Data Utilization in the Cloud Era

Cloud Data Insights talks to Ascend CEO Sean Knapp and CRO Tom Weeks about how companies are approaching data utilization in the cloud era.

Cloud Data Insights (CDI) had the opportunity to talk with Sean Knapp, Founder and CEO of Ascend; and Tom Weeks, Ascend’s CRO, at the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit. We covered shifts in how businesses think of their data and how Ascend is responding to–and even anticipating–emerging challenges around effective data utilization. Here is our conversation.

Note: This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.

CDI: The Gartner Data & Analytics Summit is the ideal forum for data leaders and software and services providers to take the market’s pulse and get a sense of where the technology is headed. The pandemic caused many organizations to use data differently. Have you seen the market shift? Where have you seen your customers’ attention shift? Are you having different conversations than you had a couple of years ago?

Sean Knapp: There has been a material shift. I think that the macro shift that’s happened is that we are no longer worried about data infrastructure. The cloud data vendors have done their job. It’s fantastic–so we’re no longer worried about how many bits and bytes we store, how fast we can process. That’s important as it’s moved the conversation around what the priorities are and frankly, which group has the focus on data and what that focus is has shifted a fair bit. The market is shifting closer to the application of data as opposed to the storage and processing of data. It is now centering around actual productivity. And it’s at a different size and scale. And time–where people want to be able to create data products in hours, not days, at the keyboard.

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