In 2006, when Amazon Web Services first launched, it started with three core services:
- Storage (Amazon Simple Storage Service, S3)
- Compute (Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, EC2)
- Messaging (Amazon Simple Queue Service, SQS)
These three services created a platform and the basis of one of the fastest industry transformations in human history. Suddenly, businesses were freed of the shackles of running and managing their own data centers. On these new Platform services, they could build easier, faster, and more simply than ever before.
And simplicity begets simplicity. In 2019, managing, running, and procuring data centers is fading into a dim and distant past. In fact, enterprises large and small are getting serious about removing the need to manage infrastructure entirely, virtual or otherwise.
Why build and manage data platforms and all the underpinnings they need, when these duties can be run more effectively and efficiently by Software as a Service (SaaS) providers? Why deal with the complexity of how a data pipeline corrals your data when someone else can worry about that, leaving you free to actually analyze your data?
At Matillion our customers are crystal clear: ”Please take care of running our data integration software so we can get on with the data analysis.” Their request provided the catalyst and the momentum to set off on Matillion’s SaaS journey.
Now we are at the first milestone on that journey. We are thrilled to announce the release of Matillion Data Loader. Building on Matillion’s proven data transformation technology, Matillion Data Loader is a SaaS product that provides simple out-of-the-box data integration. Matillion Data Loader helps both technical and non-technical data users across the business load data from popular sources into cloud data warehouses such as Amazon Redshift, Snowflake, and Google BigQuery.
Matillion Data Loader came to fruition by the hands and dedication of our skilled development teams, who created a new product on new technology to meet the escalating market demand for SaaS solutions. What is it about SaaS that is so appealing to businesses?
Why SaaS? Why now?
I wrote a blog earlier this year for Inside Big Data – When Data-Driven Meets Data Silos: Let the Fun Really Begin. To summarize, SaaS products are easy to get started with, often priced “enticingly just within the spending power of middle management, team leaders, developers, or anyone with an unscratched IT itch and a job they need to get done.” Therein lies the allure of SaaS. It is not just about the price, but the value associated with that price. SaaS comes fully managed to handle DevOps, infrastructure, security which greatly reduces overhead. It just works.
SaaS also reduces complexity. Matillion ETL is cloud-based (as opposed to SaaS-based). Matillion ETL customers benefit from an understanding of SQL and Python, and even building API profiles, to help them achieve the freedom and flexibility to meet unique and complex business needs and requirements. These skills are not often synonymous with the capabilities of a business analyst, whose job depends on data.
The path to true “data democratization”
The market talks a lot about democratizing data, making data available to everyone across the organization – technical and non-technical – to become data-driven. While “data democratization” is inherently a buzzword, the concept is invaluable for businesses of all sizes. Equipping the whole business, from your engineers to business analysts, with data facts enables an organization to achieve the level of data-centric thinking required to sustain competitive advantages.
However, there has been a technological limitation in achieving this goal. Current options in the market assume all data is owned by a central IT function and, therefore, all end users have at least a proficient understanding of ETL technology. Whether you operate in a smaller start-up to a large global enterprise, this is not always the case.
Data solutions for everyone in the business
At Matillion, we believe professionals in every business area – from marketing to finance to customer success – will need to work effectively with data and data warehouses. Lack of deep technical skills should never be a barrier. We seek to enable these users with simple yet powerful products like Matillion Data Loader.
When I think about our own organization, we have a marketing team that relies on CRM systems and sales-owned assets, which are shared with the customer success team. Our Finance team uses SaaS-based expense and payroll platforms. These departments both own and use data, yet are limited in their ability to share and contribute data to the overall business view. Their skill sets reside outside the traditional technical capabilities required. As an organization, we have created data silos that prevent us from answering questions about the cost of acquisition, expenditure, and profit.
Goodbye to data silos
To truly democratize data, we first have to democratize the ability to consolidate data and close silos. This is something the market has not been solving. The strain is only compounding as the technical skills gap grows. Gartner predicts that, by 2020, 75 percent of organizations will experience visible business disruptions due to infrastructure and operations skills gaps.
Matillion Data Loader seeks to solve this problem by democratizing data integration enabling more individuals across the organization to close data silos. With a simplified UI and code-free pipeline builders, anyone with access to the data source and an authenticated cloud data warehouse can control their own data integration and analytics needs. This capability both empowers data users and takes the pressure off developers. Skilled coders can focus on high-value activities to progress the organization’s data maturity from data preparation to transformation to machine learning and automated insights.
How does Matillion Data Loader work?
Matillion Data Loader is underpinned by a robust cloud infrastructure. Users get the same speed and performance as in our award-winning Matillion ETL product. Matillion Data Loader allows the user to configure pipelines from a range of sources to cloud data warehouses. The users only need to make simple choices about what data they need to load. The power of the product is in the implementation of these data pipelines, which are based on our tried and tested Matillion ETL products used by hundreds of customers worldwide for critical workloads in a huge variety of industries.