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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Mathias Golombek, Chief Know-how Officer of Exasol – Interview Collection


Mathias Golombek is the Chief Know-how Officer (CTO) of Exasol. He joined the corporate as a software program developer in 2004 after finding out laptop science with a heavy concentrate on databases, distributed programs, software program growth processes, and genetic algorithms. By 2005, he was answerable for the Database Optimizer crew and in 2007 he turned Head of Analysis & Improvement. In 2014, Mathias was appointed CTO. On this function, he’s answerable for product growth, product administration, operations, assist, and technical consulting.

What initially attracted you to laptop science?

Once I was in fourth grade, my older brother had some classes the place they realized to program BASIC, and he confirmed me what you are able to do with that. Collectively, we developed an Easter riddle on our Commodore 64 for our youngest brother, and ever since then, I’ve been fascinated by computer systems. Pc science normally is all about fixing issues and being artistic and I believe that facet attracted me essentially the most to the sector.

Are you able to share your journey from becoming a member of Exasol as a software program developer in 2004 to changing into the CTO? How have your roles advanced over time, particularly within the quickly altering tech panorama?

I studied Pc Science at The College of Würzburg in Germany and began at Exasol as a software program developer in 2004 after graduating. After my first yr with Exasol, I used to be promoted to Head of the Database Optimizer Group after which Head of Analysis and Improvement. After that, I served as Head of R&D for seven years earlier than moving into my present function as CTO in 2014.

From the start, I used to be amazed at what Exasol was doing — this German know-how firm combating towards massive names like Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle. I used to be blown away by the chance in entrance of me — as a developer, creating this massively parallel processing (MPP), in-memory database administration system was  heaven on earth.

I’ve loved each second of working with this gifted engineering crew. As CTO, I oversee Exasol’s product innovation, growth and technical assist. It’s been thrilling to see how a lot the Exasol crew has grown globally as we work to assist our prospects and their evolving wants. The basics are the identical — we’re nonetheless an in-memory database system, however now we’re empowering our prospects to harness the ability of their information for AI implementations.

Exasol has been on the forefront of high-performance analytics databases. Out of your perspective, what units Exasol aside on this aggressive house?

Enterprise leaders are consistently tasked with navigating methods to do extra with much less. In recent times, this has develop into much more difficult because the economic system continues to be tumultuous and the proliferation of AI know-how has taken up price range and time.

As a high-performance analytics database supplier, Exasol has remained forward of the curve in relation to serving to companies do extra with much less. We assist corporations remodel enterprise intelligence (BI) into higher insights with Exasol Espresso, our versatile question engine that plugs into current information stacks. World manufacturers together with T-Cell, Piedmont Healthcare, and Allianz use Exasol Espresso to show larger volumes of knowledge into quicker, deeper and cheaper insights. And I believe we’ve accomplished an awesome job of mastering the fragile steadiness between efficiency, worth and suppleness so prospects don’t must compromise.

To assist corporations on their AI journeys, we additionally just lately unveiled Espresso AI, equipping our versatile question engine with a brand new suite of AI instruments that allow organizations to harness the ability of their information for superior AI-driven insights and decision-making. Espresso AI’s capabilities make AI extra inexpensive and accessible, enabling prospects to bypass costly, time-consuming experimentation and obtain quick ROI. This can be a game-changer for enterprises who’re centered on driving innovation and delivering worth within the age of AI.

The 2024 AI and Analytics Report by Exasol highlights underinvestment in AI as a pathway to enterprise failure. Might you broaden on the important thing findings of this report and why investing in AI is crucial for companies at this time?

As you acknowledged, the primary takeaway from Exasol’s 2024 AI and Analytics Report is that underinvestment in AI results in enterprise failure. Primarily based on our survey of senior decision-makers in addition to information scientists and analysts throughout the U.S., U.Ok., and Germany, practically all (91%) respondents agree that AI is likely one of the most necessary subjects for organizations within the subsequent two years, with 72% admitting that not investing in AI at this time will put future enterprise viability in danger. Put merely, in at this time’s setting, companies that aren’t excited about AI are already behind.

Companies are dealing with stress from stakeholders to put money into AI – and there are various the reason why. Funding in AI has already helped organizations throughout industries – from healthcare to monetary providers and retail – unlock new income streams, improve buyer experiences, optimize operations, improve productiveness, speed up competitiveness and extra. The record solely grows from there as companies are beginning to discover particular methods to leverage AI to suit distinctive enterprise wants.

The identical report mentions main limitations to AI adoption, together with information science gaps and latency in implementation. How does Exasol deal with these challenges for its shoppers?

Regardless of the crucial want for AI funding, companies nonetheless face important limitations to broader implementation. Exasol’s AI and Analytics Report signifies that as much as 78% of decision-makers expertise gaps in at the least one space of their information science and machine studying (ML) fashions, with 47% citing pace to implement new information necessities as a problem. A further 79% declare new enterprise evaluation necessities take too lengthy to be applied by their information groups. Different components hindering widespread AI adoption embrace the dearth of an implementation technique, poor information high quality, inadequate information volumes and integration with current programs. On high of that, evolving bureaucratic necessities and rules for AI are inflicting points for a lot of corporations with 88% of respondents stating they want extra readability.

As AI deployment grows, it should develop into much more necessary for companies to make sure robust information foundations. Exasol affords flexibility, resilience and scalability to companies adopting an AI technique. As roles such because the Chief Knowledge Officer (CDO) proceed to evolve and develop into extra complicated –– with rising moral and compliance challenges on the forefront –– Exasol helps information leaders and helps them remodel BI into quicker, higher insights that can inform enterprise choices and positively affect the underside line.

Whereas AI has develop into crucial to enterprise success, it’s solely as efficient because the instruments, know-how and folks powering it on the backend. The survey outcomes emphasize the numerous hole between present BI instruments and their output – extra instruments doesn’t essentially imply quicker efficiency or higher insights. As CDOs put together for extra complexity and are tasked to do extra with much less, they have to consider the information analytics stack to make sure productiveness, pace, and suppleness – all at an inexpensive value.

Espresso AI helps to shut this hole for the enterprise by optimizing information extraction, loading, and transformation processes to provide customers the flexibleness to instantly experiment with new applied sciences at scale, no matter infrastructure restriction – whether or not on-premises, cloud, or hybrid. Customers can cut back information motion prices and energy whereas bringing in rising applied sciences like LLMs into their database. These capabilities assist organizations speed up their journey towards implementing AI and ML options whereas guaranteeing the standard and reliability of their information.

Knowledge literacy is changing into more and more necessary within the age of AI. How does Exasol contribute to enhancing information literacy amongst its shoppers and the broader group?

In at this time’s data-rich working environments, information literacy abilities are extra necessary than ever – and shortly changing into a “must have” reasonably than a “good to have” within the age of AI. Throughout industries, proficiency in working with, understanding and speaking information successfully has develop into very important. However there stays a knowledge literacy hole.

Knowledge literacy is about having the talents to interpret complicated info and the flexibility to behave on these findings. However typically information entry is siloed inside a company or solely a small subset of people have the mandatory information literacy abilities to grasp and entry the huge quantities of knowledge flowing via the enterprise. This strategy is flawed as a result of it limits the period of time and sources devoted to using information and, in the end, the information literacy hole creates a barrier to enterprise innovation.

When individuals are information literate, they will perceive information, analyze it and apply their very own concepts, abilities and experience to it. The extra individuals with the data, confidence and instruments to unravel and take that means from information, the extra profitable a company might be. At Exasol, we assist information leaders and companies in driving information literacy and schooling.

Along with the schooling element, companies ought to optimize their tech stacks and BI instruments to allow information democratization. Knowledge accessibility and information literacy go hand in hand. Funding in each is required to additional information methods. For instance, with Exasol, our tuning-free system permits companies to concentrate on the information utilization, reasonably than the know-how. The excessive pace permits groups to work interactively with information and keep away from being restricted by efficiency limitations. This in the end results in information democratization.

Now could be the time for information democratization to shift from a subject of dialogue to motion inside organizations. As extra individuals throughout varied departments acquire entry to significant insights, it should alleviate the normal bottlenecks brought on by information analytics groups. When these conventional silos come crashing down, organizations will notice simply how large and deep the necessity is for his or her groups and people to make use of information. Even individuals who don’t presently assume they’re an finish person of knowledge might be pulled into feed off of knowledge.

With this shift comes a significant problem to anticipate within the coming years – the workforce will should be upgraded to ensure that each worker to realize the right talent set to successfully use information and insights to make enterprise choices. Right now’s workforce gained’t know the correct inquiries to ask of its information feed, or the automation powering it. The worth of having the ability to articulate exact, probing and business-tethered questions is growing in worth, making a dire want to coach the workforce on this functionality.

You may have a robust background in databases, distributed programs, and genetic algorithms. How do these areas of experience affect Exasol’s product growth and innovation technique?

My background is a basis of working in our area and understanding the know-how tendencies of the final twenty years. It’s thrilling and rewarding to work with modern prospects who flip database know-how into attention-grabbing use instances. Our innovation technique doesn’t simply depend upon one particular person, however a big crew of subtle architects and builders who perceive the way forward for software program, {hardware} and information functions.

With AI reworking industries at an unprecedented tempo, what do you imagine are the important elements of a future-proof information stack for companies trying to leverage AI and analytics successfully?

The speedy adoption of AI has been a first-rate instance of why it’s necessary for enterprises to remain forward of the evolving tech panorama. The unlucky reality, nevertheless, is that almost all information stacks are nonetheless behind the AI curve.

To future-proof information stacks, companies ought to first consider information foundations to determine gaps, bugs or different challenges. This can assist them guarantee information high quality and pace – components which can be crucial for driving beneficial insights and fueling AI and LLM fashions.

As well as, groups ought to put money into the instruments and applied sciences that may simply combine with different options within the stack. As AI is paired with different applied sciences, like open supply, we’ll see new fashions emerge to resolve conventional enterprise issues. Generative AI, like ChatGPT, will even merge with extra conventional AI know-how, resembling descriptive or predictive analytics, to open new alternatives for organizations and streamline historically cumbersome processes.

To future-proof information stacks, enterprises must also combine AI and BI. Companies have been utilizing BI instruments for many years to extract beneficial insights and whereas many enhancements have been made, there are nonetheless BI limitations or limitations that AI may also help with. AI can allow quicker outcomes, improve personalization and remodel the BI panorama right into a extra inclusive and user-friendly area. Since BI usually focuses on analyzing historic information to supply insights, AI can lengthen BI capabilities by serving to anticipate future occasions, producing predictions and recommending actions to affect desired outcomes.

Productiveness, flexibility, and cost-savings are highlighted as 3 ways Exasol helps world manufacturers innovate. Are you able to present an instance of how Exasol has enabled a shopper to realize important ROI via your analytics database?

In response to a 2023 Forrester Whole Financial Affect Examine, Exasol prospects obtain as much as a 320% ROI on their preliminary funding over three years by bettering operational effectivity, database efficiency, and providing a easy and versatile information infrastructure.

One buyer for instance, Helsana, a pacesetter in Switzerland’s aggressive healthcare trade, got here to Exasol to fill a necessity for a contemporary information and analytics platform. Earlier than Exasol, Helsana relied on varied reporting instruments with information warehouses constructed on totally different applied sciences and ETL instruments which created a tangled, inefficient structure. In comparison with the corporate’s current legacy resolution, Exasol’s Knowledge Warehouse demonstrated a 5 to tenfold efficiency enchancment.

Now, Exasol is central to Helsana’s AI journey, serving because the repository for the structured information that Helsana makes use of throughout all of its AI fashions and offering the

basis for its analytics. With Exasol, the Helsana crew has boosted efficiency, diminished prices, elevated agility and established a strong AI basis, all of which contribute to important ROI on high of an elevated capacity to raised serve prospects.

Trying forward, what are the upcoming tendencies in information analytics and enterprise intelligence that Exasol is making ready for, and the way do you intend to proceed driving innovation on this house?

 The yr 2023 launched AI on a large scale, which brought on knee-jerk reactions from organizations that in the end spawned numerous poorly designed and executed automation experiments. 2024 might be a change yr for AI experimentation and foundational work. Thus far, the first functions of GenAI have been for info entry via chatbots, customer support automation, and software program coding. Nonetheless, there might be pioneers who’re adopting these thrilling applied sciences for a complete plethora of enterprise decision-making and optimizations. Trying past 2024, we’ll begin to see a much bigger push in direction of productive implementations of AI.

At Exasol, we’re dedicated to driving innovation and delivering worth to our prospects, this consists of serving to them develop and implement AI at scale. With Exasol, prospects can marry BI and AI to beat information silos in an built-in analytics system. Our flexibility round deployment choices additionally allow organizations to resolve the place they wish to host their analytics stack, whether or not it’s within the public cloud, personal cloud or on-premises. With Exasol’s Espresso AI, we’re positioned to empower enterprises to harness the worth of AI-driven analytics, no matter the place organizations fall of their AI journey.

Thanks for the good interview, readers who want to study extra ought to go to Exasol.

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