December 21, 2016
It’s been quite an exciting year for us here at Keboola and the biggest reason for that is our fantastic network of partners and customers – and of course a huge thanks to our team! In the spirit of the season, we wanted to take a quick stroll down memory lane and give thanks for some of the big things we were able to be a part of and the people that helped us make them happen!
Probably the biggest news from a platform perspective this year came about two years after we first announced support for the “nextt=” data warehouse called Amazon Redshift. At the time, it was a huge step in the right direction. We still use Redshift for some of our projects (typically due to data residency or tool choice) but this year we were thrilled to announce a partnership born in the cloud when we officially made the lightning fast and flexible Snowflake the database of choice behind our storage API and the primary option for our transformation engine. Not to get too far into the technical weeds (you can read the full post here,) but it has helped us deliver a ton of value to our clients (better elasticity and scale, huge performance improvement for concurrent data flows, better “raw” performance by our platform, more competitive pricing for our customers and best of all, some great friends!) Since our initial announcement, Snowflake joined us in better supporting our European customers by offering a cloud deployment hosted in the EU (Frankfurt!) We’re very excited to see how this relationship will continue to grow over the next year and beyond!
One of our favorite things to do as a team is participate in field events so we can get out in the data world and learn about the types of projects people work on, challenges they run into, and find out what’s new and exciting. It’s also a great chance for our team to spend some time together as we span the globe - sometimes Slack and Goto Meeting isn’t enough!
SeaTug in May
We had the privilege of teaming up with Slalom Consulting to co-host the Seattle Tableau User Group back in May. Anthony Gould was a gracious host, Frank Blau provided some great perspective on IoT data and of course Keboola’s own Milan Veverka dazzled the crowd with his demonstration focused on NLP and text analysis. Afterwards, we had the chance to grab a few cocktails, chat with some very interesting people and make a lot of new friends. This event spawned quite a few conversations around analytics projects; one of the coolest came from a group of University of Washington students who analyzed the sentiment of popular music using Keboola + Tableau Public (check it out.)
For the second year in a row, we’ve had the pleasure of sponsoring and participating in the annual Tableau User Conference, this year it landed in the wonderful city of Austin, TX (my first time, really enjoyed it!) Large scale events (as I’m sure you all know) are a great mixing of fun, hectic, exciting, exhausting and invigorating. It was such a great opportunity to learn what’s on the roadmap for Tableau, continue to build relationships with existing partners and clients (Snowflake, Startup Metrics, and so on,) meet some new one’s (in the works, we will keep you updated,) eat some BBQ and check out some very cool night spots. Incase you didn’t have a chance to attend, here’s a great recap of the event. So many good conversations came out of our time in Austin and we look forward to telling you all about them as they develop!
Embedded Analytics & Data Products Galore!
As analytics continue to find their way in to more and more software applications (of all kinds,) our ecosystem of partners and clients in the space is ever expanding. The year started out with a bang! Firehouse Subs, one of the fastest growing restaurant franchises in the US and a Keboola client, graced our blog with their presence. Danny Walsh, Director of Reporting & Analytics joined us for a Q/A around their “Station Pulse” Business Intelligence Dashboard, an award winning data product we’ve partnered with them to create, helping their franchisees improve performance by measuring key metrics of their operations against regional and network-wide benchmarks (see the full post here to learn more.)
The strength of our platform in embedded analytics was highlighted by a kindred spirit - Kevin Smith, an expert in the space and founder of NextWave BI, in his post: Using a Data Prep Platform: The Key to Analytic Product Agility, saying “One of the great things about the analytics space is that it’s evolving very quickly. Of course, that’s also a concern for a product team. Is that business intelligence system you purchased going to be here in a year? Will they “pivot” into a new business focus? Will something better come on the market that provides just the right features to our team? You just don’t know. And that’s why data prep platforms are a good idea.”
Near the end of the year HealthSpace, an industry leader providing inspection, information and communication management systems for governments announced a partnership with Keboola. This strategic collaboration will create a customized data analytics product targeted at restaurant & hospitality chains, as well as data aggregators and research organizations and we are thrilled to work with HealthSpace to create a globally successful data product for their customers. (Here’s the full announcement.) As we continue to work with clients on the technology and strategy behind the scenes, we are excited to see these projects continue to blossom!
Prior to the Tableau conference last month, my colleague Sunelle and I were discussing how much work (and at times difficult issues) can arise from seemingly “small” things like event logistics. However, in the midst of dealing with a hang-nail like shipping issue while we were trying to make a “big” event like Data16 happen, I was reminded:
To that end, whether big or small, we really appreciate everyone (partners, clients, friends, the Keboola team and anyone else I may have missed) that have had a positive impact on us, helped us make this year a big success and continue giving us a driving purpose - especially with all the craziness that’s gone on outside of the business realm. We are so thankful for the opportunities this year has brought about and look forward to continuing down this exciting path in the new year!
Enjoy the holidays with your friends and family!