Sigma Develops a Suite of Collaborative Data Analysis Tools | TechCrunch - Latest Global News

Sigma Develops a Suite of Collaborative Data Analysis Tools | TechCrunch

In 2014, Jason Frantz and Rob Woolen co-founded Sigma Computing, a platform that overlays data stored on data platforms such as Snowflake and Google BigQuery with a spreadsheet-like interface for data visualization and analysis. With Sigma, the two former software developers sought to address what they saw as the insurmountable data challenges of large companies: unwieldy tools and difficult-to-manage data storage.

In a 2023 survey by Oracle, the majority of business leaders said they do not believe their employer’s current approach to data and analytics meets their needs. 77 percent said the dashboards and charts they receive are not relevant to the decisions they need to make, and 72 percent admit that the sheer volume of data – and their lack of trust in that data – disorients them at times prevented from making decisions overall.

“After recognizing the tremendous advances in cloud data infrastructure over the last decade, Jason and Rob identified a gap in the market,” said Mike Palmer, CEO of Sigma Computing, in an interview with TechCrunch. “Sigma is building a data workspace for everyone – where teams can analyze data in spreadsheets, build business intelligence in the form of dashboards and reports, and build data workflows and applications where data never leaves an organization’s data warehouse.”

From the beginning (in 2014), Sigma only offered a set of basic business intelligence and analytics tools to connect to a customer’s external databases. But the company, which Frantz and Woolen founded while they were still entrepreneurs at Sutton Hill Ventures, since Woolen came from Salesforce’s Work.com organization, grew quickly from there.

Today, Sigma’s product suite consists of tools that enable users to analyze data “in-place” in databases containing up to billions of records. Customers can access the platform to build dashboards, reports, workflows and apps without the data leaving its source.

“We are committed to what we call ‘Massive Multiplayer Business Intelligence’, a dynamic environment where professionals, regardless of their technical expertise, come together to leverage their diverse skills, in real time and on the same platform.” said Palmer.

Sigma offers a range of tools for business intelligence and data analysis workloads.
Photo credit: Sigma Computing

The go-to-market strategy has proven successful.

According to Palmer, Sigma’s revenue has grown 100% year-over-year for four consecutive years, thanks to a customer base of approximately 1,000 companies. These numbers please investors. On Thursday, Sigma closed a $200 million Series D funding round co-led by Avenir Growth Capital and Spark Capital, valuing the company at $1.5 billion, an increase of 60% compared to its valuation in 2021 (when it earned $300 million).

Palmer believes the key to Sigma’s success in the face of strong competition like Tableau and Microsoft’s Power BI is its continued focus on developing data analytics tools with low barriers to entry.

“Existing business intelligence platforms are designed primarily for ‘super analysts’ – people who work within business units and understand the intricacies of enterprise-level data manipulation,” Palmer said. “For most people, business intelligence was and is a significant hurdle. Jason and Rob believed there was a huge market of smart people who were either ignored by more technical tools or given simple tools that only allowed them to ask simple questions.”

It probably doesn’t hurt that the market for business intelligence and analytics tools is huge – and growing at a very healthy pace. According to Precedence Research, a market research firm, the business intelligence sector alone will grow from $27.24 billion in 2022 to $54.9 billion in 2023.

With Sigma’s massive war chest – $581 million in venture capital – and around 450 employees, the company plans to expand its operations in the US and internationally and invest in AI, particularly integrations with generative AI platforms like OpenAI, to help users to give you the opportunity to ask questions about your company’s company data.

“We believe data will become increasingly centralized in systems like Databricks and Snowflake due to data volumes, the pace of change and governance, and security requirements,” Palmer said. “For competitive businesses to operate in sync and at high speed, you need to provide your employees with raw, live data and the tools to build and communicate together. And they need a platform that allows them to access that data with whatever capabilities they have.”

Snowflake Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures, D1 Ventures, Xn Ventures and Altimeter Capital also participated in Sigma’s Series D.

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