24
Apr
By Mayank Bawa in Blogroll, Statements on April 24, 2008
   

My name is Mayank, and I co-founded Aster Data Systems with George and Tasso in 2005.

Shortly after incorporation, the three of us were eating lunch at a Chinese restaurant and out popped a fortune slip from a cookie reading:

You will always live in interesting times.

Indeed. The Internet is changing the speed at which we communicate, processes are being automated to react and execute in the blink of an eye, and data is playing a key role in guiding execution. Analysis of data is moving front-and-center, breaking out of the passive world of warehousing and reporting, as applications create intelligent processes, and companies live-and-die by their ability to monetize their data.

A new set of applications are being written - or waiting in-the-wings to be written - that will leverage data to act smarter. Consider the rapid evolution of online advertising networks: in the past 5 years, we have seen a spate of successful companies carving out a niche for themselves in the market. Their differentiation? The unique ability to match advertising inventory with consumer segments. Their basis of differentiation? Data!

And yet, a majority of these advertising networks do not use databases for their optimizations! Google and Yahoo! have famously built their own platforms; so did the amazingly talented teams at Right Media, Kosmix and Revenue Science. Of course, these companies use databases: but only for reporting and billing purposes.

How did we get to this cross-road where data is being analyzed outside the database?

For too long, databases have been clunky, monolithic systems that are rigid and inflexible, locking up the data in architectures that are

1. Hard to query
2. Hard to scale
3. Hard to manage

Meanwhile, the landscape of applications around a database is changing, shifting away slowly but surely.

We will use this blog to outline our thoughts on this changing landscape, along with our experiences in building an analytics database and a company that participates in this change.


Comments:
gurjeet on April 27th, 2008 at 10:23 pm #

bravo ! Indeed many new online services suffer from ‘scaling-aches’. Best of luck in your endeavors.

Ben Lindquist on April 29th, 2008 at 5:22 pm #

Word Mayank. Are you guys into mdx for accessing or sql? Any difference in ability to parallelize?

Can’t wait to use the db.

Ben

Dan on May 6th, 2008 at 11:58 am #

Indeed, we do live in interesting times! Innovation is needed and traditional database theory challenged. You have a good start and potential.

Mayank Bawa on May 17th, 2008 at 3:43 am #

Gurjeet, Dan: thanks for the kind words!

Ben: we don’t provide an MDX interface. I haven’t thought about parallelizing cubes generation and accesses on a cluster yet. I wonder if it can be done efficiently.

We live in interesting times! « Musings on May 20th, 2008 at 1:19 am #

[...] As Mayank has said on our blog, we indeed live in interesting times! [...]

[...] remarked in an earlier post that the usage of data is changing and new applications are on the horizon. Over the past few [...]

[...] had commented that a new set of applications are being written that leverage data to act smarter to enable companies to deliver more powerful analytic applications. Operating a business today [...]

[...] had commented that a new set of applications are being written that leverage data to act smarter to enable companies to deliver more powerful analytic applications. Operating a business today [...]

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