Analyzing big data (a $16.1 Billion market) requires skills that most companies lack. Dataiku, the Paris-based startup founded by Florian Douetteau (previously Exalead), Marc Batty, Thomas Cabrol and Cément Stenac, specializes in building predictive apps using big data. Today they are taking it a step further with the launch of their Data Science Studio.
“We sell companies Swiss Army Knives, instead of renting them an ice pick”
Data Science Studio is a fully integrated software and SaaS solution enabling companies to build their own predictive apps according to their particular needs.
It builds a bridge between different profiles inside an organization. The software is also conceived as a Swiss Army Knife: several easy-to-use tools available to gather, clean and analyze data, in addition to calculation resources such as algorithms.
I sat down with CEO Florian Douetteau to find out more about Data Science Studio.
Where did the idea of Data Science Studio come from?
In 2013, we were focusing a lot on providing intuitive data cleansing interfaces. Our beta clients urged us to build more, and to let them go further and build end-to-end application from raw data to model. That’s how we built our studio.
What’s Data Science Studio’s “wow” effect?
A user can put a real fat and dirty web log file in the product, plays with it, and build a predictive model out of it in a few clicks, that a first “wow”. Some of our users then can further elaborate, start building something unique that has an operational impact, which leads to a second “wow”.
It’s a bit like the experience you have playing Lego: you enjoy following the rules, then enjoy making your own.
How expert do your customers need to be to use Data Science Studio?
Our Data Science Studio is a two-face product. There is a programming interface for the coders and data scientists, and a visual interface for the business analysts. Things you do visually can be turned into code so that you can further elaborate on them. Today, lots of people are “Experts” in their own domain, but the expertise of a single person is not enough to break hard problems. The challenge is to make them work together.
Can you give us examples of clients cases?
One of customer is an online flash sales leader. They are using the Studio to predict destocking rates; this can be use to optimize the overall performance of a flash sales by influencing product placement. You shouldn’t necessary showcase products that are bound to be out of stock before the end of the day, right?
Another customer is the #1 wordwide parkmeter maker, Parkeon – they have made more than a half of the parameters on planet Earth. There’s using the studio to build innovative applications where you can analyze and predict the empty parking slots and possibly discover why they’re empty.
How is it to launch a Big Data business in the French ecosystem?
“Now it’s easy to start [a big data] business in France!”
We have an interesting big data ecosystem in France: a very active tech community, good engineering schools, some notable success in digital marketing (Neolane, Criteo, 1000Mercis…). The question is what is next? My bet and hope is that France can reveal to be a very successful place to apply big data like approaches to real-life engineering problems, where it already excels.
Today, there are only a few dozen big data startups in France, but there should be at least 200 created this year!
Regarding finance and bootstraping your startup, I think there are lots of good initiatives ranging from a business-minded “Concours Mondial de L’Innovation” (state-sponsored), to great programs such as KOUDETAT. Becoming a sustainable business and a world leader is obviously still a hard challenge, but your next travel can lead you to a place beyond prediction.
Thanks Florian Douetteau for answering our questions. Discover Data Science Studio by Dataiku here: plans start at 299€.