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What a $ 20 billion a week signal for data and analysis

When you spend $ 20 billion to acquire two companies in the same market segment in a matter of days, you do not need James Holzhauser to find that a fundamental market shift is upon us.

That's what we saw last week with Google's acquisition of Looker for $ 2.6 billion, followed by Salesforce's $ 15.6 billion acquisition of Tableau. Not only are these purchase prices objectively high, but they rank as the highest for both Google Cloud Platform and Salesforce. In fact, the acquisition of Looker is the third largest acquisition ever made by Google's parent company, Alphabet.

So what do these historical acquisitions mean?

After spending a few days digesting the news and talking to partners, analysts and industry friends, this is what I think last week speaks volumes about the cloud and analytics markets.

Data's center of gravity is now in the cloud

The concept of data severity is not new. It was introduced by Dave McCrory back in 2010. The point of McCrory is that when the data accumulates, it becomes more and more difficult to move them. As a result, the environments that accumulate the most data will naturally attract services and applications that use the underlying information.

Data has shifted to the cloud in recent years, whether it's cloud applications such as Salesforce.com or IT platforms such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. However, the pace of change over the past 12 months has moved up a gear. The cost, scale, and operational efficiencies provided by the cloud are driving companies to invest in the cloud. With more data transferred to the cloud, more analysis, transformation, and data quality workloads are also transferred. Thus, the ability of Google and Salesforce to more efficiently visualize the rapidly growing amount of data on their platforms gives Looker and Tableau extremely valuable assets.

The user experience is essential to the adoption and growth of the company

Despite all the buzz about the fact that the data specialist is the sexiest job of the 21st century, the majority of people working in organizations that work with data are not scientists and do not know how to code. The value of the data does not decrease according to your skills with SQL or Python, so why limit access to people who master these tools? Providing an intuitive user experience is essential for extending the use of the data and platforms on which the data is located, to a much wider set of users.

Looker and Tableau were successful because of their ability to open business intelligence to users outside the IT department who had never previously had the appropriate interface to work effectively with the data. The users of these platforms come from different sectors of activity. As long as the data is clean and well structured, anyone within an organization can quickly access Looker or Tableau, access data and find the answers they need. By integrating these features into their platforms, Google and Salesforce enable more users to view various data in a variety of applications.

The native cloud is a requirement of the modern data stack

The word "cloud" can have a million different meanings depending on who you are talking to and the context of the conversation. A technology vendor claiming support for "cloud deployment" can range from supporting a traditional application / server architecture in the cloud to supporting native cloud computing, security, access controls, elastic scale, etc. that, to fully modernize their operations to take advantage of the benefits of the cloud, they will need native integration with cloud services. This applies not only to the business intelligence, but also to the entire modern data stack, including preparation, quality, cataloging, machine learning and data science .

The founders of Looker saw this move to the cloud from the start and were natively integrated with scalable cloud analytics platforms such as Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, and Microsoft Azure SQL DW. Founded in 2003, Tableau's initial success was based on traditional desktop / server architecture, but the company was able to handle this move to the cloud with incredible ease. By integrating Adam Selipsky, the veteran of Amazon Web Services, as CEO in 2016, Tableau has rapidly accelerated its interest in the cloud through rapid changes in product architecture and focus on the industry. market. Native cloud support enables Looker and Tableau to quickly embrace ongoing innovation in the cloud and increase the consumption of the various cloud services provided by Google and Salesforce through an intuitive analytics layer.

Have a different vision of this news? If so, send me a tweet to @a_adam_wilson with what you think last week means for the cloud and data management markets.

Adam Wilson is CEO of Trifacta.

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