Startups aim to eliminate duplicates and make databases mobile- and graph-friendly

NEW YORK–Last April 14, the Data Driven Meetup featured How Liu, founder and CEO of Airtable; Scott Crunch, co-founder and CEO of Mark43; Bob Muglia, CEO of Snowflake and Emil Eifrem, founder and CEO of Neo Technologies at the Bloomberg offices.

http://www.meetup.com/NYC-Data-Business-Meetup/events/221260053/

Airtable is making complex sets of databases easy and simple to access on mobile devices. A freemium model, Liu said Airtable is for high-end business users looking beyond spreadsheets which are designed to do numerical tasks and financial analysis.

The next speaker, Crouch told the crowd composed mostly of seasoned developers that his only background was college before introducing Mark43. At 23, he already has a startup that helps identify duplicate people in law enforcement records. He thinks Mark43 can help first responders fight violent crimes.

The problem he is solving stems from the dated law enforcement software. “We’re building a cloud-based records management and analysis platform. There is no universal master record of people,” he said of his startup founded in 2012.

How big is this problem? Crouch showed figures that point to 40 percent of 5M million people in the Washington, DC area being duplicates, based on record of records of the DC Metropolitan Police department.

Crouch acknowledged concerns about police harassment and the need for a high level of accountability in using his technology. “The whole point is to use data to make more informed decisions that can enable them to do their job better.”

How did you get people to trust him being 23 and with no law enforcement background? With the police department in DC having no other means to develop its technology, Crouch was able to make it happen for being at the right place at the right time with the right police chief. “We were lucky to have a police chief in DC, run by a woman, make a forward-moving choice.”

Snowflakes’ Muglia asked the crowd, “Can the cloud solve my data warehousing challenges?”

The answer, of course, is if you use Snowflake. Most of Muglia’s presentation leaned on the benefits of using the cloud, by trying to answer all the concerns about it, whether it’s public or private, especially how few companies have the latter, because of its prohibitive cost.

What cloud model should you use? Infrastructure, Platform or Software? Muglia is unperturbed about its competition: Redshfit, the data warehouse of Amazon, if it thinks cloud deployment can save businesses money — and it can be right there to offer its service, and more.

Neo Technologies’ Eifrem presented next, telling his audience how graphs are eating the world and how a graph database is important in building relationships between data. Pulling out data from Forrester Research, he said over 25 percent of enterprise will use graph databases.

Without mentioning the social network it works with, Eifrem said a graph database is effective in Facebook’s social graph. Another client, Walmart, uses its neo4j graph database to understand connections between companies.

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