An Agile Approach to Delivering Agile BI
|An Agile Approach to Delivering Agile BIFor this month’s issue of Good News, I’d like to give you an update on GoodData, review where we have been for the last two years, and give you a preview of the exciting news coming soon. Thanks for reading.
Roman Stanek, CEO
|There is no right or wrong in the early days of startup. Since “in a startup no facts exist inside the building, only opinions,” the first software release is usually built on an unproven set of opinions, assumptions and hypotheses. This is true across the products we build, the markets we serve, the stories we tell to explain both.
We started GoodData two years ago with our set of assumptions and opinions. The main hypothesis was this:
We hoped that cloud computing, web 2.0 and social networks would allow us to build a very different BI platform: 10x faster, 10x easier to adopt, 10x more flexible and 10x cheaper to deliver and operate than current BI products. BI should not be a luxury good, it should be a staple for every company.
We are strong believers in the “release early, release often” mantra, so we released a demo version of GoodData in July 2008 and a public beta in December 2008. Since then, we have delivered almost twenty releases. Over the last year we received tons of feedback from over 2,000 beta projects and 50 early customers. We have seen the use cases we expected, and a lot that we didn’t. Some of our basic assumptions were challenged – who are GoodData users, what are their needs, how they will use our product. But our main hypothesis has been validated: the world needs good data.
We now understand our market much better, and every day, more and more facts exist inside our building. A few weeks ago (and three releases back) we quietly launched the 1.0 version of GoodData. GoodData is now open for business. The product is fully supported, you can use it for free for a slice of your data (up to 10MB – about 100,000 records), and for $500 per month, we’ll give you a 500MB analytical data warehouse for up to 50 users. That’s less than it costs just to install other BI tools. And you can add another GB for a nominal fee.
Next month, at Dreamforce in San Francisco, we will take the wraps off of GoodData, sharpen our market focus, and articulate a strong business message. You can call this a launch, although in my mind we’ve been “launched” since the day we founded the company. I am sure that many of today’s assumptions and hypotheses will be proven wrong again and we will need to correct our course. This is why rapid iteration is central to our company culture.
Technically, you ain’t seen nothing yet! We continue to build more targeted apps that get our customers started quickly. Our UI gets easier and more powerful with every new release. We are working on a new set of APIs, tooling and dashboards to make GoodData the best platform to build analytic applications. And on the backend, a SQL-based database served us well to discover our market, but it is now time to move to an in-memory-based back-end. We are already seeing order-of-magnitude performance gains, and can perform the types of analytical queries usually reserved for big iron. For me, the best news is that everyday our roadmap is populated by more facts and fewer opinions.
So stay tuned for more, and thank you for being a part of GoodData.