Field cto

Automating Data Workloads for Success: Why I Joined Ascend.io as Field CTO

Hello everyone! I joined Ascend.io a few weeks ago and finally have my feet under me. Everyone’s journey is unique so I wanted to share a little about myself and some thoughts about why I was so excited to join Ascend.io as Field CTO. 

My medium to large company experience includes CDO, VP of Data & Analytics, and some similar roles. These roles oversee an end-to-end ingest-transform-deliver process usually woven through several teams, and, without fail, multiple tools and vendors. Overlaps are common, yet justified with specific business needs. I’m sure you can relate to working in organizations with multiple BI tools and the swirl of issues that lead to frustration inside and outside of IT.

Introducing lots of cloud native services, new advances in deep analytics and A.I., and other technology can slow down delivery, increase sprawl, yet solve real problems while creating others. Delivering business value sometimes requires what feels like architectural compromises. I reached a point where I was asking myself questions like this:

  • Why can’t we easily deliver data to the tool best suited to solve this particular problem?
  • Why does it take weeks for infrastructure to add a new component and load data that a Data Science professional will use for a few hours?
  • I can see how cloud-native services can help but my team doesn’t have the skill to use them in a best-practice way. We’re reinventing the wheel. Should we wait and train the team or risk partnering with a vendor to deliver something we won’t be able to support or extend?

Over a few months, I reached some personal clarity about why these questions don’t have easy answers. For all the innovation and maturity in modern databases and analytics tools, there wasn’t corresponding maturity in the automation and management of the data pipes. I started to realize that we needed a platform that could ingest data from anywhere, expose code for the complex transformations, be elastic, keep track of lineage with metadata, and deliver the data to the analytics platform of choice. By platform, I mean software that could be bought, not built, and plugged into whatever databases we already had. I wanted the platform to manage the super-hard infrastructure parts but be flexible so a larger part of my organization could be devoted to directly delivering business value via code.

When the opportunity to join Ascend.io popped up through my personal network, I spent about 15 minutes learning about the platform and I was hooked. The software is everything I was looking for and here was an opportunity to get on-board! From a customer perspective, I could clearly see how engineering could regain focus on code and value delivery while the platform automated infrastructure, deployments, schema management, and the like. Data Scientists could create legitimately engineer data flows that could be reused, refreshed, and delivered without handing the work off to another team. 

With that, I was all-in. I am honored to evangelize a data platform that I know, through personal experience, would benefit so many organizations. Instead of solving just my own team’s problems, I get to help many more customers adopt the platform so that they, too, can benefit. If you do a demo or a free trial and want to share your experience, please reach out. I’m excited to be here and am ready to help you find a better way.