As a company these days, it’s way too easy to find your data spread across a wide variety of cloud services. And when it comes to tying that information together in a meaningful way, the result can be pretty confusing if you don’t have a data infrastructure team to join the dots.
That’s the problem that David Crawford is trying to fix with his cloud analytics startup MetricaDB, one of our Structure 2013 LaunchPad finalists. It’s a software-as-a-service (SaaS) tool for individual analysts who don’t care whether the data is held in a NoSQL database or behind a Salesforce or Google Analytics API – they just want to deal with it in one place.
Crawford’s a one-man band at the moment and the 8-month-old MetricaDB is a bootstrapped affair, but it seems pretty effective for such an early product (albeit a product that’s already evolved from simply enabling SQL queries against MongoDB data).
After signing up, you click on the different SaaS products you use to gain a view on your customer – Mailchimp, Sendgrid, Salesforce, Stripe and so on – and end up with a SQL console that puts all that data in straightforward tables. Then you can run SQL queries (MetricaDB is built on Postgres) or what have you and export the results to Excel.
So, for example, a user could look at support tickets on his or her company’s cloud CRM system and join it to the Stripe billing system to see how the biggest spenders feel they’re being treated.
“You’re not looking up the API libraries or running a script,” Crawford said. “You attach multiple services and they all just appear as tables in the same database – pulling the data together and doing something across the different sources is just a SQL join.”
Crawford is pitching MetricaDB as a product for individual analysts who are “tired of waiting for engineers to get the data they want and have them deliver an Excel spreadsheet” – down the line he wants to add enough features to make it a fully-fledged enterprise play, but right now he’s attacking the market from the bottom up.
“What I’ve learned about security in the SaaS world is it’s largely a brand perception issue,” Crawford said. “I need to build the brand so people will be comfortable giving me access to their proprietary data and knowing I’ll steer it well.”