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GoodData to launch fully managed analytics platform on AWS

The vendor unveiled its overhauled suite in June 2021, and in July 2022 expects to make GoodData Cloud generally available to users who prefer not to manage their own deployments.

GoodData Cloud, a fully managed cloud version of the eponymous vendor's analytics platform, is scheduled for launch on AWS in July.

Following the managed cloud version's introduction on AWS -- it's already in beta testing and tentatively set for general availability on July 18, according to GoodData -- the vendor plans to make GoodData Cloud available on Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and other clouds as well.

Lightening the load

GoodData.CN (cloud native), the vendor's primary analytics platform, is already cloud-first and capable of running on any cloud in any location worldwide. But that version, which also enables on-premises and hybrid deployments, is hosted and managed by customers in their own environment rather than by GoodData.

And that is the preference for many customers, according to GoodData founder and CEO Roman Stanek. Others, however, want the burden of hosting lifted, and so the vendor responded by developing GoodData Cloud.

"It's about convenience," Stanek said. "Many of our customers ... want to focus on other parts of their projects, so we're making it easier for them. We'll also be leveraging 10-plus years of experience of helping customers scale and operate their systems."

He added that flexibility, including the ability to run on customers' clouds of choice, is important for analytics vendors, which is why GoodData.CN was designed to run on any cloud, and GoodData Cloud will eventually be available on multiple clouds after its initial availability on AWS.

We want to ... work across all the clouds, all the databases. That's absolutely critical.
Roman StanekFounder and CEO, GoodData

In fact, Stanek noted that all of GoodData Cloud's beta customers also use GoodData.CN. And with cloud analytics still in its nascent stage, even those organizations that have migrated some of their analytics to the cloud tend to have hybrid deployments.

"It's important for us to be on all clouds," Stanek said. "We have customers who use Oracle Cloud and IBM Cloud, and customers who are in different regions around the world. We want to ... work across all the clouds, all the databases. That's absolutely critical, and it's the biggest change from 10 years ago when everything was self-contained."

Similarly, Mike Leone, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, stressed the importance of vendors enabling customers to deploy on the cloud -- or clouds -- of their choice.

"It's really about where the data resides," he said. "We know that many organizations have data in multiple clouds, so having a cloud-agnostic approach is a big deal for organizations. When it comes to launches, most vendors have to prioritize one cloud over another, [but] the ultimate goal is running on all clouds."

Regarding the launch of GoodData Cloud, Leone added that managed services are an alluring option for many potential customers and have the potential to increase productivity given that they ease much of the burden on data experts.

"As the world continues to move from traditional on-premises BI deployments to the cloud, managed service offerings are incredibly attractive," he said. "A managed service in the cloud can enable a new level of productivity for experts and generalists alike, whether in control of back-end integrations and management, or as an end user looking for fast access at scale."

GoodData's evolution

The scheduled launch of GoodData Cloud, meanwhile, will come just over a year after the vendor unveiled a completely overhauled version of its platform.

Founded in 2007 and based in San Francisco, GoodData spent two years from summer 2019 to summer 2021 completely redesigning its platform.

Before the overhaul, GoodData offered a traditional analytics platform contained in its own environment that sat on top of a database, and the vendor had a particular specialization in embedded BI capabilities. By 2019, however, Stanek determined that BI was inefficient as a standalone capability kept discrete from other work functions.

He called BI a monolith -- a capability disconnected from business users' everyday workflows that forced them to waste time and effort toggling between GoodData and their other work applications to derive any data-driven insights.

Over the next two years, the vendor rebuilt its platform tool by tool to create what Stanek calls a headless platform. It enables users to work with GoodData and have access to analytics insights while staying in their everyday work environment, including enabling data analysts and data scientists to use GoodData while remaining in their data warehouses and data lakes.

Screenshot of a sample GoodData dashboard
A sample dashboard from GoodData displays an organization's sales information.

In June 2021, the vendor launched GoodData.CN. The suite of tools is data as a service, according to Stanek, and is made up of a series of cloud-based microservices that enable customers to choose the capabilities that suit their needs and integrate them into their normal workflows.

The burden of GoodData.CN's hosting and management, however, falls on the vendor's customers. The next evolution of GoodData's analytics platform is a version that eases that burden.

"GoodData Cloud is the next step of that evolution," Stanek said. "It's the same product [as GoodData.CN] from a functional perspective, but we're adding ... convenience."

He added that by serving as the host for its customers, he wants GoodData itself to be the biggest GoodData customer. As it gains experience hosting deployments for its customers, GoodData will develop best practices that can then be passed on to customers who manage and host their own deployments.

"Our goal is not only to provide this hosted version, but that we'll develop blueprints that our customers can use," Stanek said. "We want to be able to show how we're doing it in house, so when customers do it in their clouds, they don't need to invent the wheel. They will get best practices for how to host GoodData on different clouds."

Future plans

Following the launch of GoodData Cloud on AWS in July, the vendor plans to make the fully managed version of its platform available on other public clouds, as Stanek noted.

In particular, Azure and Google Cloud are priorities, and then over time the vendor plans to make GoodData Cloud available on as many clouds as possible worldwide.

"That could be 10 years of roadmapping, but the three main ones are AWS, Google and Azure," Stanek said.

Beyond expanding the footprint for GoodData Cloud, the vendor's roadmap includes the development of partnerships that ensure its analytics platform can be part of an ecosystem for decision-making. Among them are the launch of integrations with dbt Labs, which offers a data transformation platform, and data lakehouse vendor Dremio.

"GoodData.CN was a kernel we built, and now we're taking it and making it part of a bigger puzzle with clouds on one side, databases on the other side and all different types of user interfaces for consumers," Stanek said.

Enterprise Strategy Group is a division of TechTarget.

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