AWS Startups Blog

An Ocean of Data: Talking With Datameer’s Claudine Lagerholm

Lakes are great for doggy-paddling, lazily fishing, and taking selfies while riding on giant inflatable unicorns. Oceans, on the other hand, are made for exploration.

That seems to be the subtext of the evocatively named Datameer, which uses Meer, the German word for ocean, to position itself in juxtaposition with data lakes. The name Datameer hints at the immensity and power of data, which shapes lives today in much the same way that ocean currents shaped those in previous centuries. It also hints at the sheer inscrutability of data. For most people, being presented with raw data and asked to interpret it is as bewildering as being presented with a view of a flat sea and told to list statistics about local fish populations. That’s where Datameer comes in.

The San Francisco-based company also has offices in New York, Halle, Berlin, and outside of London. But as Claudine Lagerholm, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Datameer, explains, Datameer customers come from all over the world. These customers are attracted by what Lagerholm terms “the round-trip of data.”

“[It’s] really the end-to-end view of your data,” says Lagerholm. “You can actually take very raw and dirty data, transform it, prep it and modify it in a simple to use spreadsheet-like format  in order to use it in your machine learning model, and then take it back to Datameer, and revise it and enhance  it, and validate the model, and look for ways to improve it. We have customers doing this already today with AWS Sagemaker.”

The cornerstone of this is the process of visual data exploration and smart data analytics. Using Datameer doesn’t require knowledge of coding, Lagerholm explains: any analyst can use Datameer fluently with only a few hours of training. The visual explorer and spreadsheet-like interface facilitate understanding of the available data but also allow the client to ask preliminary and follow-up questions, and revise the data itself.

“So you need to manipulate the data, keep working with it,” says Lagerholm. “And that’s what we do really well, because you don’t have to code, and you have that visual view of the data, which is really helpful.”

This process attracts large-scale clients—Datameer’s client pool includes big names in everything from banking to telecommunications to healthcare—that have one thing in common: they have complex security and compliance needs. One recent client, says Lagerholm, had a staggering 250+ compliance requirements. That wasn’t easy, she admits. But the challenge was well worth it.

“It does require quite a bit of investment for  an ISV partner like us that runs on AWS to be able to work with these large companies,” she says, “because they are very particular about certain things, and there’s a reason, right? We work with them, and we have actually enhanced Datameer, to make sure that we are compliant with their requirements. But we are finding that smaller companies, including start ups are also becoming interested in our solution, in part because we have made this investment.”

Looking to the future, Datameer is setting its energy and resources toward scaling the business. In the last two years, Datameer has heavily invested in both developing their product on AWS and deep integration with EMR. And, just recently, Datameer passed an important milestone.

“We have just put our multi-node,enterprise product on the marketplace,” says Lagerholm. It’s a vital step forward for this developing company—Datameer has now officially set sail, deftly navigating a veritable ocean of data.

Michelle Kung

Michelle Kung

Michelle Kung currently works in startup content at AWS and was previously the head of content at Index Ventures. Prior to joining the corporate world, Michelle was a reporter and editor at The Wall Street Journal, the founding Business Editor at the Huffington Post, a correspondent for The Boston Globe, a columnist for Publisher’s Weekly and a writer at Entertainment Weekly.