Guest: Tanmai Gopal (LinkedIn)
Company: Hasura (Twitter)
Show: Let’s Talk

A macro situation is driving a culture shift within companies around the world. CEOs have a mandate to move faster, be more efficient, and get more done with what they have today. They need to innovate, add end-user value, create business value, and they need to do it with lesser resources. With AI, it’s even more pressing — whoever is not adding value is going to suffer.

In this episode of TFiR: Let’s Talk, Tanmai Gopal, Co-Founder and CEO of Hasura, shares his insights on the data trends in the market, the recently concluded HasuraCon 2023 and its latest data delivery network.

Currents trends in the market:

  • People are starting to see not just the value of data, but being able to use that data ASAP, i.e., take data from one place and use it to do something else that is integrated with the product.
  • People want to use more data sources.
  • The capabilities that database vendors are offering have exploded. The variety of data sources has also exploded.
  • In the last 5 years, about 1,000 database and database-adjacent start-ups have been launched.
  • People are realizing the route that we went down on, where we have so many microservices and each microservice is working with each data store, is becoming cumbersome. They are getting very frustrated with the increasing complexity of systems.
  • A transition from being service first into data first is occurring. All of the innovation that has happened in the industry, the cloud-native work that we’ve done, and all the Kubernetes innovation that has happened is going to help.
  • There is no longer a clear separation between transactional data and analytical data. It’s becoming a continuous spectrum.
  • Users are getting wiser and are expecting a product to be integrated automatically with analytical information, enriched with AI.
  • There is a shift towards having more data expertise, and less about building and scaling microservices.

To unlock velocity and efficiency, companies need to achieve culture shifts in both product and data:

  • Become more product and end-user focused. Product thinking and product engineering are going to be more valuable. The product thinkers in the organization and people who are as close to the end user as possible will be the most valuable. CEOs may not understand the complexity, but these people know what to do. Work backwards from them and simplify everything.
  • Start to leverage best-of-breed polyglot data as much as possible. You can build good products if you use the best data sources that are available, if you can make your data migrate faster, if you can derisk the adoption of new data sources and new data vendors.
  • People who are from an engineering standpoint and familiar with first principles of how data sources and data systems work, how streaming data works, how analytical data works, how transaction data works, how databases work will become more important again because they can unlock the value of data.
  • Unlock the value of data that you have, or the new data that you want to create.
  • The two linchpins that any business cannot compromise on are reliability and security. When you break trust with your users and with their customers, then you are dead as a business. For reliability, it means concurrency, latency, and uptime. For security, authorization, data security, and compliance is critical. If you’re able to guarantee security and authorization at the data level, it makes life so much easier.

Hasura Data Delivery Network (DDN):

  • It was previewed at the 4th Annual HasuraCon 2023. It will be released in August.
  • It is essentially like a content delivery network (CDN), but brings the infrastructure layer to real-time data, transactional data, streaming data, analytical data, and vector data.
  • It becomes the edge and the layer that the product people can use to interact with the data and federated data teams can connect their data sources to the DDN. People who are building products can consume that data from the DDN.
  • It guarantees high concurrency, low latency, and uptime.
  • It is not a single point of failure. It is distributed with multi-cloud and multi region. It will be launched with 100 locations around the globe.
  • The entire theme of the conference was essentially around the various features that are being built to solve for security and authorization and enable multiple data teams to work together.

What’s ahead for Hasura:

  • Provide a knowledge API to allow people who are accessing data to be able to ask questions on that internal data that they have, which is a combination of structured and unstructured analysis. It will connect our internal private data with global human knowledge that is embedded in these large language models (LLMs), and then use that to provide a knowledge API.

This summary was written by Camille Gregory.         

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