VC Breakfast Club: Expert Panel on Data Management

iAngels Founding Partner, Mor Assia, led our recent VC Breakfast Club discussion with three founders, from the Enterprise Software world, specialists in data management.

Data has received significant attention, this year with the introduction of GDPR. A major regulatory step for Europe, who’s aim is not to simply harmonize data protection and privacy laws, but allow individuals to regain control over their personal data. We’re now seeing businesses being forced to change the nature of their relationship with customers, some reinvent themselves due to potential loss of revenues originating from data monetization and several receiving large fines for privacy violations, Google and Facebook as significant culprits. It’s a space which will continue to hold significant interest for us, as the amount of data being created and used will continue to explode across every sector.

So far we see Israeli startups taking a leading role in responding to this new data reality and have three very talented data management founders in our portfolio including: Nimrod Luria, CEO of Prifender, Ammon Drori, CEO of Octapai and Yariv Tabac from DBmaestro, who have an impressive 69 years of accumulative industry experience.

We asked them to talk about some of the themes and challenges they’re seeing subsequent to the GDPR rulings. Here are a few of the highlights:

Nimrod Luria, CEO of Prifender, emphasized the massive change taking place in the market that isn’t purely being driven due to the GDPR rulings, but is being fueled due to the simple acknowledgement of data’s value. “There is a big change in the market, not just due to GDPR and the fines we’re all scared of, but the realization that data is the new currency, that mining and trading our data is the new gold.” 

Nimrod went onto explain that once companies manage to effectively answer the question of where their data sits and who owns it, the possibilities generated, become endless. But the enabler is really the integration of software that effectively joins up the dots. “What’s most exciting is new revenue streams are being created and organizations are now able to better prioritize business interests thanks to qualified decision-making.”

Ammon Drori, CEO of Octapai spoke of the need for businesses to not overlook the importance of having well mapped out data to ensure the data journey from source to business user is smooth and accurate. ‘Those responsible for Business Intelligence play an important role in moving the data from applications to business users with specific relevancy to GDPR, they are exclusively responsible for the last mile, knowing where the data is and how it flows. They have an important role in correctly mapping data journeys and ensuring total compliance with the GDPR ruling.”

But he went onto elaborate that conducting the mapping exercise, doesn’t come without its pains, especially due to such issues as inconsistent tagging of information and incompatible systems. Depending on the size of an organization, there can be between 6.7M to 30M data elements on average, therefore pinpointing specific data elements amongst tens of Business Intelligence systems is near to impossible. ‘The management of the data is almost as crucial as the data itself.”

Yaariv Tabac, Founder of DBmaestro, spoke of the industry’s desire to work ever faster, which often compromises the quality of output. Something DBmaestro are actively tackling to ensure the automation of data and governance is safe, secure and accounted for. In responding to Mor’s suggestion that corporations with cumbersome legacy systems could create significant issues for simple data migration projects or upgrades, Yaariv cited the example of working with a recent client who used to ship a new release every 5 to 6 months. “Their release would take 3 to 4 days to check and move all the data.” He explained that DBmaestro, were able to get the time required down to 46 minutes from development to production thanks to automating the process, subsequently giving them with the appetite to ship releases monthly. He commented that this now marks a huge transformation in the way companies are now able to operate.

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