The Ascend Unified Data Engineering Platform Enables HNI to Build Fully Automated Pipelines to Focus 100% of Its Data Team’s Efforts on Analysis and Driving Insights

PALO ALTO, Calif. – July 8, 2020 –, the data engineering company, today announced that HNI Corporation, a global leader in workplace furnishings and residential building products, has deployed The Ascend Unified Data Engineering Platform for modern data pipelines, enabling faster data analytics to drive strategic business decisions. Ascend enables HNI to intelligently collect and model data from various APIs and sources to directly fuel operational analytics across the business. Completed in just two months, HNI has been able to experience high operational efficiency by replacing manually intensive processes with fully automated pipelines, resulting in faster data delivery, improved accuracy, and better business insights.

“When looking for solutions, we needed a way to get our data pipelines up and running quickly with a product that’s easy to use. Ascend provided us with a platform to do just that, with the enterprise scalability we need for our business,” said Tom Kozlowski, vice president of decision science at HNI. “Ascend made our team more efficient and enabled us to acquire and productionalize data approximately 40% faster. The platform also runs our Spark and Kubernetes infrastructure for data processing inside Azure, autonomously completing jobs as necessary without any manual effort from my engineers.”

The data science and data engineering teams at HNI use Ascend to generate more insights faster from the company’s approximately 500 million records across two data repositories. With Ascend, HNI’s data teams no longer have to spend time focusing on infrastructure and its limits. Now, the teams can easily ingest data with little to no code and quickly build multi-stage data pipelines with complex business logic. With all of HNI’s data pipelines automatically kept up to date, data users in the company can integrate live data sets with their preferred business intelligence (BI) tools, or machine learning workflows inside Python and Spark. With Ascend, HNI standardizes all key datasets so that groups of data analysts can get access to the exact dataset they need instead of raw datasets that can be difficult to decipher. By using Ascend’s Resource and Cost Reporting capability, HNI also helps their teams understand which datasets and use cases are the most costly to inform them on where they should focus their optimization efforts.

“HNI puts data and analytics front and center in its business strategy, and we have been impressed with the team’s eagerness to drive innovation and efficiency for their operations,” said Sean Knapp, CEO and founder of “The explosion in data science initiatives in recent years has stirred an increasing need for streamlined and scalable access to data, meaning that businesses like HNI need the ability to extract value from data more quickly than they’ve been able to in the past. Using Ascend, HNI has been able to quickly, reliably, and efficiently address the increasing data needs of the organization.”

Ascend Enables Faster Data-Driven Insights
HNI needed a way to help inform the best course of action to ensure employee safety and reduce the spread of COVID-19. HNI’s data team was able to use Ascend to create a dashboard that included open-source COVID-19 data from multiple APIs and sources. This provided HNI’s executive team with insight and analysis from the county level all the way down to the zip code level. With Ascend’s unique ability to easily ingest data from any data lake, warehouse, database, stream or API to undergo complex transformations and fuel downstream applications with ease, HNI was able to compile all of the pertinent data together in less than a day – versus the weeks it would require with other tools.