Last week, DataRails CEO Didi Gurfinkel attended and presented at the Data Disrupt conference in New York. The event attracted over 400 participants and focused on the financial services data analytics ecosystem. We caught up with Didi to chat about some highlights.
What was your main takeaway from the Data Disrupt conference?
More than anything, I saw firsthand that our world is packed with great solutions, and we have more tools than ever to manipulate and use our data. The technology is there, and it’s moving faster and faster towards AI, machine learning and big data.
The bottom line is that we can do more and more with our data than ever before.
What were Data Disrupt attendees looking for?
Because every organization manages more and more data exponentially every year, people came to the conference to learn how to store, contain, secure and leverage it.
DataRails CEO Didi Gurfinkel presenting at the Data Disrupt conference
Based on what you saw at the conference, do you believe that Excel is alive and well, and that people are likely to continue using it?
The short answer is yes, but there is an enormous disconnect between the business reality and where data technology is moving and progressing.
The reality is that huge amounts of data sit on spreadsheets. This is because of legacy, because external sources use Excel to share data and information, and because of the power and popularity of Excel. But the data is locked in the spreadsheets. Businesses can’t consolidate, process and analyze it. The spreadsheets are missing out on the flexibility and technology of today.
Once you can access this data on a database, then you can use the technology we have today to understand it better. This is what DataRails accomplishes by databasing Excel spreadsheets.
You gave a presentation about how data is growing and how DataRails can help control it. What sort of feedback did you get about your presentation?
I received amazing feedback. I think that people can really relate to the challenges of having important data stored on spreadsheets that can’t be easily accessed for analysis and consolidation. Throughout the convention, we talked about all that can be accomplished with data, but the reality is that we need to be able to get to that data first. It’s a serious, widespread problem that exists in every industry, and DataRails provides the solution.