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Spring Is In the Air (and Our Customers Are Flying High)

One thing that may not surprise you about the Ascend team is that we’re extremely data-driven. One thing you may not know about the Ascend team—unless of course you’re already working with us and know first-hand how we achieve our NPS of 50—is that we are obsessed with our customers and their success. Each and every day we hold a company-wide standup with the very first topic being our customers, what they need to be successful, and what we’re doing to help. So with Spring kicking into full gear, we decided to (briefly) sit back, smell the roses, and celebrate what we and our customers have been able to achieve over the last few months. And let’s face it, we didn’t want to wait until the end of the year to talk about how much our customers (and partners!) have done with the Ascend Platform recently.

Over the past 6 months we’ve seen Ascend builders grow by 2.2x, builder time by 4.3x, and builder activity by 6.2x. Put another way, not only are we seeing tremendous growth in builders, but builders are investing more time than ever (95% more per builder in fact) in their Ascend powered solutions, and we’re creating more per hour invested as well (44% more in fact). 

To share that celebration with you—let’s take a look at some important numbers from these past few months.

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Increase in Builders

We saw a 220% increase in the number of builders on the Ascend platform. Coming off of a year where data teams were asked to do more with less, facing budget and resource constraints, more and more organizations looked to Ascend to accelerate data project timelines, streamline their data strategy, and help the business push forward. 

And what our customers have been able to do is nothing short of amazing. Companies including Harry’s, a pioneer in DTC companies specializing in men’s personal care, DriveWealth, a leading global brokerage infrastructure platform, Komodo Health, a healthcare map backed with real-world patient data, and Afresh, a revolutionary new approach to fresh ordering, forecasting, and store operations for grocery retailers, have deployed the Ascend Unified Data Engineering Platform to vastly accelerate their teams’ productivity and data engineering timelines—completing projects in days (or less) that would previously have taken months. 

One of the things that I’m most proud of when I look at that growth number and the companies that have signed on, isn’t just the platform updates that helped get us there (which, we’ll definitely get to later!), it’s how quickly and easily our customers find value with the platform and with the team.  

In fact, Ankur Potdar, a principal data engineer at DriveWealth, puts it best:

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Increase in Builder Hours

On the platform, we had a 434% increase in the number of builder hours. A funny part of this number, which we get asked is—shouldn’t these hours be going down as companies get their pipelines dialed in? Well, yes, we assume that will eventually be the case! But what we currently see in the numbers is very little time spent on existing data pipelines (they’re autonomous after all), and a whole lot of time being spent on creating new ones. Which, again, ties back to these teams being asked to do more with less. 

In fact, we conducted a survey last year that found that a staggering 97% of data teams were at or over capacity, so no surprise they have a bit of a backlog to work through! We’re in the middle of conducting the same survey again this year, and will be releasing results soon, so stay tuned to see what and how data team capacity and workload has changed.

One way we’ve been able to help these teams with capacity issues and to do more with less is by the international expansion of our global partner ecosystem. From X is Y, a boutique data, analytics and process agency based in New Zealand, to The Singularily Mesh, a digital enablement company based in Australia, Moviri, a multinational consultancy and engineering firm based in Italy, Kranio, a South American-based analytics and big data firm, and Flare Build systems, a Bazel-focused SaaS, training, and consulting company based in San Francisco, we have built out an A+ group of technology and solutions partners that are helping companies across the globe simplify their data engineering.

One of these service partners, Jared Langguth, CTO at X is Y, said: 

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Increase in Things Built

Lastly, but certainly not least, I want to talk 623%. We’ve had a 623% increase in the number of read connectors, transforms and write connectors built. Just putting that number to paper seems wild to me, but it’s an amazing testament to what our users are doing. The customer momentum I mentioned earlier is a huge part of that, but another part of it (which I promised we’d get to!) is the product updates we’ve made. 

In December 2020, we released Flex-code data connectors, a first-of-its-kind connector framework for data ingestion in the Apache Spark ecosystem, opening up an entirely new world of data connectivity, and potential for Ascend users.

In November 2020, we delivered the Python SDK, which sits on top of Ascend’s public API and enables the programmatic creation of Ascend dataflows, integration into CICD systems, and more. These, along with our weekly cadence of release new and exciting enhancements, helps all of us stay ahead of the curve — if you’re not already in our #release-notes channel on Slack, I’d highly encourage you to join.

We plan and develop all of these feature and functionality updates in close collaboration with our customers who share with us the wide array of challenges found in the data engineering space, and remind us of the profound impact an elegant solution can have.

As William Knighting, a data analyst at Harry’s said about the Ascend Platform:

Looking Forward

As I take a minute to look back over the last few months I’m proud of the team, thankful for our customers and partners, and so very excited for you to see where we’re going in the next year. For a sneak peek of what we have coming up in the near future, you can check out the roadmap webinar we did a few weeks ago, or as always, reach out to us to learn more

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