In recent years, we have witnessed a massive transformation in the kinds of technologies available to companies to work with large amounts of data. However, this transformation has not been smooth sailing. People have run into numerous challenges on the path to adopting big data, ranging from a lack of metadata management to a lack of security and governance controls. All of which impede a company’s ability to derive value from their investments. More importantly, these challenges fundamentally impact the productivity of people working with these new technologies. Data professionals spend the majority of their time in plumbing, building custom integration, and creating copies of data for every single use case and every single user. This is a massive drain on productivity and a massive waste of resources.
My co-founder, Nong, and I spent numerous hours talking about this problem space, what it could look like and where the gaps are. Not only did we share a common vision for how to solve the technological gap, we shared a common philosophy for the kind of company we wanted to build, the kind of products we would like to offer, and how we would like to serve our customers. That alignment quickly became the genesis of Okera (called Cerebro Data at the time).
We started our company in April 2016 with the intent of solving data management problems for customers in a data-centric way; a way that was infrastructure, platform, and tool agnostic. It would be a product you could run anywhere (cloud / on-premise), use on any data platform, and with any analytics engine; a product that didn’t need you to do a lot of custom engineering or create copies of data. This was a lofty goal and many scoffed at us, but we believed we were on to something even if we weren’t able to articulate it crisply at the time.