I spoke with Chet Kapur, CEO of DataStaxon how today’s data-driven culture is driving enterprise change, including how data will turn knowledge workers into creative workers.

Check out the podcast and video below.

Abridged and edited transcript of highlights:

What do we really mean by “real-time data” – and what’s wrong with the good old-fashioned static data we’ve been using all these years?

Kapoor: Today’s businesses obtain information by collecting, storing and then analyzing data. What do people really want? They want data to be activated in real time to drive action. So profitable businesses take data, process it and use it to manage instant experience per client.

Think about your life and mine. what we want We don’t want a spinning wheel – we do something and right in the middle there is a recommendation: we want to either take it or ignore it.

So real-time data is about enabling user experiences, providing immediate intelligence and then powering AI and ML thanks to those inputs.

Data can be cumbersome. It has to be prepared, we have to put it through the ETL process, maybe it’s structured or unstructured. Data is where the insight is, but sometimes it’s not easy to work with.

Kapoor: You are absolutely right. And guess what, we as technologists who build products have to make it much easier. I was blown away: Coming from the middleware space after being in the distributed world for a long time, coming into the database space, there’s a database for every use case in the world. I mean, it’s extremely fragmented. And we need to make it easy for everyone.

Because at the end of the day, the customer wants you to analyze and process it in real time. So to say that there is convergence between data at rest ie. databases, and data in motion – I don’t care, do I? All I want is to get the information I need and make a recommendation in real time.

The technology stack comes together really well. Have we come all the way? No, we’re not, but we’re on our way. Now here’s a batch solution where you’re doing the ETL stuff and taking historical information and processing – all in real time. There is a real use case for this. As customers, as businesses, we demand that this happen in real time.

Let’s say there’s a company that wants to do more with real-time data. What advice would you give them?

Kapoor: Everyone is on a digital transformation journey. And there are three parts to a digital transformation journey. It started with mobile, let’s be very clear. The iPhone is the one that started the process and everyone wanted to do something on that phone. The second was a cloud. You had to make sure you could consume all that stuff really fast. The third is the data. And this is the last leg.

Interestingly, neither of the first two journeys took place, they all happen in parallel, right? But the first two are ahead. So many companies are starting to take this journey.

So I think the ideal data strategy has two things. So the first thing is technology, right? It’s about providing an open data stack, not just a database. It’s not just about APIs, it’s not just about cloud-first technology, it’s not about it being open source, it’s about all together.

It’s about providing an open data stack that developers can use to deliver real-time applications. So you have to use open source, you have to give developers the right tools, but the last thing – really important – is to abstract yourself and not think like the past. You need to bring together database and streaming technologies that companies probably have scattered all over the place. This is the technical part.

And the second part of that is it’s about the developer and the enterprise. So we’re in the business of building products that developers love, that change the trajectory of the businesses they work for. That’s what we like to do. Markets come, markets go, recessions come, recessions go, but if you’re building products that developers love, that change the trajectory of the businesses they work for, you’re home free.

So our mission is simple, to serve real-time application with an open data stack that just works.

So there’s disruption coming in the database market, there’s disruption coming in the streaming and database market together, and there’s disruption coming in the API space—at all three layers. We absolutely believe that the cultural elements of what a data-driven world will look like will change one fundamental thing, knowledge workers will become creative workers. This will be massive.

Listen to the podcast:

Also available on Apple Podcasts

Watch the video:

DataStax CEO Chet Kapoor on Real Time Data

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