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Companies are having to deal with a growing volume of business data. According to Statista, from 2020 to 2022, total enterprise data volume will climb from one petabyte to 2.02 petabytes — a 42.2% average annual growth. Driven by this trend, Gartner estimated that data storage was a $173 billion business in 2018.
Large stores of data can be used for analytics, as well as AI and machine learning applications. But the challenge often lies in cleansing, normalizing, and unifying the data so that it can be worked with. Case in point, Forrester reports that between 60% and 73% of all data within an enterprise goes unused for analytics. Gartner finds that the majority of organizations struggle with the “data silo” problem, with individual business units pursuing their own data initiatives as standalone projects lacking leadership and guidance.
Unsurprisingly, companies professing to offer solutions to the data disparity problem have risen to prominence in recent years. Markets and Markets expects that the market for data integration software alone will be worth over $19 billion by 2026. CData, one of the larger brands in the growing segment, claims to have over 10,000 enterprises and partners worldwide including Tableau, Apple, AstraZeneca, Target, and Office Depot.
“In 2014, CData was spun out of /N software, a global provider of enterprise-class developer tools for internet communications and security. Founded by /N software founder Gent Hito, Amit Sharma, and I, CData’s charter was to extend connectivity beyond the developer community by democratizing data access and simplifying the way that people, applications, and systems connect,” CMO Eric Madariaga told VentureBeat via email. “CData is transforming the data connectivity landscape with modern data accessibility solutions that empower data democratization across every industry.”
Data integration challenges
Data integration platforms can reconcile data across various places, allowing companies to connect the data that they already use in isolation. Not only can they lead to better collaboration, but data integration software can potentially improve the value of a business’ data by correlating events to identify relationships and trends and make predictions.
For example, CData connects with on-premises and cloud sources to provide a way to synchronize data from databases, apps, APIs, data warehouses, enterprise resource management and customer relationship management platforms, and services. It can create and maintain a replica of data that can be leveraged in business intelligence and reporting tools to produce business intelligence, enabling customers to create process flows to automate tasks like file transfers.
CData says that its connectivity tools — which can combine data into a single, consistent data store — are designed to support non-technical and low-code developers, in theory making them more accessible to non-developers. Madariaga believes that this is a key differentiator compared with other data integration platforms. Surveys have shown that developers using low-code or no-code development tools to build custom solutions typically build those solutions quickly, particularly with drag-and-drop interfaces.
“Data sprawl has become a major challenge facing most data-driven organizations. As technology leaders look to combat the growing volume of data distributed across cloud, hybrid, and multicloud environments, real-time data connectivity solutions have become essential to success in the modern business landscape,” Madariaga added. “CData enables data connectivity to hundreds of software-as-a-service applications, databases, big data sources, APIs, and even unstructured data, all through standard structured query language — the same interface for working with relational databases.”
CData, which has more than 200 employees worldwide, competes with companies including Hightouch, Syncari, and Matillion. It expects significant growth in the next few months as the pandemic prompts companies to consider adopting data analytics technologies. Recently, Google, Salesforce, SAS, and OutSystems joined the likes of Tableau, Informatica, and Tibco in embedding CData’s technologies. And CData today announced that it raised $140 million in a series B round led by Updata Partners, bringing its total capital raised to $160 million.
In a Dresner Advisory Associates survey, over 80% of enterprise business operations leaders said that data integration is critical to ongoing operations. Sixty-seven percent of enterprises are relying on data integration to support analytics and business intelligence platforms today, and 24% are planning to in the next 12 months.
“As the global workforce went remote during the pandemic, many businesses were forced to accelerate their digital transformation efforts. But this trend of rapid digitization has led to a multitude of challenges, including how to quickly and effectively modernize the data ecosystem without disrupting existing business processes,” Madariaga continued. “We plan [to] invest in our cloud strategy [and] focus on hiring across the organization to further accelerate our rapid growth plans … Our goal is to double in size over the course of 2022, bringing our headcount to 400 employees across the globe.”
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