Executive Q&A with Ciaran Dynes, CPO of Matillion

Ciaran Dynes is the Chief Product Officer of cloud data warehouse startup, Matillion. He reveals how they have risen to unicorn status as a startup

Matillion is a cloud-native data integration and transformation solution, allowing enterprises to convert raw data into actionable, analytics-ready data in the cloud in minutes, so that they can create new insights and make better business decisions.

Ciaran Dynes is their Chief Product Officer, responsible for leading global product development companies, including management of US$250mn in commercial middleware integration product lines.

He has been recognised by Information Age in their Top 50 data leaders and influencers and by TSR in their Top 25 Software Product Executives for 2020.

With extensive experience in driving cross-functional teams, managing products from cradle to maturity, justifying and negotiating new product development investments and company acquisitions, including launching new products to the marketplace, Dynes has the proven ability to manage key account relationships, large-scale projects, and work in a globally distributed environment including across Europe, US and China.

Dynes gives us a glimpse into one of the fastest growing startups in the world of cloud data warehouses.

Tell us a little about Matillion’s history

Our co-founders Matthew Scullion and Ed Thompson came from the world of business intelligence, and found there wasn’t a solution on the market that allowed them to access clean, analytics-ready data quickly. The company was founded just outside of Manchester in 2011 to directly solve that challenge.

Matillion is now dual-headquartered in Manchester and Denver, and in recent years we’ve grown from strength-to-strength. In our most recent funding round we raised $150m, which valued the company at US$1.5 bn. It brought us to unicorn status, and we’re immensely proud to be one of the North West’s many success stories.

What is unique about the company?

What gives us an edge is that our is a low-code platform, meaning organisations don’t have to rely on experienced data engineers to make sense of all of their data. Democratising data in this way makes it easier for businesses to create greater efficiency, save costs, and also free up data engineers from repetitive tasks, so they can invest time solving more complex data-oriented problems.

While we’re a UK tech company grown outside of the London bubble – with access to the North West’s pool of young tech talent - our dual UK/USA headquarters means we can unlock unique expertise in both markets. Having this wide breadth of geographical coverage allows us to help organisations of all sizes, across industries, whatever their profile.

What are the major challenges Matillion solves in the industry?

Our overarching mission is to make data useful in a cloud-native environment, particularly for non-technical business users. Right now data teams have to spend too much time on data maintenance tasks, which makes it difficult for them to do what they’re best at - delivering real insights. It’s something that was borne out of our recent research, which found that UK data teams spend nearly half (48%) of their time, on average, on data migration and maintenance due to outdated processes.

That’s despite growing volumes, velocities, and varieties of data entering enterprises. It’s all acting to overwhelm data teams, whose efforts could be devoted to more strategic, higher value work with the right processes and platforms in place. That’s why, in the context of the ongoing war for data talent hitting businesses hard, our aim is to lighten the load on teams with our low-code capability, which is fundamentally designed to make data accessible, intuitive, and easy to use.

 Who are some of the key technology partners you work with?

One of the central pillars of our ethos is that creating the ideal data stack begins with the best technology partners. That’s why we’re proud to partner with the likes of Snowflake, AWS, Azure, Databricks and Google, as well as analytics and data management partners that include Thoughtspot, Sigma Computing, Collibra, DataKitchen, DataOps.live and Snap Analytics.

On the system integrator side we’re also partnered with some of the top category leaders such as Deloitte, Interworks, Slalom Consulting, and Data Clymer.

Any major clients or projects you’d like to share?

One particularly successful project we worked on recently was in the fintech space, with the life insurance firm, Pacific Life. The company was dealing with an abundance of data as part of its efforts to deliver accurate life insurance products, annuities, and mutual funds, which meant that it needed a modern, cloud-native data architecture that could scale with demand.

We helped migrate it to a cloud data platform so that the team could optimise data processing capabilities rapidly and smoothly, and enable more people across the company to tap into higher quality, trusted data. The introduction of a scalable data ingestion framework in particular had a hugely positive effect on the company; it enabled the launch of a production environment in just three months, and means the company’s data management team can now ingest, transform, and publish data at least five times faster than legacy tools used previously.

What's next for the business?

We’ll continue to be laser-focused on growing our core business in the data analytics space and not get distracted by adjacencies. The world of data and analytics is exploding and the ability for customers to get more usage and power from their data is more important than ever. We remain hugely enthused by the role we have to play in helping them realise the true value in their data.


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