Companies spend inordinate amounts of time and money building data warehouses and moving data from enterprise applications. But once they get the data in, how do they get specific information like product data back out and distribute it to business operations, which can use it to better understand customers? That’s where Census comes in. It builds a layer on top of the data warehouse that makes it easy for the data team to distribute product data where it’s needed.
The company announced a $4.3 million seed today, although it closed last year while they were still building the product. That round was led by Andreessen Horowitz with help from SV Angel and a number of angel investors.
Census CEO Boris Jabes says the company was founded to solve this problem of data distribution from a cloud data warehouse. He says for starters they are concentrating on product data.
“The product is designed to sync data directly from cloud data warehouses like Snowflake, BigQuery and Redshift […] and the main reason we did that was people really needed to get access to this kind of product data and all this data that’s locked in all their systems and take advantage of it,” Jabes explained.
He says that the first step is to make the product data sitting in the data warehouse actionable for the organization. They are working with data teams at early customers to remove the complexity of getting that data out of the warehouse and putting it to work in a more automated fashion.
They do this by creating a unified schema that sits on top of the data in the warehouse and makes it easier to distribute it to the teams that need it inside the organization. It essentially acts as a middleware layer on top of the warehouse that you can take advantage of without having to write code to decide where data might be most useful.
David Ulevitch, who led the investment at a16z, says that removing this manual part of the process is highly valuable. “For years, organizations have had to do the frustrating task of manually syncing data between dozens of apps. This friction is especially painful now that data has become critical to every team in a business, from product to sales. Census sets a new standard for how product-led SaaS companies can operationalize data,” he said in a statement.
Jabes understands these are difficult times for every business, and especially an early-stage startup, but he says they are focusing on an aspect of the business that potential customers need.
“We’ve seen companies actually spending time trying to tackle some of these data problems […] so I’m still optimistic,” he says.