The post-modern data stack

Afzal Jasani
Afzal Jasani

The modern data stack has made the lives of data teams infinitely easier. Even one generation of tooling ago, data teams were tasked with managing on-premise data storage and building their own pipelines. Today, tools like Fivetran and Snowflake have made moving data into a cloud warehouse and storing it in a scalable way possible within days. Even companies without a full data team can reliably move data into a warehouse.

If you’re on a data team with these tools, you’re likely extremely grateful for the ease of use and speed with which you can stand up a modern data infrastructure. There’s nothing more satisfying than turning on a Fivetran connector and watching data flow seamlessly into your warehouse (especially if you’ve done it the hard way in the past!).

If you’re a business consumer of data on the other hand, you might still be wondering what all of this innovation has done to make your life easier. It’s never been more straightforward for data teams to store, ingest, and transform data. But has the adoption of tools in the modern data stack truly made data more reliable and accessible to the end user? We’re not convinced. In fact, we believe supporting business users is the unfinished business of the modern data stack.

Identifying the gaps in the stack

To be clear, I have a ton of respect for the companies, founders and investors who saw the vision and promise of these technologies. It was exactly this stack of tools that empowered me early in my career. I was an early customer of both Looker and Fivetran, which allowed me to successfully provide analytics to a startup with over 100 employees without needing to the build out a data engineering team.

I later joined a data consultancy dedicated to the implementation of these modern data tools. Our team had consultants with specialized expertise across data warehousing, ETL/ELT, analytics, and visualization. When I started devoting more of my time to working directly with business stakeholders and less time managing infrastructure, I started to notice a few themes:

  • Business users didn't trust the data
  • Data teams felt overwhelmed by data requests from business users
  • Bottlenecks seemed to exist even after we set up “self-serve” analytics
  • Decisions were rarely made where data was front and center

If you’re a consumer of data experiencing these problems, you’re not the only one! Even at companies who have a best-in-class modern data stack, you might not know exactly how to answer your own questions, or what to do when the data you have access to seems off. Data teams might have great tooling, but if a request makes it from the business to the data team and back without missing critical context, it’s still the exception, not the rule.

Image of 6 database icons in preql purple and aqua branding inspired by post-modern art

The solution

Our vision of a  post-modern data stack puts business users at the forefront. The next era of data tools should not only be easy to use and manage, but also cater to business users' needs. These tools should prioritize decision-making and enable people to trust the data they have access to.

Additionally, the data stack should be scalable and flexible enough to accommodate the ever-changing needs of businesses. We believe business users are the right people to manage business logic, without having to always explain their knowledge for data experts where context gets lost in translation.

This is where Preql comes in. Preql has been built by data people but for the business user. It’s the only data tool that allows business users to focus on what they do best: making business critical decisions.

Our product autogenerates metrics we know business users need and provides a user-friendly UI where they can customize metrics or create new ones from scratch. We expose how these metrics are calculated in plain English so that everyone in your company knows what’s going on behind the scenes. We enable users to connect across multiple apps and integrate with the BI tools they know and love, so that everyone can access reliable data whenever they need it.

Most businesses can’t afford to wait for a data team to implement new logic or add a request to the data team’s queue whenever they need to make a critical decision. No matter how many thousands of dollars their companies have allocated to modern data technologies, you won’t see the value of your tools unless businesses can access that data in the moment a decision is being made.

Get in touch

At Preql, we’re committed to bridging the gap between technical teams and business users so we can finally deliver on the promise of the modern data stack.

If you’re interested in seeing how Preql can help you and your team, sign up for a demo today!