This Was Our 2018 Conference Experience

November 29, 2018 by
This Was Our 2018 Conference Experience

MANTA has attended a fair number of conferences this year. What has that been like and what have we gotten out of it? Read this exclusive article by Jan Ulrych to learn more.

This Was Our 2018 Conference Experience

MANTA has attended a fair number of conferences this year. What has that been like and what have we gotten out of it? Read this exclusive article by Jan Ulrych to learn more.

Hi, everyone. My name is Jan Ulrych and I am taking over MANTA’s blog for the day. My message is simple: I would like to share with you my insights as a pre-sales expert who has been to literally every MANTA conference. Talking to partners, potential customers, and other industry experts gave me a different view of things.

I decided to look at the matter from others’ point of view. You see, it’s hard for us. MANTA is a tech startup with weird software that solves a very specific problem – how to get end-to-end data lineage of your data warehouse. And let’s say that not everyone wants or needs that.

So, here I bring you a finite categorization of the people you will meet at tech conferences and what to tell them, from a data lineage point of view:

Type 1: The clueless guy

This first type of people doesn’t see data lineage as an issue their company should solve. Why? Simply because their solution should already be able to solve this need. But does it?

We at MANTA know that the third-party metadata management solutions from all the companies out there are very capable in a general sense. But because they solve “general” issues, it turns out that they are not able to focus on detailed matters such as accurate, detailed, complete data lineage down to the column level and automation of the mapping process, deep down, all the way to the column level. And if you add in multiple programming languages and custom programming code in the database – well not all solutions can handle that.

These people are usually senior managers and are not very familiar with the solutions their company uses on an operational level. But that is okay. It takes us some time, but we try to explain to them the differences between MANTA and other third-party metadata management solutions that MANTA integrates with, and we often get a lead right there at the stand.

Type 2: The type who needs convincing

Okay, technically this has nothing to do with data lineage. It’s more like psychology. There are people like this everywhere – the type who needs convincing. They do get the overall idea of tracking their data and seeing where the data they use in the data warehouse comes from in the database, but up until now, they have not realized it is an issue. Or, they have not realized it is something worth spending the money in their budget on.

The fun part is once you explain how many man hours and, just in general, resources and money they can save by deploying an automated solution like MANTA to handle the manual processes within their company, they become quite eager customers. But they are indeed the ones who want to see the proof, the case study, the success story, the solution.

Type 3: The type who knows

I promise, there really are people like this out there! But they are sadly the minority, even at the most field-specific niche conferences. But we look out for them. They are always a pleasure to talk to, and they become our customers. People who know that data lineage is necessary and who are willing to put forth effort to achieve it are our kind of people.

Type 4: I’m here for the catering

Okay, not necessarily the catering. But, just in general, they came to the conference to focus on something other than data lineage. But it is okay if MANTA is completely irrelevant to some people.

Although our goal when choosing conferences is to minimize the number of irrelevant audience members, in reality the situation varies from conference to conference. For example, at DGIQ there were a lot of people who were not interested in MANTA, almost a majority. A similar thing happened to us at Informatica World – Informatica has such a huge portfolio of products that it is almost impossible to find “our people” there. On the other hand, Collibra Data Citizens Conferences are gold mines for us.

So how do we see the tech conference audience overall?

Well, from my perspective, the problem with the majority of the audience I meet at the conferences we visit is that they don’t really recognize the absence of an automated data lineage solution as a problem. And that is okay, because usually such people just need more information about how MANTA fits in with their customers’ needs. But there is ever so little time at such conferences.

But, that is changing!

Over the years that MANTA has been visiting conferences, I have noticed a growing trend toward data lineage and data provenance. People are starting to realize that data lineage is the true enabler of efficiency  in activities such as impact analysis, self service, trust in data, data governance, etc. With more regulations, GDPR, more data, all kinds of new factors – every year, more and more people are looking for solutions that will help them gain trust in their data, work with it automatically, and, in general, save them man-days (time), money and stress.

So I see a bright, automated, and transparent future ahead of us my friends! We shall meet there.

Like what Jan Ulrych wrote? Would you like to talk to him or one of our other pre-sales experts about MANTA? Then shoot an email to manta@getmanta.com and we will get back to you. (No, we are being serious. There are like three of us in the office right now. We will reply ASAP.)

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