As the founder of data lineage platform MANTA, CEO, Tomas Kratky is helping organizations fix blind spots to gain full control and visibility of their data pipelines. Prior to MANTA, he led Profinit, one of the most successful consulting businesses in Central Europe and has 20+ years of experience as an accomplished software developer and IT consultant.
Here we talk about everything from raises to data lineage and trends.
M.R. Rangaswami: Tell us about MANTA’s origin story and recent company momentum, including how you raised $35 million in Series B funding amidst an economic downturn
Tomas Kratky: I founded MANTA in 2016 after seeing a need for a solution to help organizations navigate the increasingly complex data systems. A very key capability every organization must have to stay successful in the modern, fast changing and highly competitive world is the ability to change things, and do it quickly and safely.
Based on my own experience as a consultant and developer, it was clear that the exploding complexity of enterprise data environments was making it impossible, slowing organizations down and increasing the risk of major data incidents. Organizations needed an always up-to-date, detailed, accurate, intelligent, and actionable map of data pipelines and all data dependencies to help safely and efficiently navigate the data environment. Building that map was the first step on the MANTA journey.
With strong growth following our company launch, we were fortunate to secure our Series B funding at the cusp of the economic downturn. Our technology has proven to be a critical tool for organizations looking to cut costs and streamline processes during these uncertain economic times. The answer to improving productivity while decreasing costs is almost always automation, and we are seeing more organizations turn to data lineage to enable agile and efficient change management and to achieve accurate, high quality data that drives productivity while offering important insight into business operations.
M.R.: What is data lineage and how does it fit into a company’s data strategy?
Tomas: Data is an organization’s most critical asset, yet many are struggling with side effects of the exploding data stack that has evolved into a complex ecosystem with thousands of components. Data does not start with your data lake and does not end with your analytics or reporting. It is produced and consumed by every application in your enterprise.
The complexity of expanding, highly interconnected data environments has left many enterprises faced with the inability to deliver required changes fast enough, resulting in increased risk exposure, more material incidents and engineering resources wasted on manual, repetitive tasks.
Data lineage is a tool that solves these intricate challenges by reaching every corner of data environments to offer complete visibility into data ecosystems, no matter how complex they are. Having a complete, clear and comprehensive map of all data flows, sources, transformations and dependencies enables organizations to spend less time figuring out their data and more time putting it to good use
M.R.: Can you share insight into the current state of the data lineage market and what trends are driving interest?
Tomas: Data lineage is very quickly evolving from a critical capability of your compliance framework (understanding data movement and provenance to protect sensitive data, or to ensure explainability for key indicators and metrics reported to internal audit or external regulators) to a foundational layer of the modern data fabric architecture design.
Understanding both technical and non-technical dependencies in your data environment and improving visibility of your key data pipelines is something we see all successful enterprises doing today. It is even more critical when you start thinking about digital transformation projects that the whole industry is going through. They are all about change, which makes visibility and data lineage essential for their success.
Another big trend is a shift towards active metadata. Something we have seen and have been doing since our early days, metadata is not something you should consolidate in a silo (data catalog or metadata repository). Metadata must be delivered to people, machines, and places where it is needed to automate, simplify and improve productivity.
Simple examples from MANTA’s daily life are: integrating automated impact analysis early into a development cycle to prevent incidents and broken dependencies, actively monitoring data pipelines to identify and notify about any potential material issues, or allowing report users to understand data lineage for critical metrics they care about without leaving their workspace. Overall, we see our customers’ productivity going up by 30% to 40%. With basically an endless list of ways how activated metadata can help, this space is very exciting.
M.R. Rangaswami is the Co-Founder of Sandhill.com