Startup of the day: Dataiku designs “smart applications” using Big data
Frenchweb invites you today to discover Dataiku, a Parisian startup, founded in January 2013, specializing in the processing and analysis of Big data to create “intelligent” applications. More details with Florian Douetteau, one of the co-founders.
Frenchweb: How did you get the idea for your company?
Florian Douetteau: The idea for Dataiku was born out of deep frustration; all of the team members have worked for large companies implementing Big Data. We each had very qualified teams, but each time we experienced the difficulty and the time spent connecting different systems, cleaning data, optimizing algorithms.
It was obvious to all of us that there were things to automate in all of this beyond the current tools. With our meeting, the obvious for everyone became a conviction for all and we founded Dataiku.
What need are you responding to?
To be the most efficient in its activity, a company must more and more carry out actions processing large volumes of data and implementing algorithms (known as predictive). These actions can relate to product recommendation, customer targeting, price analysis, fault detection, optimization of web journeys, etc. Thanks to technologies open source like Hadoop or R, data storage, calculation or algorithm are no longer limiting factors.
However, building these applications may require expertise not present in the company, or take an inordinate amount of time to prepare the data to be processed. For this we have created the Data Science Studio, the first integrated tool for building predictive applications. Dataiku’s major innovation is to allow processing, cleaning, cross-referencing and creating predictions on large volumes of raw data, with visual interfaces for analysts and APIs for developers.
Very simply, how do you make money?
Our Data Science Studio is available as software (to be installed as close as possible to your data) or as SaaSS, in the form of a monthly subscription.
Who are your competitors?
Our competitors are companies that provide innovative data analysis services over Big Data environment. These are companies like Datameer, Paxata, Trifacta, Alpine Labs. ..
What or which companies are you being compared to in error?
We are often mistakenly compared to companies that capture their customers’ data to provide “DMP” type SaaS (like Ezakus) or Predictive CRM (like SmartFocus) marketing services. We make a tool, and frankly, some such companies are our customers. The Data Science Studio from Dataiku is here to help you build smart apps, not do it for you. We believe that in the long term, the players who retain originality and added value in the way they process their data themselves will gain a competitive advantage.
What was one of the first issues in your development, and how did you deal with it?
In the first quarter of this year, we were thinking of developing a very specific tool on data cleaning, in SaaS. But our clients actually wanted a much more integrated and horizontal tool that would allow them to run their project from end to end, on their existing infrastructure. In short, we wanted to rent an ice pick, when our customers wanted to buy a Swiss army knife. We were quickly able to realize this, which now constitutes our true originality.
What is your main asset in this market?
We were able very quickly to have large groups as clients for our Studio : They gave us the elements and pushed to have a solution that made it possible to resolve concrete points of their Big Data problem. We work very closely with very specialized clients and people from the French data ecosystem, which is very rich and where there is no lack of good ideas.
We believe that being able to work and being pushed by this favorable ecosystem will allow us to develop the most relevant product on this subject, and to export it all over the world.
What is the best advice you have been given and by whom?
A former manager once explained to me: “Bring the customer in”. Bringing in the customer is a way of thinking about your company, your product, with users who talk about it, both positively and negatively, and making these users have more weight than the ego of any investor or director.
Who is the personality you admire the most?
There are many personalities in the world of technologies with exceptional backgrounds, who have created a lot of things by themselves, and especially have been the others to innovate. I think for example of Stephen Wolfram, physicist prodigy then creator of Mathematica, a software of calculation used in all the laboratories. Or Jim Goodnight, who worked on the Apollo program and then founded the SaS Institute and created a true culture of continuous innovation in his company.
Founders: Marc Batty, Thomas Cabrol, Florian Douetteau, Clément Sténac
Creation date : January 2013
Number of employees : 10
Sales figures : 650,000 euros
Company based in: Paris