Podium Data wants to offer a complete data wrangling platform

A new player enters the enterprise data management space. Will a Podium data lake prove more valuable than the others?

Podium wants to offer a complete data wrangling platform
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News today from quiet 2-year-old startup Podium Data, which has raised $9.5 million by way of a series A funding round. The round comes from a syndicate of investors led by Malibu Ventures. The company was founded back in 2014, and since then it has quietly been going about building its offering.

The founding team has broad experience within the big data industry, having wrangled data warehousing, advanced high-performance computing, systems integrations, business intelligence and database systems within Fortune 100 companies.

+ Also on Network World: Data lakes: A better way to analyze customer data +

What is Podium actually doing, and why is it different?

The company’s pitch is that it is taking a new approach to data management by creating a platform that covers of the different parts of data capture and analysis. This is all about the big data lifecycle, and Podium aims to provide a tick box for the data sourcing, discovery, preparation, governance and security parts of the puzzle.

In doing so, Podium asserts that it goes head to head with a number of different vendors in specific areas, but that no one covers the totality of data management needs. Some examples of the broad range of companies Podium is looking to disrupt include Tamr and Waterline (data catalogs), Informatica and Talend (for the extract, transform and load parts of the operation), Trifacta and Paxata (for the wrangling of data to get it into a workable format and shape), and Datameer and Platform (for the pointy-edgy business intelligence part of the puzzle).

By ticking all of these boxes, Podium suggests it gives customers a more consistent product and the all-important “single throat to choke.” Looking at the life cycle of data entering a big data process, Podium offers the following functional components:

  • Ingestion from a variety of sources with automated validation
  • History management and data refresh workflows
  • Enterprise-scale data preparation and automation
  • Automated meta data maintenance of lineage, quality, users and processes
  • Data access controls, encryption and obfuscation
  • Data sourcing and automated data assessment and conversion
  • Search and enhance crowd-sourced meta data
  • Data wrangling
  • Secure data publishing

This is, for those of you who haven’t heard every woman and her dog talking about the promise of big data, a huge opportunity. A recent report by analyst firm Research and Markets suggested that the market for data lakes is expected to reach a value of $8.81 billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 28.3 percent during the forecast period 2016-2021. Of course, analyst estimates are shaky at best, but needless to say, outside of the specific market size number, this is a big opportunity with lots of people chasing it.

Podium provides a data lake management software platform that enables businesses to consolidate all the dizzying varieties of their data—including legacy files and massive digital data—onto Hadoop-based data lakes. With Podium software, business users have access to their data, which, if you believe the hype, accelerates the rate at which they can derive insights and offers far preferable economics.

Despite the obvious bias, Podium speaks to the amount they’ve achieved in only a couple of years:

“It’s very gratifying that only 18 months after launching our product, our customers, including Cigna, TD Bank, Sun Life Financial, Astellas Pharmaceutical, and Citizens Bank, are fully deployed on our platform and are experiencing the impact of improved enterprise data management on business agility, IT cost savings, and speed to insight,” said Podium CEO Paul Barth. “This investment is going to enable us to bring Podium’s advanced capabilities to a broader market and continue product innovations that further simplify access to data and analytics across business functions."

My POV

It's an incredibly busy space: point solutions, big data platforms, not to mention the existing platform vendors (Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, et al), vying to be the preeminent vendor in the space. Podium looks interesting, but it has a tough job ahead of it—watch this space.

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