The Race to Integrate (All) Enterprise Data Heats Up
Despite enormous advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, practical applications of both have been stymied in the private sector. The culprit is hardly exotic, merely the low-tech stumbling block of unstructured data. And yet, more than 85 percent of all business information exists as unstructured data. This data is ubiquitous, often found in the form of emails, memos, chats, reports, research, video files, and web pages. Even call center notes (which frequently reveal unmet customer needs).
Companies that easily access such data are better positioned to extract valuable customer and market insights. Placing all company data in one location is a strategy that would vastly improve business intelligence capabilities.
Having realized this, several enterprise software startups have begun to offer amenable solutions. These startups typically rely on cloud technology to offer scalable and cost-effective data storage solutions. With the base technology already in place, the market sector for these solutions is rapidly growing.
One such startup is DataBricks. Founded in 2013, the company was recently valued at $38 billion. Not incidentally, DataBricks secured $1.6 billion in series H funding last month. This funding success comes mere months after securing $1 billion in a previous funding round.
What DataBricks’s Last Funding Round Tells Us
Between DataBricks’s two funding rounds, the company’s valuation grew by an astonishing $10 billion. This growth can partly be attributed to advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, two technology fields that have become adept at optimizing unstructured data.
Unfortunately, unstructured data is typically scattered throughout an enterprise. As a result, it is often inconsequential to business intelligence efforts. DataBricks solves this problem by enabling unified access to structured and unstructured data in one place.
In particular, DataBricks’s platform supports such cloud technology providers as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud. Consequently, companies that use their platform do not need to migrate their unstructured data elsewhere.
Databricks’s CEO and co-founder Ali Ghodsi calls this type of data repository a “data lakehouse”. This new term denotes a repository that is part data lake (a cost-effective and scalable repository of raw data) and part data warehouse (integrated data from various sources that is ready for analysis).
Given these attributes, data lakehouses can greatly enhance business intelligence and machine learning on disparate sets of data. They also raise the bar for enterprises seeking to remain competitive. As one might expect, this capability all but ensures sizable investments from large and successful companies.
Hence, DataBricks’s success at securing billions in funding. Industry observers should be careful to hedge their bets, however, as industry entrants with an eye for unfulfilled market needs are already emerging.
The Cere Network: A Compelling Alternative
One new industry entrant is Cere Network. Cere provides enterprise customers with roughly the same data management capabilities as DataBricks. It also enables companies to perform business intelligence tasks using both structured and unstructured data in one place.
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Unlike DataBricks, however, Cere’s technology is not built on top of major cloud providers (i.e. Microsoft, Amazon, or Google). Instead, the company has leveraged blockchain technology to build a Decentralized Data Cloud (DDC).
Cere’s DDC shares data over peer-to-peer (P2P) networks and stores the data within decentralized nodes. Since blockchain technology is trustless and consensus-driven, Cere transactions do not require any third-party involvement. This ultimately allows companies to maintain full ownership and control over their data.
Blockchain technology also means that data transactions are immutable (as they’re hashed to ensure data integrity and security). As a bonus, the DDC employs blockchain identity and data encryption to onboard and segment individual consumer data.
Cere’s DDC can also be used to record individual customer activity, place it in a historical context, and make it available for application-specific data views. In the end, companies can create their own data ecosystem and decide what data strategy to employ.
Cere Network’s crucial head start on complying with data protection regulations
This is in stark contrast to DataBricks, which queries a data lakehouse like a classic database. While blockchain technology helps to differentiate Cere’s DDC from DataBricks, it also sets the stage for a smart contract marketplace.
External Collaboration as a Value-Added Feature
Whereas DataBricks speaks of facilitating internal collaboration among business intelligence teams, the Cere Network advances external collaboration as well.
It makes this possible through Cere’s Open Data Marketplace (ODM). Here, company data can be made readily accessible to outside vendors and partners in real-time (since such data has already been filtered and anonymized).
Cere’s ODM also allows businesses to outsource their data analysis needs via smart contracts. This is in stark contrast to DataBricks, which relies on an analytics engine to process large amounts of disparate data.
While DataBricks is great for current cloud customers, Cere Network takes business intelligence and data collaboration to a higher level.
The company fully anticipates the needs of enterprises with a fairly comprehensive set of solutions. Its Decentralized Data Cloud enables enterprises to maintain full ownership and control of their data.
Likewise, its Open Data Marketplace anticipates the need for real-time collaboration between enterprises. Both components appear set to engender a variety of innovative data solutions for enterprises.
While DataBricks is aggressively courting market leadership in this sector, Cere Network is quietly integrating its solutions into a trustless and global decentralized ecosystem.
About Cere Network
Cere Network is well on its way to defining the future of consumer data, e-commerce, and NFTs.
Our key innovation revolves around the Cere Decentralized Data Cloud powered by the Cere Network mainnet. Cere’s Decentralized Data Cloud (DDC) is designed from the ground up to address today’s enterprise need for individual user data encryption and privacy compliance while simplifying the customization and integration with today’s intelligent (AI) data-driven personalization solutions.
Utilizing this Decentralized Data Cloud, the Cere team is currently rolling out several enterprise projects and its own proprietary NFT platform.
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