Venture Capital

Comcast Ventures Invests in AtScale, a Business Intelligence-Focused Platform

Comcast Ventures Principal, Matt Carbonara, discusses the firm's most recent investment in AtScale.

Imagine thousands of analysts at a Fortune 500 company running numbers, then trying to synthesize the findings into one place to make key critical decisions. Sounds tough right? Now imagine those numbers, viewed in places like Tableau to Excel all from one source, analyzed cohesively to provide real-time analytics critical for key business decisions. This can be done by Comcast Ventures most recent investment, AtScale, which makes BI work on Hadoop.

Comcast Ventures Principal Matt Carbonara, who led the Series B investment, is excited to "accelerate growth and drive innovation enabling enterprises to derive insights on massive data sets in Hadoop as evidenced by partnerships in the industry, including Comcast."

Let’s hear a little more from the company itself, by way of Founder and CEO, Dave Mariani.

What is AtScale?

AtScale makes BI work on Hadoop. The AtScale Intelligence Platform enables business users to gain access to the power of Hadoop in real time. With AtScale, business users get interactive and multi-dimensional analysis capabilities, directly on Hadoop, at maximum speed, using the tools they already know, such as Tableau, Microsoft Excel or any custom BI tools that talks SQL or MDX.

What differentiates AtScale from the competition?

No company has been able to bridge the gap between Hadoop and business users, without moving data, without installing a new BI tool on users’ desktops or taking them away from the tool they already know (Tableau, Microsoft Excel...etc). Our technology allows organizations to continue using their favorite visualization tools while accessing all the data in Hadoop clusters, without any intrusion in their existing IT environment.

What surprises you the most about BI? What’s next in BI?

I’m surprised by how little the definition of Business Intelligence (BI) has changed. Twenty-five years ago, being a BI platform meant that you provided a full stack answer to customer; from data processing to data visualization. With new data sources like Hadoop and the proliferation of new visualization options (Gartner has 24 vendors in their Magic Quadrant), the definition needs to change.

The reality in the enterprise today is that they have tens of datasources and tens of Business Intelligence tools and user types they need to serve. Therefore, being a BIplatform in 2015 means something different. It means that you have to be open to all BI tools, it means that you have to be able to work the data wherever it lays and in whatever form it comes. That’s what’s coming up next! :)

What advice would you give fellow entrepreneurs?

Develop a business based on your expertise and have a full understanding of customers' needs. Too many startups develop solutions before understanding whether there is truly a customer problem and what it is. Our team lived the problems in our previous jobs so we knew the challenges of connecting to Hadoop.

What do you do when you’re not at your day job?

I run about 2.5 miles everyday at 6:30am - it's great way to clear my head and get me set for the day. When I'm not running or at work, I'm managing the mayhem associated with being the father of 4 kids: 18 year daughter, 3 sons (13, 11, 11). I love building things - not just software, but physical things too. I'm an amateur carpenter, tile man and mason. I love home improvement and I'm the quintessential "do it yourself" guy.