GoodData targets big business data with new offering

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Already a success thanks to its flagship cloud service that delivers analytics tied to popular software-as-a-service applications, GoodData is expanding its presence across users’ data environments. With a set of new business-specific offerings called GoodData Bashes (“business” plus “mashups” equals “bashes”), employees dealing with sales, marketing or subscription data can connect their various data sources to the GoodData service and receive valuable analytics in return.

Roman Stanek

Like GoodData’s original service — and most cloud-based analytics services (e.g., Datahero or Bime) — Bashes are all about simplicity. Each Bash (GoodSales, GoodMarketing and GoodSubscription) is tuned for the metrics that matter in those fields, and GoodData delivers the charts, dashboards and other content to help users make sense of what’s going on in their department. All users have to do is connect their Bashes to relevant data sources, which GoodData Founder and CEO Roman Stanek told me is also very easy to do.

He knows his company’s audience is business users, not technology experts, and everything is built with that distinction in mind. “More big data technology is not going to help someone who doesn’t know where the data is and how to use it,” Stanek said.

And despite some reservation over the overuse of the term “big data,” that’s exactly what GoodData is doing — even if its customers don’t know it. As they connect more data sources and expect deeper, faster analytics, GoodData has to step up its operations. Stanek said his company’s infrastructure, which runs on the Amazon Web Services cloud computing platform, handles about 20,000 data feeds per day from its 6,000-plus customers. GoodData is running Hadoop, in-memory databases, analytics software and everything else necessary to ingest, process, analyze and visualize data so customers don’t have to.

Making the process appear seamless for users is not easy work. “As a founder, I expected this to be much easier,” Stanek said. “We¬†essentially have to capture the intelligence that every company has about their business.” That means being flexible enough, for example, to let every ZenDesk or Salesforce.com user create different views of the same type of data, and to be able to handle those different data types and sources at all.

Without cloud computing and agile development, Stanek said, a company like GoodData wouldn’t be possible. Without open APIs and the idea that everything is potentially its own platform, he said, an offering like Bashes wouldn’t have been possible. Thanks to this confluence of technology trends, however, GoodData has essentially created what he calls a “platform as a service that has all the Lego blocks of Bashes.” Users just need to connect them.

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