Insight From an Immuta Engineer: 3 Events, 3 Countries, & 3K Photos in 3 Months

A standard day at Immuta is anything but standard. As an engineer on our Applied Engineering team, I develop software solutions that help our customers deploy and scale Immuta successfully, no matter their data challenges. One of the things that enables Immuta’s leap forward in the data management and governance field is the opportunity to meet with customers – and prospective customers – in person in order to understand their evolving business needs. Over the last three months, Immuta sent several expert teams to over a dozen conferences and trade shows around the world, three of which I had the pleasure to attend:

  • Gartner Data & Analytics Summit in Frankfurt, where we spoke about all-things-GDPR with decision makers of some of the biggest companies in Europe;
  • Big Data London, where we engaged with community partners about machine learning, data science, and smart engineering solutions;
  • AI World Expo in Boston, where we showcased the integration of Immuta into the ever-evolving AI field.

In addition to presenting our product demos, chatting with visitors at our booths, and sensing out new partnerships and industry trends, our team reflected on the added value of attending these events – the informal wins at conferences, both for attendees and exhibitors.

Finding the Balance Between Utility and Responsibility

We met people from a vast variety of training backgrounds and seniority levels.

  • For instance, we spoke with business analysts and data scientists, who aspire to get access to and use more data efficiently and quickly.
  • We also met Chief Data Officers, who would sleep more soundly knowing they made the right and ethical decisions with the data their organization collects by the terabytes.

Regardless of their backgrounds and job titles, they all want to find a sweet spot between utility and responsible usage of their data.

Perhaps one particular conversation in London at Big Data LDN manifests this best. I spoke with a data engineer from one of Immuta’s customers, and I learned that through using Immuta’s data management platform, they’ve been able to get access to new data sets within record time, notwithstanding GDPR compliance constraints. This type of processes had previously taken them months to complete, and now only takes a couple of hours.

Another very similar conversation took place in Frankfurt with a Chief Information Officer, whose main concern was enabling usage of their disparate data lakes without compromising control. Here, as well, Immuta provided an above-par solution.

‘Ah-ha!’ Moments

Regardless of the conference setting, there’s only so much information that can be conveyed in a three-minute product demo. That essentially means that in order to get across Immuta’s added value to our potential partners, we need not only an excellent product and spectacular delivery, but we also need to tailor the demos to the conference’s audience. And within that tailored demo multiple facets of the product need to be presented to different stakeholders. For example, engineers who visited our booth were very excited to see the magnitude of data access patterns in the demo. On the other hand, data governors, auditors, and data owners alike were most attracted to aspects of access policies, auditability, and semantic usage.

Finding the right way to approach booth visitors without drifting away to terminology foreign to them isn’t a given. What we’ve improved on in these past few conferences is how we leverage demos so that they speak to a multitude of stakeholders, concisely and precisely showcasing what Immuta can do.

Immuta has a lot of ‘ah-ha!’ moments to offer every person in the organization who cares about data. Often times I’ve heard attendees at these events telling us that data management ‘has been done before.’ They’re often interested to hear that Immuta offers more than they’ve seen before; for example, we enable bulletproof policy enforcement without moving or caching data. Taking a couple of minutes to talk about those value-adds makes a huge difference. It not only helps our partners realize how they can improve their data handling, it also helps us understand how we can grow to provide them with even more value.

Looking back at our experience at these three important conferences, we’re grateful for the opportunity to meet fascinating people from round the world who all have a passion for data. My own eye-opening experience was having the opportunity to witness the collaboration between those who manage data, those who analyze it, and those who govern it. Perhaps most importantly, it was inspiring to see that we all care about using data wisely and responsibly.