Business Intelligence: Enterprise Search, Data Lakes, and the Squeal of a Baby Unicorn

August 29, 2019

A baby unicorn became a semi reality this week. We learned this in “ThoughtSpot Hits $1.95 Billion Valuation With $248 Million Fundraise.”

Forbes, the capitalist tool and home for sponsored content, reported:

ThoughtSpot, the business intelligence startup that offers data analytics searches as simple to use as Google, hit unicorn status on Wednesday with a $248 million funding round led by Lightspeed Ventures. The E Series round raised total funding to $554 million with a valuation of $1.95 billion.

Now watch what happens. Business intelligence becomes enterprise search:

“Though the user experience is inspired by Google, the fundamental search problem we are solving is very different than what Google has to solve,” Singh tells Forbes. “On the surface, all search engines look the same, like search bars, but Google is searching Web documents of unstructured texts.

So what makes ThoughtSpot special?

We’re searching numbers that sit in data lakes and complex cloud databases, we had to build a search engine that understands data lakes.”

And the ultimate venture funder’s Holy Grail:

there’s potential for ThoughtSpot to be the “next Google” for enterprise search.

Net net: The old promises of enterprise search are back. The problems persist. The knowledge that people cannot find answers to questions exists. Closing the “unknowing” gap may be difficult.

With few enterprise search experts thinking about the lessons of Autonomy, Convera, Delphes, Endeca, Entopia, Fast Search & Transfer, STAIRS, and Vivisimo — the past may be poised to rewind and play an old “Mission Impossible”. For free profiles of some of the notable “enterprise search” services, navigate to Let’s watch reruns until a “new” consultant’s report, a Magic Quadrant, or a Wave flows in.

Stephen E Arnold, August 29, 2019


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