difficult “data wrangling” work, and the way that their tools bogged down their ability to extract value from data. We adopted their colorful terminology to acknowledge that the challenging, iterative, creative work involved in preparing data for analysis was not being addressed by aging software. Together with data visualization pioneer Jeff Heer, we began to carve a path forward to new solutions, leveraging a “trifecta” of visual interaction, machine learning assistance and database code generation to bring simplicity and power to the users who know the data best. Today, Trifacta is a phenomenal global group of UX designers, software engineers, user researchers and an operations team that still rallies around the core idea that the next generation of intelligent data software starts with the user. That core value keeps us close to our origins and our mission.
The 2018 Forrester Wave on Data Preparation Solutions evaluated ten of the most significant data preparation solution providers on the basis of their current offering, strategy, and market presence. Of the 18 evaluation criteria, Trifacta received the highest possible scores in 14. Forrester stated that our solution “delivers on its focus on ML-enabled data prep and ease of use while maintaining neutrality that provides enterprises with the flexibility to complement elements of their existing IT architecture.” Machine learning has been inherent to the Trifacta platform since our early beginnings, and a key driver behind the huge efficiency gains that our customers report. Our serverless, code-generating system architecture has allowed us to evolve with on-premises big data platforms, and transition smoothly to auto-scaling cloud architectures as well.
Trifacta received among the highest scores in the strategy category. From Trifacta’s perspective, this reflects our company ethos to “always be learning.” As our team and our customer base grows, we’re constantly focused on improving our customer experience, our partnerships, and our software to deliver a solution that’s best-of-breed, and better than what we offered before. In that quest, our customers are our touchstones and guideposts. We’ve specifically chosen to invest in user experience and customer success in order to gather feedback and promote knowledge sharing across users for input on our product development. In the coming month alone, we have a few announcements planned with regard to expanded cloud platform support and a heightened focus around the needs of data engineers who play a critical role in scaling the use of data preparation across an organization. Stay tuned.
We’re excited to witness the growth from the first Forrester Wave to the second—both from the market’s perspective and our own self-reflection. But, as Forrester notes, there is still much more to accomplish, given that “only 45% of business decisions are based on quantitative information and analysis.” Data preparation technology and practice has a critical role to play in improving those numbers and accelerating the way that organizations make use of data. We’re going to continue working with customers to make that happen.
The second Wave is in the books, but the wrangling continues. We’re excited to keep pushing forward.