Preset

Data has become so meaningful to the enterprise, it’s become a cliche. Increasingly, the answers to improved performance, accuracy, security, and, of course. business metrics are hidden within massive streams of data. However, while the industry has been espousing this for years, it’s really only in the last few we’ve seen a dramatic shift in how data teams operate as a result. 

At a16z, we see thousands of companies every year, which has given us a great vantage point for tracking trends and new technology stacks as they emerge. Of particular interest to us is the particular shift on attitudes and usage of data tools. It’s clear, for example, that more workers in an organization need access to data at scale. It’s also clear that flexibility and openness are of increasing importance as the sophistication of requirements for analysis and visualization grows. 

These trends are a massive boon to the industry as companies can glean better information from more data more quickly than ever before. However, they also put a ton of pressure on the analytics and visualization layer that’s been held by traditional business intelligence tools. And so, we’re also seeing the emergence of new tools to process and visualize that data. 

Apache Superset is the most popular of these tools, and we believe the most suited for the emerging generation of data-oriented companies. Superset is an enterprise-ready analytics application for data exploration, data visualization, and dashboarding. What we find particularly compelling is that the core philosophy behind Superset is to democratize analytics. In order for a business to move quickly, the ability to view and analyze data should be pushed through the organization, rather than siloed in a single team. Superset is as much a platform as a product. While it’s immediately useful for crafting visualizations and dashboards, it also, it also exposes high-level building blocks that can be used by any company to build their own internal data products. And, of course, being open source, companies can join the largest and fastest growing community in this space that includes many of the top tech companies in the world. 

In my world of core enterprise infrastructure, I rarely have the opportunity to show screen shots, so I’m going to shamelessly do that here.Apache Superset is one of the most popular open source projects, which is an incredible feat for its primary author, Max. However, what’s even more remarkable is that Max is also the author of another highly popular open source project: Apache Airflow.  

When Max and I first met over a year ago at a low-key diner in Russian Hill, he mentioned that he wanted to start a company around Superset. Max has long been a thought leader in the data analytics space, so between that and him being the primary author of Superset, I couldn’t think of a better person to build the next generation BI platform. Not only was this space growing dramatically, which played out in the acquisitions of Tableau and Looker a few months after our dinner, but the broader shifts around how data teams functions was demanding a new tool.

We’re exceptionally excited to be partnering with Max and the Preset team to develop the leading next-generation BI platform. We’re also very happy to be supporting the open source Superset platform that underlies it. If you work with BI or data, and you haven’t yet played around with Superset, then I strongly recommend you do.  

The views expressed here are those of the individual AH Capital Management, L.L.C. (“a16z”) personnel quoted and are not the views of a16z or its affiliates. Certain information contained in here has been obtained from third-party sources, including from portfolio companies of funds managed by a16z. While taken from sources believed to be reliable, a16z has not independently verified such information and makes no representations about the enduring accuracy of the information or its appropriateness for a given situation.

This content is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal, business, investment, or tax advice. You should consult your own advisers as to those matters. References to any securities or digital assets are for illustrative purposes only, and do not constitute an investment recommendation or offer to provide investment advisory services. Furthermore, this content is not directed at nor intended for use by any investors or prospective investors, and may not under any circumstances be relied upon when making a decision to invest in any fund managed by a16z. (An offering to invest in an a16z fund will be made only by the private placement memorandum, subscription agreement, and other relevant documentation of any such fund and should be read in their entirety.) Any investments or portfolio companies mentioned, referred to, or described are not representative of all investments in vehicles managed by a16z, and there can be no assurance that the investments will be profitable or that other investments made in the future will have similar characteristics or results. A list of investments made by funds managed by Andreessen Horowitz (excluding investments and certain publicly traded cryptocurrencies/ digital assets for which the issuer has not provided permission for a16z to disclose publicly) is available at https://a16z.com/investments/.

Charts and graphs provided within are for informational purposes solely and should not be relied upon when making any investment decision. Past performance is not indicative of future results. The content speaks only as of the date indicated. Any projections, estimates, forecasts, targets, prospects, and/or opinions expressed in these materials are subject to change without notice and may differ or be contrary to opinions expressed by others. Please see https://a16z.com/disclosures for additional important information.

Want more a16z?

Sign up to get our best articles, latest podcasts, and news on our investments emailed to you.