London-based startup Dataform is building a platform to transform the way businesses manage their data warehouses, and helping data teams publish, test, and collaborate on datasets at scale.
Dataform was founded Google alumni and supported in its early days by Y Combinator. It has now secured €1.8 million in investment from LocalGlobe and angel investors. The seed funding will help the company continue to grow both its sales and engineering sides of the business and further develop its product.
Managing data infrastructure is challenging. Research suggests that data teams within organizations spend up to 80% of their time creating usable datasets, with just 20% of time devoted to value-adding analysis. Consequently, a significant amount of potentially vital digital information remains unexploited or underused.
Dataform addresses the key problems facing data-rich organizations. Today nearly every company has a data warehouse from which they try to draw insights. Data warehouses can be complex to manage, typically requiring companies to hire large teams of data engineers and analysts. Dataform makes it simpler, faster, and cheaper for organizations to take full advantage of their data assets.
To solve this problem, Dataform has created a complete toolkit to manage data in cloud data warehouses. It includes a collaborative development platform and an open-source framework which teams can use to build reliable data workflows at scale. In practical terms, a data stack that might have taken a team months to create can now be implemented in days. Analysts using Dataform can deploy new datasets in minutes instead of weeks, without requiring any engineering help.
“Businesses are struggling to hire data talent that ends up spending most of their time building custom infrastructure and trying to make their data pipeline work,” said co-founder Guillaume-Henri Huon. “We’re building the tools for the data team to focus on data and extracting value from it rather than spending time on their data infrastructure.”
“Current approaches to data management aren’t scaling for modern needs,” said co-founder Lewis Hemens. “This isn’t necessarily due to the volume, but rather the complexity of the data. To be truly effective, data teams have to invest in building a central repository of data knowledge, documentation and ultimately maintaining a set of core analytics tables to unlock the power of that data. We make that extremely easy to do with Dataform.”
Dataform’s solution is designed to work on top of existing data warehousing products. In recent years, cloud-based solutions, such as Google BigQuery, AWS Redshift, and Snowflake, have set data warehousing standards, which have in turn enabled organisations to consolidate digitized information drawn from multiple sources into single repositories. But once data is centralized, data teams need to structure it in the data warehouse before analytics and business intelligence tools can be brought into play.
Dataform is an alternative to building custom in-house infrastructure which is expensive and sometimes unreliable. The platform also makes it easy for data teams to follow engineering best practices (like code reusability, version control and testing) to ensure good data quality across their organizations.