March + The Modern Data Stack
In his latest blog, Jamie Montgomery outlined why we have conviction that the ThoughtSpot team can build a multi-billion leader in cloud BI and analytics. In this post, I delve into why we are excited about the broader cloud & data infrastructure sector at March Capital, offer a glimpse into our investment thesis in the sector, and address why we believe ThoughtSpot is tackling a mission critical data opportunity.
The amount of data collected by enterprises has grown at staggering rates – over 90% of the world’s data was generated in the last five years. The ability to derive actionable insights and make smarter decisions using this data is a “must have” for enterprises across verticals; therefore, companies must store, transport, manage, and analyze the data that they gather. To do so at scale, companies have turned to the cloud.
Over the past decade, a set of companies has emerged that enables enterprises to effectively utilize cloud data—the modern data stack. These are the fundamental pieces in which companies must invest to transform their data from meaningless units to essential insights. While the modern data stack is still rapidly evolving, at March, we believe that the critical building blocks of this stack represent compelling investment opportunities. Below are descriptions of four of these integral stack components: DataOps & Governance that help companies manage their data internally and Business Intelligence (BI) & AI ModelOps that enable companies to make smarter decisions using their data.
“Garbage in, garbage out” is a maxim in science and mathematics that applies seamlessly to the world of data. Data driven decisions will only be as good as the data that informs them. Enterprises must monitor data to confirm that it is complete, reliable, and high quality. To accomplish this task, they turn to cloud data observability platforms such as March portfolio company Acceldata. Acceldata gives companies visibility into data pipelines and data itself, making data systems more reliable, scalable, and optimized. In addition to data observability, the DataOps category encompasses the tools that facilitate data orchestration, collaboration, and deployment.
Once companies establish the integrity of their data and put in place their data “supply chains,” the next step is ensuring that data is accessible by the right people at the right time, while maintaining data privacy and adhering to data regulations. Data governance solutions, such as March portfolio company, Immuta, offer universal cloud data control to ensure that data is secure, reliable, and available on-demand. Given data governance’s integral position within an enterprise’s data architecture, solutions in the space have the potential to become broader platforms that unlock data management across an entire organization.
BI & Analytics
The ultimate goal of any data strategy is making better business decisions that improve company performance. To accomplish this goal, enterprises need real-time intelligence that can be easily consumed by decision makers. ThoughtSpot is a powerful provider of this intelligence, offering anyone within a business organization access to live analytics via an intuitive, interactive interface. Additionally, ThoughtSpot is pioneering the next wave of BI by offering predictive insights and embedded analytics.
In addition to analytics engines, data also feeds enterprise AI models and applications. As AI decision-making has rapidly expanded into nearly every industry, there is growing demand for the tools, processes, and understanding needed to deploy machine learning models responsibly. Compared to traditional software, modern AI systems are so complex that they resemble “black boxes.” New companies are emerging to help enterprises better monitor and understand their AI models, mitigating the risk of model bias or costly data drift. While this segment is still nascent, it is poised for explosive growth as AI adoption increases, with the market growing at a 40% CAGR through 2028.
Across these categories and more, the cloud & data infrastructure market opportunity is immense— with $136B+ projected spend by 2027. We expect the modern data stack to be a core investment theme for March Capital in 2022 and are excited to support companies that help enterprises manage and make the most of their ever-expanding data repositories.
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