Sprawl and silos: how Fivetran is using automation to extract value from data

Tom Allen
clock • 2 min read
"BI tools are only ever as good as the data that feeds them," says Fivetran's Nathaniel Spohn
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"BI tools are only ever as good as the data that feeds them," says Fivetran's Nathaniel Spohn

Integrating data into workflows is a prevalent challenge - is automation the way to solve it?

Integration is one of the most prevalent challenges facing organisation today: having data spread across multiple apps, environments and even cloud providers makes it difficult to extract value. Plenty of companies are attempting to solve this problem, but most are held back by the need to manually add each new dataset when it becomes available.

Fivetran, a finalist in the Cloud Integration Product of the Year category at Computing's Cloud Excellence Awards, has a different approach: ready-to-use connectors that automatically adapt as new datasets are added.

"This means data analysts always have access to the freshest data possible, with no gaps in their knowledge. Crucially, that means businesses can make quicker and better decisions," says Nathaniel Spohn, General Manager, EMEA.

"Today, most organisations rely on data to understand how well they're tracking against their business objectives, as well as extract insights that will steer their future plans," he continues. "That means many of them are investing heavily in business intelligence (BI) tools that help them make sense of all this information. 

"Despite massive advancements, these BI tools are only ever as good as the data that feeds them, and that's where Fivetran comes in. We automate the integration of the data that feeds into these tools so businesses can interrogate the most comprehensive and up-to-date information available."

Today, Fivetran has more than 1,300 customers worldwide, and has earned the coveted ‘unicorn' status, with a valuation of $1.2 billion. While this was a significant corporate achievement, Spohn is just as proud of his team:

"We've more than doubled the size of the team here [in Europe] in less than a year, and have helped some really well-known brands extract maximum value from their data. It's been an extremely rewarding and exciting experience for us all."

From a business perspective, Fivetran is focusing on keeping its customers happy - and the best way to do that is to keep expanding its service. On a technological level, the company has used this year to add new connectors, helping customers access "as many different datasets as possible, whether related to finance, marketing, sales, or several other lines of business." At the same time, Fivetran has developed its partnerships with the major cloud data warehouse providers, like Amazon Redshift, Snowflake and Google BigQuery.

The team is now waiting for the results of the Cloud Excellence Awards on the 5th November. Spohn says that initiatives like the Awards help companies - often bombarded with marketing information - understand what is right for them.

He adds, "These Awards are a chance to celebrate the fantastic achievements of the industry as a whole. 2020 has been like no other year, so this is a good chance to take stock of what the entire cloud industry has accomplished."

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