Founded in 2014 by experienced FinTech professionals Oksana Sokolovsky, CEO, and Rohit Mahajan, CTO and CPO, Io-Tahoe bills itself as “the foundation of all data discovery”—and judging from some of their recent milestones, that may not be an exaggeration.
With headquarters in New York City and development centers in the Ukraine, United Kingdom, and India, Io-Tahoe is preparing to announce some big news at the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit 2018 in London: the company has launched the General Availability (GA) version of their machine learning-driven, smart data discovery platform. They have additionally enhanced it with a new Data Catalog feature that promises to allow data-driven enterprises to enhance information about data, leverage that data across the enterprise, and build a data catalog.
To understand the importance of this announcement for the data discovery community, it helps to back up and understand the company’s vision. Io-Tahoe has charged itself with the challenging task of “building the best data discovery product, which will be the fundamental building block for all data disciplines.” This means that in addition to creating a product that’s the foundation of all data discovery, the company hopes their platform will make data available to everyone in a given organization and help disentangle the currently complex maze of data relationships that many companies are faced with today.
It takes a lot to make this work, so Io-Tahoe has a seven-part value proposition that begins with a bedrock of machine learning—in other words, using machine learning to identify all data relationships. The company also has pledged a commitment to analyze all data, not just metadata, and to practice what it calls “platform agnosticism”—allowing organizations to discover their data assets across the enterprise and technologies alike. Incorporating a variety of data disciplines—from data science and analytics to data governance, data management, and more—comprises the fourth component of the value prop. They’ve additionally committed to empowerment for users to make data available to everyone in an organization, ease of use via an intuitive user interface, and modernized architecture with the application built to scale for large enterprises.
If Io-Tahoe really does provide the foundation for all data discovery, though, what exactly does that mean from a market perspective? Is this the case of a big fish in a small pond? Not according to market research which shows that escalating demands for governance and compliance have created a significant opportunity for data discovery that is nothing short of dramatic. For example, a report from Markets and Markets suggests that the data discovery market could balloon from $4.33 billion (where it was in 2016) to $10.66 billion by 2021, representing a CAGR of nearly 20 percent [i]. Io-Tahoe has publically stated that North America and Europe currently represent the largest market opportunities, particularly in retail services, financial services, and utilities.
One market driver behind these trends includes the increasing importance of data-driven decision making. Io-Tahoe recently identified the following other market drivers that they predict to see by 2020:
- Regulatory and audit pressures, with firms required to discover and understand their data
- The rise of intelligent tech, with an increase in prescriptive analytics built on cognitive computing functionality
- Lack of data science know-how, with limited resources and availability of experts in-house
- Expanding data sources, with rapid growth of available data merging with increased demand to understand it
- Monetization of data assets, with more businesses starting to view data as an asset with a measureable return
- Increasing costs, with higher data volumes from digital transformation and IoT initiatives requiring IT modernization
- Reduced silos, with unified data platforms and unification across information management
But while all of this is good news from a data discovery market perspective, enterprises grappling with its implications have struggled with the challenge of integrating a growing number of disparate platforms, databases, data lakes, and other silos of data since the gargantuan volume of this information has traditionally prevented the comprehensive governance, and use, of enterprise data. This is why Io-Tahoe’s announcement appears to be so timely. The launch of GA of the company’s data discovery platform means that all enterprises have equal opportunity to benefit from what the company terms its “unique algorithmic product” that enables enterprises to auto-discover more information about both their data and data relationships. And if the Data Catalog feature lives up to its promises, data owners and other data stewards will now have guidance through business rules and policy workflow functionality, with business users becoming empowered to govern the rules and define policies for critical data elements.
The data discovery product has the potential to offer a number of benefits to users, from reduced labor costs (it’s designed to automatically uncover data across an entire organization in minutes rather than the usual weeks) to monetizing data in order to drive revenue. The platform also offers self-service features that have the potential to improve team engagement through the ability to easily share data knowledge. With Data Catalog in the mix, the company maintains that users will now also be able to ensure data governance across large and diverse landscapes of enterprise technologies, meet regulatory compliance, and gain operational agility by drastically expediting and automating the otherwise manual process of data discovery to improve efficiency and resource planning.
The company has identified three representative use cases to exemplify how customers could potentially use Io-Tahoe. From a system perspective, the platform can help with quickly and cost-effectively understanding the data lake and database migration as well as system migration and modernization, and M&A system integration/divesture. The data analytics use case comprises analytics improvement, revenue enhancement and cross-selling, and enhancement of complementary products. Finally, in the governance and regulatory arena, the platform is designed to assist with data governance as well as regulatory/compliance challenges.
Io-Tahoe also shared the following customer examples in terms of potential business impact. One customer used the company’s product for data discovery and impact analysis in relation to its re-platforming efforts. As a result, Io-Tahoe reports that the client’s analysis time was reduced three times, and analysis cost went down 80 percent, with dependencies well understood and managed. A major investment bank used Io-Tahoe for discovery of data assets, with a new chief data officer (CDO) intended to discover and manage all data assets. The company reported similarly positive results, with the process becoming automated and high-quality output, as well as key stakeholders being freed for value-added work, including the CDO who became empowered to focus on data analytics.
In short, Io-Tahoe is a company to watch, as their technology addresses the big and growing real-world challenges related to data discovery that very few competitors are addressing (and none very well). With enterprises needing effective and comprehensive access to their data no matter where it’s retained, a platform that can empower governance and compliance with a deeper view and understanding into data and its relationships may soon be at the top of every CDO’s wish list.
By: Jaideep Khanduja, Regional Director, ApOn Innovations