Big Data is all very well, but typically, the databases are full of dirty data. Before you can analyze accurately, you have to cleanse the data. Paxata has great insights to offer into the process.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to Paxata as well as to yourself.
Nenshad Bardoliwalla: Paxata is an early-stage startup company. We were founded in early 2012 by four people–our CEO Prakash Nanduri, CTO Dave Brewster, Chris Maddox who runs all of our alliances and channel partners, and myself as the Head of Products. We are all enterprise software guys. Prakash actually founded one of the original master data management companies called Velosel, which he then sold to TIBCO. At TIBCO, he was a critical part of acquiring Spotfire and became very interested in the advanced analytics and ad hoc analytics space. He moved on to SAP as part of the product and technology strategy team. We worked together at SAP and that is where we met. Prakash worked very deeply on the HANA strategy and eventually left to start this company.
Dave also has an interesting background. He worked on artificial intelligence and search technology at Ohio State and then came out to Silicon Valley. He moved out here as part of a job opportunity. He worked with TRW in the mid to late 1990s. He then joined NetDynamics, which was one of the first application server companies. He made his way to Sun when NetDynamics was acquired. He worked heavily in the distributed computing area at that time. Then he moved to Guidewire Software where he became the Chief Architect and Head of Platform of a very successful insurance applications company that went public in the beginning of 2013.
Dave and Prakash met through the typical Silicon Valley circle. They were both looking to start a company. Prakash had this idea that he felt very compelled that there was a lot of innovation happening in the market around ad hoc analytics. I’m sure you’re very familiar with the Tableau. There was tremendous amount of excitement in the space and also around the new database platforms such as Hadoop, MongoDB, and Cassandra.
Prakash believed very strongly, given his master data management background, that it was high time that somebody took on the challenge of re-thinking the data preparation notion because we were hearing, again and again, “I have a really nice Tableau deployment. The end users love the solution. I’m starting to get some really interesting use cases going with Hadoop and these other technologies. However, despite people spending 80% of their time cleaning data, we still have this problem.”
Prakash and Dave initially got together. They then pulled in Chris Maddox, our third co-founder, who was actually the very first salesperson at Guidewire and was very experienced in selling unproven technologies to enterprise software consumers.
I was the fourth part of the puzzle. I have actually spent my entire career in the analytics and business intelligence technologies. I was at Sibyl for five years and was part of the team that brought Sibyl Analytics to the market. I was very much a hands-on practitioner working with customers, but then eventually found my real passion in product management and product development. I was the product manager for Sibyl Analytics server and from there moved to Hyperion. I was part of the team that launched Hyperion System 9 where after acquiring Brio, we integrated the existing Hyperion assets with the financial management application.