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Zero Time to Wow

May 28, 2014

trifacta-4Today, Ignition became a proud partner and member of the investor team at Trifacta. As early investors in the Big Data revolution (Splunk, Cloudera, Couchbase) we are excited to finally see a product that enables people across disciplines in businesses of any size to “live in their data” without requiring data scientists and teams of software developers. In the same way the many knowledge workers “live in their e-mail” or “live in spreadsheets,” the time is coming when living in and communicating ideas with data will become part of the fabric of work.

It isn’t the first time data became part of the lingua franca of work. The last time I saw something like this was when I witnessed a demo of Microsoft Excel directly accessing SQL Server tables and stored procedures. That magic moment enabled an analyst to use a familiar paradigm to access a technical data source. Decision making and distribution of enlightened insights from the big relational databases became agile for businesses of all sizes.

When I saw Trifacta for the first time, the feeling was an eerily similar magic moment. The notion of a perfectly matched “user experience” for Big Data had arrived. And it’s here as a platform that is instantly accessible to anyone wanting to begin exploration of Big Data. At the same time, Trifacta enables the ultimate power users that previously had no choice but to hand-code data transformations. We have seen this story before and the potential yield is off the charts as organizations settle in on a single platform to scale from the most simple to the most complex data tasks.

Scaling is about more than a beautiful user experience for the organization. The ability to bring that user experience to bear on very large sets of data is not a trivial task. There are plenty of back-end design implications and technical challenges to ensure interactive data transformation and to provide amazingly fast value to everyone in an organization. It is relatively easy to build a pretty face on data manipulation. But if the platform grinds to a halt when the data sets swell to web-scale size, then its usefulness becomes easily bound to simpler tasks only. Trifacta’s ability to scale its Predictive Interaction™ approach to terabytes and beyond truly sets it apart.

So what are all of those tasks, aka use cases, anyway? Of course we can come up with the obvious ones like cleansing data, extracting data from semi-structured files, or classic transformation. But you know you have the wow factor when anyone that sees the product comes up with some new way they want to use it. Trifacta has that effect on people and we are excited to join the team as investors.