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Data productivity and Zero friction ETL on theCUBE at AWS re:Invent 2022

Matthew Scullion and Hoshang Chenoy joined Lisa Martin and Dave Vellante on an episode of theCUBE to discuss Matillion’s Data Productivity Cloud, the exciting story of data productivity in action inside Cisco Meraki and the AWS keynote from Adam Selipsky.

Matthew shared how the data industry, customers, and partners have reacted to the launch of our Data Productivity Cloud platform and how it has helped enterprises get business-ready data faster. One of those enterprises is Cisco Meraki, a tenured customer of Matillion. Hoshang Chenoy, Principal Marketing Intelligence Scientist at Cisco Meraki detailed how his team used Matillion to get a 40x return on their SMB campaigns by integrating all of their data sources, building transformations, and then refining their processes to improve the customer experience. 

Matthew shared his view on the recent announcement from AWS about “Zero ETL” and how Matillion’s ELT approach via the Data Productivity Cloud provides data engineers and data scientists a simple way to load, transform, sync and orchestrate their data. 

Check it out here or read the full transcript below.

 

Read the full transcript:

Lisa Martin:

Welcome back to Vegas, it’s theCUBE live at AWS re:Invent 2022. There are, we’re hearing, up to 50,000 people here, it feels like it. The energy at this show is palpable, I love that. Lisa Martin here with Dave Vellante. Dave, we had the keynote this morning, that Adam Selipsky delivered lots of momentum in his first year. One of the things that you said that you were looking in your breaking analysis that was released a few days ago, four trends and one of them, you said under Selipsky’s rule in the 2020s, there’s going to be a rush of data that will dwarf anything we have ever seen.

Dave Vellante:

Yeah, it was at least a quarter, maybe a third of his keynote this morning was all about data and the theme is simplifying data and doing better data integration, integrating across different data platforms and we’re excited to talk about that. Always want to simplify data, it’s like the rush of data is so fast, it’s hard for us to keep up.

Lisa Martin:

It is hard to keep up. We’re going to be talking with an alumni next about how his company is helping organizations like Cisco Meraki keep up with that data explosion. Please welcome back to the program, Matthew Scullion, the CEO of Matillion and Hoshang Chenoy joins us, Data Scientist at Cisco Meraki. Guys, great to have you on the program.

Hoshang Chenoy:

Good to see you guys.

Matthew Scullion:

Great to be back.

Lisa Martin:

So Matthew, when we last saw you just a few months ago in Vegas.

Matthew Scullion:

Yep.

Lisa Martin:

At Snowflake Summit.

Matthew Scullion:

We only meet in Vegas.

Lisa Martin:

I guess we do. That’s okay. Talk to us about some of the things, I know that Matillion is a data transformation solution that was originally introduced for AWS for Redshift. But talk to us about Matillion, what’s been going on since we’ve seen you last?

Matthew Scullion:

Well, I mean it’s not that long ago, but actually, quite a lot and it’s all to do with exactly what you guys were just talking about there. This almost hard to comprehend way the world is changing with the amounts of data that we now can and need to put to work. And our world view is there’s no shortage of data, but the choke points, certainly one of the choke points, maybe the choke point is our ability to make that data useful, to make it business ready. And we always talk about the end use cases, we talk about the dashboard or the AI model or the data science algorithm, but before we can do any of that fun stuff, we have to refine raw data into business ready, usable data,

And that’s what Matillion is all about. And so since we last met, we’ve made a couple of really important announcements and possibly at the top of the list is what we call the data productivity cloud. And it’s really squarely addressed this problem, it’s the results of many years of work, really the apex of many years of the outsize engineering investment Matillion loves to make. And the data productivity cloud is all about helping organizations like Cisco Meraki and hundreds of others, enterprise organizations around the world get their data business ready faster.

Lisa Martin:

Hoshang, talk to us a little bit about what’s going on at Cisco Meraki, how you’re leveraging Matillion from a productivity standpoint.

Hoshang Chenoy:

I’ve really been a Matillion fan for a while, actually even before Cisco Meraki at my previous company, Liveramp. And we brought Matillion to Liveramp because to Matthew’s point, there is a stage in every data growth, as I want to call it, where you have different companies at different stages. But to get data ready, you really need a platform like Matillion because it makes it really easy. So you have to understand, Matillion I think is designed for someone that uses a lot of code, but also that’s someone that uses no code because the UI is so good. Someone like a marketer who doesn’t really understand what’s going on with that data but wants to be a data-driven marketer, when they look at the UI, they immediately get it. They’re just like, “Oh, I get what’s happening with my data.” And so that’s the brilliance of Matillion.

And to get data to that data-ready part, Matillion does a really, really good job because what we’ve been able to do is blend so many different data sources. So there is an abundance of data, data is siloed though and the connectivity between different data is getting harder and harder. And so here comes to Matillion with this really simple solution, easy-to-use platform, powerful and we get to use all of that. So to really change the way we’ve thought about our analytics, the way we’ve progressed our division.

Dave Vellante:

You’re always asking about superpowers and that is a superpower, Matillion, because low-code, no-code sounds great but it only gets you a quarter of the way there, maybe 50% of the way there. So it’s kind of an and, not an or.

Matthew Scullion:

That’s a hundred percent right. And so I mentioned the data productivity cloud earlier, which is the name of this platform of technology we provide that’s all to do with making data business ready. And so I think one of the things we’ve seen in this industry over the past few years is an extreme decomposition in terms of vendors of making data business ready. You’ve got vendors that just do loading, you’ve got vendors that just do a bit of data transformation, you’ve got vendors that do data ops and orchestration, you’ve got vendors that do reverse ETL. And so with the data productivity platform, you’ve got all of that. And particularly in this macroeconomic heavy weather that we’re now starting to face, I think companies are looking for that. It’s like I don’t want to buy five things, five sets of skills, five expensive licenses, I want one platform that can do it.

But to your point, Dave, it’s the and not the or. We talk about the data productivity cloud, the DPC as being everyone ready. And what we mean by that is if you are the tech-savvy marketer who wants to get a particular insight and you understand what a row and a column is, but you’re not necessarily a hardcore super geeky data engineer, then you can visual low code, no code your data to a point where it’s business ready, you can do that really quick. It’s easy to understand. It’s faster to ramp people onto those projects ’cause it explains itself, faster to hand it over ’cause it’s self-documenting. But they’ll always be individuals, teams and or use cases that want to hire coders as well. Maybe you want to code in SQL or Python increasingly of course in DBT and you can do that on top of the data productivity cloud as well. So you’re not having to make a choice, but is that right?

Hoshang Chenoy:

It’s accurate. So one of the things that Matillion really delivers is speed to insight. I’ve always said that when you want to be business ready, you want to make fast decisions, you want to act on data quickly, Matillion allows you to. The speed to insight is just unbelievably fast because you blend all of these different data sources, you can find the deficiencies in your process, you fix that and you can quickly turn things around. And I don’t think there’s any other platform that I’ve ever used that has that ability. So the speed to insight is so tremendous with Matillion.

Matthew Scullion:

And the thing I always assume going on in our customers teams, like you run, Hoshang, is that the visual metaphor, be it around the orchestration and data ops jobs, be it around the transformation. I hope it makes it easier for teams, not only to build it in the first place, but to live with it, to hand it over to other people and all that good stuff. Is that true?

Hoshang Chenoy:

Let me highlight that a little bit more and better for you. So say for example, if you don’t have a platform like Matillion, you don’t really have a central repository of all of your code, you could have a Git repository, you could do all of those things. But for example, for definitions, business definitions, any of those kind of things, you don’t want it to live in just a spreadsheet, you want it to have a central platform where everybody can go in, there’s detailed notes, copious notes that you can make on Matillion and people know exactly which flow to go to be part of. And so I think that’s really, really important because that’s really helped us in a big, big way. Because when I first got there, you know were pulling code from different scripts and things and you were trying to piece everything together, but when you have a platform like Matillion and you actually see it seamlessly across, it’s just so phenomenal.

Dave Vellante:

So I want to pick up on something Matthew said about consolidating platforms and vendors because we have some data from PTR, one of our survey partners, and every quarter they do surveys, and they asked the customers that were going to decrease their spending in the quarter, how are you going to do it? And number one, by far, over a third said, we’re going to consolidate redundant vendors. They’re way ahead of cloud, they were going to optimize cloud resources, that was next at 15%. So, confirms what you were saying and you’re hearing that a lot, were you away, because in IT we never get rid of stuff. We talk about it all the time, we call it GRS, get rid of stuff. Were you able to consolidate or at least minimize your expense around?

Hoshang Chenoy:

Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. What we were able to do is identify different parts of our tech stack that were just either deficient or duplicate. So it’s just like we don’t want any duplicate efforts, we just want to be able to have a single platform that does things, does things well and Matillion helped us identify all of those different and how do we choose the right tech stack. It’s also about, Matillion is so easy to integrate with any tech stack, they have a generic API tool that you can log into anything besides all of the components that are already there. So it’s a great platform to help you do that.

Matthew Scullion:

And the three things we always say about the data productivity cloud, everyone ready we spoke about this is whether you’re low code, no code, quasi technical, quasi business person using it through to a high-end data engineer, you’re going to feel at home on the DPC.

The second one, which Hoshang was just alluding to there is Stack Ready. So it is built for AWS, built for Snowflake, built for Redshift, pure, tight integration, push down ELT better than you could write yourself by hand.

And then the final one is Future Ready, which is this idea that you can start now super easy. And we buy software quickly nowadays, we spin it up, we try it out and before we know it, the whole organization’s using it. And so the Future Ready talks about that continuum of being able to launch in five minutes, learn it in five hours, deliver your first project in five days and yet still be happy that it’s an enterprise scalable platform five years down track, including integrating with all the different things. So Matillion’s job holding up the end of the bargain that Hoshang was just talking about there, is to ensure we keep putting the features, integrations and support into the data productivity cloud to make sure that Hoshang’s team can continue to live inside it and do all the things they need to do.

Lisa Martin:

Hoshang, you talked about the speed to insight being tremendously fast, but if I’m looking at Cisco Meraki from a high-level business outcome perspective, what are some of those outcomes that Matillion is helping Cisco Miraki to achieve?

Hoshang Chenoy:

So I can just talk in general, not giving you any specific numbers or anything, but for example, we were trying to understand how well our small and medium business campaigns were doing, and we had to actually pull in data from multiple different sources. So not just our instances of Marketo and Salesforce, we had to look at our internal databases. So Matillion helped us blend all of that together. Once I had all of that data blended, it was then ready to be analyzed. And once we had that analysis done, we were able to confirm that our SMB campaigns were doing well, but these are the things that we need to do to improve them. When we did that, and all of that happened so quickly because they were like, “Well, you need to get data from here, you need to get data from there.” And we’re like, “Great, we’ll just plug, plug, plug.” We put it all together, build transformations, and we produced this insight and then we were able to reform, refine, and keep getting better and better at it. And we had a 40-X return on SMB campaigns. It’s unbelievable.

Lisa Martin:

And there’s the revenue tie-in right there.

Dave Vellante:

Yeah. Matthew, I know you’ve been super busy, tons of meetings, you didn’t get to see the whole keynote, but one of the themes of Adam Selipsky’s keynote was the three-letter word of ETL. They laid out a vision of zero ETL and then they announced zero ETL for Aurora and Redshift. And you think about ETL, I remember the Hadoop days, they said, “Okay, we’re going to do ELT,” which is raising the debt ceiling, we’re just going to kick the can down the road. So what do you think about that vision? How does it relate to what you guys are doing?

Matthew Scullion:

So there was, I don’t know if this only works in the UK or it works globally, it was a good line many years ago, “Rumors of my death are premature,” I think it was an obituary had gone out in The Times by accident and that’s how the guy responded to it, something like that. It’s a little bit like that. The announcement earlier within the AWS space of zero ETL between platforms like Aurora and Redshift and perhaps more over time is really about data movement. So it’s about, do I need to do a load of high cost in terms of coding and compute movement of data between one platform and another? At Matillion, we’ve always seen data movement as an enabling technology, which gets you to the value add of transformation.

My favorite metaphor to bring this to life is one of iron, so the world’s made of iron, right? The world is literally made of iron ore but iron ore isn’t useful until you turn it to steel. Loading data is digging out iron ore from the ground and moving it to the refinery, transformation of data is turning in ore into steel. And what the announcements you saw earlier from AWS are more about the quarry to the factory bit than they are about the iron ore to the steel bit. And so I think it’s great that platforms are making it easier to move data between them, but it doesn’t change the need for Hoshang’s business professionals to refine that data into something useful to drive their marking campaigns.

Dave Vellante:

I like that, that’s quarry to the factory. And very Snowflake in a way, you make it easy to get in, as long as that’s it.

Matthew Scullion:

That’s the other thing, it’s like, don’t get me wrong, I’m great to see investment going into the Redshift business and the AWS data analytics stack, we do a lot of business there. But yes, this stuff is also there on Snowflake already.

Dave Vellante:

I mean, come on, we’ve seen this for years. I know there’s a big love fest between Snowflake and AWS because they’re selling so much business in the field, but look we saw it separating computing from storage, then AWS does it and now you know why not? It’s good sense, that’s what customers want, the customer is obsessed, data sharing is another thing.

Matthew Scullion:

And if you take data sharing as an example from our friends at Snowflake, when that was announced, a few people possibly yourselves said, “Oh Matthew, what do you think about this? You’re in the data movement business.” And I was like, “Ah, I’m not really, actually some of my competitors are in the data movement business. I have data movement as part of my platform. We don’t charge directly for it. It’s just part of the platform.” And really what it’s to do is to get the data into a place where you can do the fun stuff with it, of refining it into steel. And so if Snowflake or now AWS and the Redshift group are making that easier, that’s just faster to fun for me really.

Dave Vellante:

Yeah, sure.

Lisa Martin:

Last question, a question for both of you. You have a brand new shiny car, you got a bumper sticker that you want to put on that car to tell everyone about Matillion, everyone about Cisco Meraki, what does that bumper sticker say?

Matthew Scullion:

So for Matillion, it says, “Matillion is the data productivity cloud. We help you make your data business ready faster,” and then for a joke I’d write, “which you are going to need in the face of this tsunami of data,” so that’s what mine would say.

Lisa Martin:

Love it. Hoshang, what would you say?

Hoshang Chenoy:

I would say that, “Cisco makes some of the best products for IT professionals.” And I don’t think you can really do the things you do in IT without any Cisco product, really phenomenal products. And we’ve gone so much beyond just the IT realm, so it’s been phenomenal.

Lisa Martin:

Awesome. Guys, it’s been a pleasure having you back on the program, congrats to you now Hoshang, an alumni of theCUBE.

Hoshang Chenoy:

Thank you.

Lisa Martin:

But thank you for talking to us, Matthew, about what’s going on with Matillion so much since we’ve seen you last, I can imagine how much more are going to go on until we see you again. But we appreciate, especially having the Cisco Meraki customer example that really articulates the value of data for everyone. We appreciate your insights and we appreciate your time.

Matthew Scullion:

It’s a privilege to be here, thanks for having us.

Lisa Martin:

A pleasure. For our guests and Dave Vellante, I’m Lisa Martin. You’re watching theCUBE, the leader in live enterprise and emerging tech coverage.

 

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