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Texas headquartered Data.World, which provides a cloud-based data catalog to enterprises, today announced it has raised $50 million in a series C round of financing. 

Global companies are well aware of the value data can provide. They have plenty of tools to leverage information collected from various sources, but more often than not, these datasets can be trapped in disparate systems with different schemas and inconsistent metadata. This makes the process of discovering just the ‘useful data’ and deriving value from it complicated and expensive, impacting collaboration and downstream decision-making. 

Imagine you need some specific insights from information associated with CRM, OMS, and ERP systems. For this task, accessing certain datasets might be enough but the current scheme of things requires the data team to first move all the data (thousands of tables when only a few were needed to answer specific questions) into a data warehouse and then perform analytics. This slows down decision-making. 

Since the data is locked to the apps, any change or upgrade to the systems in use would mean losing the data and knowledge associated with them.

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Data.World and its knowledge graph

To solve these problems, Data.World provides a catalog that maps data to business concepts and outcomes (instead of applications), creating a unified body of knowledge or a ‘knowledge graph’. This gives data consumers an easier way to discover, understand, use and re-use required datasets within new and existing systems, reducing the time and cost to answer critical business questions. They can save and share data queries, analyses, and findings and can also create and apply business descriptions as well as bring metadata in via collection agents, APIs, file transfers, and imports.

“Built on a knowledge graph, a user-friendly interface, and a Google-like search experience, Data.World’s SaaS-based platform provides a single, semantically organized view of an organization’s data and metadata, bridging the gap between how data consumers understand their business world and how the company generates and accesses its data,” Brett Hurt, CEO and co-founder of Data.World, told Venturebeat. 

The solution, as Hurt explained, connects to more modern data stack applications than any other catalog and has been built with a focus on access management so that business users are able to access required datasets, but the process remains fully auditable. He did not share exact growth numbers but emphasized that the company has seen “explosive” customer growth across major verticals, including state and local government, insurance, high-tech, and healthcare.

“We haven’t found a vertical that doesn’t have disconnected and siloed data as a general norm, and this means that our TAM (total available market) is literally any medium to large size organization around the world,” Hurt said.

Funding

With this round of funding, which was led by the Growth Equity business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management, the company plans to accelerate its global expansion, talent acquisition, and product innovation efforts to meet the growing market demand for its data catalog. 

The company also plans to introduce new catalog automation capabilities as part of a new product which is set to launch on April 6. Prior to this, it raised $82 million across multiple rounds.

Competition

While companies like Alation and Atlan do offer data catalogs, Data.World claims to be the only one backed by knowledge graphs. Plus, Hurt said, nearly all of the alternatives are on-prem solutions that don’t focus on the modern data stack or are primarily focused on compliance and metadata management rather than use cases that drive business value such as data access or data mesh.

“Data.world is unique as a SaaS platform built on a knowledge graph. We are actively working with enterprise companies like Choreograph to build out a data mesh and Verisk Analytics to act as a gateway to their data and analysis. Our inherent flexibility means that companies often start with data.world as a traditional data catalog, and then launch into a variety of data-related use cases as business needs evolve,” he added. 

Beyond this, the company also claims to have differentiated based on continuous product innovation, where they are delivering updates almost or every day – sometimes multiple times a day. 

“We came out with over 1,000 product releases in the past 12 months alone. No one else in our market offers this service, with most catalog platforms maintaining quarterly release cycles,” the CEO said.

According to Grand View Research, the global data preparation tools market, which includes products for data cataloging, is expected to reach $12.89 billion by 2028 with a CAGR of 18.6% between 2021 and 2028.

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