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​​Select Star + Lightspeed: Data Democracy for All

The modern data stack has forever changed how organizations work with data. Data and related workloads have shifted to the cloud, supported by cloud-native systems with modern architectures. Accordingly, savvy data professionals are looking for products that work seamlessly and leveraging the new architecture.

Next-generation organizations need a next-generation data tool. That’s Select Star.

But first, a quick history lesson.

In prior eras, data systems were tightly controlled and centrally governed. This meant limited access and visibility outside of a core group of administrators who managed these systems and gated access for everyone else. While this approach addressed governance issues, it was horrible for organizational agility. Like long lines at the DMV, productivity and insights were bottlenecked by these central teams, and thus business users couldn't get their work done. Velocity of “data-driven decisions” suffered as a result or didn’t happen at all.

The modern data stack revolutionized this paradigm for the better. Users can now leverage their company's data on an ad hoc basis, accelerating organizational velocity. It also reduces friction with and finger pointing toward the data team, who can now empower colleagues to productively get their work done in self-serve fashion.

But as with any revolution, there were some unforeseen consequences:

  • Where is the data? Cloud data warehouses put all your information in one place, but data practitioners still need to sift through thousands of datasets to find the right data to use
  • Is this data appropriate for my particular use case? To trust data, users need to know how it’s already being used inside their company and by whom
  • Why is my dashboard broken? Upstream changes from product or engineering can trickle down to dashboards going broken or producing incorrect numbers, and these issues can be difficult to diagnose quickly

Select Star serves as the single source of truth for modern data teams. Select Star enables teams to discover, manage, and govern data across the modern data stack, all in an automated fashion. Users are instantly productive, getting up to speed within minutes.

Unlike data catalogs of the last generation, built for the on-premise, pre-cloud world, Select Star is built from the ground up to support cloud-native data and systems. With minimal configuration, Select Star integrates tightly with modern data platforms like Snowflake, dbt, and Looker.

Select Star's founder and CEO, Shinji Kim, is quite the data expert herself, having previously co-founded Concord Systems, a distributed stream processing platform acquired by Akamai, with fellow Lightspeed founder Alex Gallego of Redpanda. A respected data practitioner, Shinji brings years of experience wrangling data and rationalizing complex data infrastructure, and it shows in the product.

Data practitioners and business users alike love Select Star. Speaking to customers, we heard the same themes over and over again:

  • Easy setup and fast "time to wow," unlike other tools which take months to spin up
  • Accurate, reliable data discovery and column-level lineage that data teams can trust
  • Streamlined, focused UX, avoiding bloated UIs that drive confusion and reduce internal adoption

Within companies, Select Star goes viral, proliferating outside of the data team to both technical and non-technical users across lines of business. In multiple customers, double-digit percentages of all employees use Select Star on a regular basis.

The market is voting with its feet. Select Star has been adopted by forward-thinking businesses like Fivetran and Productboard, Lightspeed portfolio companies like Faire and Handshake, and large public enterprises like Block Inc., and Pitney Bowes.

Winston Churchill once said, "democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried." It's no surprise then that the modern data stack's democratization of data creation and consumption has created new problems and challenges.

With Select Star, organizations get data democracy and governance – the best of all worlds. Lightspeed is proud to lead their $15M Series A and partner with Shinji and the Select Star team on their mission to unlock the true promise of the modern data stack.

Read the original blog here.

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