Some of the glitter around the term “data lake” faded as we moved into 2015.
It could be that the promises of big data and Hadoop were being right-sized, as one might expect as technology moves from, what Gartner calls, the peak of inflated expectations and into the trough of disillusionment.
But it’s worth noting that a new buzzword began to emerge at around the same time. If you haven’t heard someone say “data swamp” yet, chances are you soon will.
The difference between a data lake and a data swamp, as you might imagine, is quality. Good data scientists demand it.
While some might argue that if you throw a query against a large-enough NoSQL database, the truth will emerge, others will argue that there has to be a better way.
The Tamr Way
And one of the “better ways” to work with more data and glean better, more accurate, insights might be via a technology like Tamr.
Tamr uses machine learning and algorithms to catalog data regardless of where — internally, externally, within and across silos — and in what format it is stored so that it can be searched from a single repository.
Tamr’s goal is to let customers leverage close to one hundred percent of the “right” data in their queries. It would be a huge boon to companies who want to truly have a 360 degree view of their customers; to mega companies who want to negotiate better deals with suppliers based on total spend versus spend per location or division; and to researchers who want to bring new drugs to market faster. among many others.
It’s a lofty goal, but it’s probably not out of reach when you consider who’s reaching for it — Michael Stonebraker, founder of database companies such as Ingres, Illustra, Cohera, StreamBase Systems, Vertica and VoltDB — and his co-founder in Tamr, Andy Palmer.
Stonebraker, by the way, will be accepting the Turing Award at the 2015 ACM Awards Banquet in San Francisco tomorrow. The award is often called the “Nobel Prize of Computing."
Next Big Thing?
Stonebraker isn’t done making his mark in the field though. He has said that Tamr’s technology and approach to scalable data unification will be the next big thing in data and analytics — much like column-store databases (Vertica) were the next big thing in 2004.
And Stonebraker and Palmer don’t seem to have any problem lining up believers. This morning the company announced that it has raised $25.2 Million in Series B financing from Hewlett Packard Ventures, Thomson Reuters, MassMutual Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), and others. Current Tamr investors NEA and Google Ventures also participated in the round.
All of these investors, mind you, have established relationships with the Tamr and or the Tamr team which suggests that they know exactly where they are putting their money.
Tamr will use the funds to significantly grow sales as well as product engineering for its scalable data unification platform.