A lot has changed at Arcadia Data since 2012, when we were just four founders thinking about ways to connect non-technical business users to big data. What hasn’t changed is the problem we ended up solving. In fact, continuing growth in data volume and complexity has exacerbated the obstacles we are helping our customers overcome.
We started Arcadia Data as a tidal wave of companies began to move away from locked, proprietary data systems like Oracle and toward open systems like Apache Hadoop. Organizations had a few racks of relational databases and were starting to put in many more racks of Hadoop nodes, but to do anything useful with that data required additional heavy lifting and capital investments. It had become easier than ever to collect and store data, but the problem remained: what do you do with that data now that you have it?
The prevailing option at the time was to move information back and forth between these different systems. To illustrate the problem with this approach, one of our largest customers has tens of thousands of business users they need to connect to more than 20 petabytes of data stored in their data lake. At these scales, simplicity and scalability are key. Moving data around to different platforms for different use-cases in untenable – it is time, capital and resource intensive, and ends up making the vast majority of organizational data assets invisible to business users. When competing effectively in the marketplace means getting your company to be data-driven, continuing to use legacy architectures simply means that you are overtaken by competitors. In an increasingly competitive world, data is the new oil and agility with organizational data is the differentiator.
The crux of the concept behind Arcadia Data was simple: allow non-technical business users to use the data in modern data platforms (Hadoop, cloud, Kafka, Solr, NoSQL systems) using simple interfaces, without requiring data extraction to a separate BI or analytics platform. We built a visual analytics software product native to these platforms, and we were quickly generating interest. Over time, we added in AI-driven differentiators with natural language search interfaces, smart visual recommendations, and smart acceleration technologies.
In our fully featured BI platform, some of the key advantages that should be called out include:
- Search-based BI. BI has always made the promise of providing business users self-service access to data, but BI authoring interfaces are limited to data analysts and data scientists, and modern data platforms are inaccessible at scale to your BI tools. Arcadia Data provides organizations with a simple search bar where natural language questions result in visual answers. Anyone in the organization who can use simple search bars can now walk up to their data lake and ask questions. This is a game changer for your company, and users can now move away from Excel spreadsheets of suspect provenance to having live and secure access to all organizational data. Data analysts can use search as a starting point for more complex and granular analysis using our fully-featured BI tooling, but the organizational transformation is in making line-of-business users more productive by giving them access to the data they need.
- Data-native platform. Simple visual interfaces are only as powerful as the data they have access to. Arcadia Data has a data-native platform that runs directly on your data lake, whether it is on Hadoop or on cloud stores like S3 and ADLS, and on supporting data platforms like Kafka, Solr, or traditional relational databases. This means when you type in questions in Arcadia Data, you are getting responses back from all of your organizational data, not just the subset of data that was moved into a BI server. Get back granular answers on comprehensive data in a way that is impossible with other data platforms. Better yet, we are fully integrated with the security protocols on the platforms we support, so you can enable users on your existing platforms using your existing security infrastructure. Stop worrying about multiple copies of the data that need to be protected; secure your data once and access rights are inherited all the way to the analytics interface.
- Connected ecosystem. We believe that modern data architectures within enterprises are complex enough without adding more complexity to the mix. From day one, our belief has been that to serve our customers best, we need to integrate comprehensively with their existing infrastructures. This is why we work natively with data in your data platforms, metadata stored in the Hive metastore, data platform management software like Cloudera Manager and Apache Ambari, authorization frameworks like Apache Sentry and Apache Ranger, and authentication frameworks like LDAP, Active Directory, and Kerberos. We connect data in your data lakes to legacy BI platforms like Tableau and Microstrategy so your existing applications continue to work (much more efficiently) and we connect our interfaces to your legacy relational stores so you can connect all of your data to the Arcadia Data next-gen interfaces. The on-ramp for Arcadia Data is meant to be as easy as possible. You can typically install our software within your data infrastructure in about 15 minutes and start getting visual insights on data that you have never had access to before within a few hours.
Arcadia Data is now more than 75 people strong, and our company has seen tremendous growth over the last few years. We’ve signed on a number of prominent companies as customers, and we see about a 90 percent win rate for proof-of-value engagements we execute. It’s clear the market understands the value Arcadia Data provides. Buy-in from both customers and industry observers alike has led to our recent $15 million Series B round led by Pelion Venture Partners with participation from existing investors Mayfield Fund, Blumberg Capital and Intel Capital.
We’re proud of the work we’ve done over the last six years, and we look forward to continuing to solve big data challenges as the volume and variety of data mounts. There is a whole host of potential available in the data that organizations have at their fingertips, and Arcadia Data is the perfect way to unlock that value.