Databricks announces analytics platform for retailers

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Databricks Inc, a data analysis company. Said Thursday that it launched a platform to help retailers derive faster insights from their data.

The platform, called Lakehouse for Retail, has industry-specific tools to help users tackle inventory management, forecasting, and recommended modeling challenges. The company said.

“The Lakehouse vision helps solve many of the challenges retailers are facing,” said Ali Ghodsi, CEO and co-founder of Databricks. ..

Based in San Francisco, the company sells services based on the open source Apache Spark. Real-time data analysis technology Ghodsi helped create it. Apache Spark was introduced in 2009 by the University of California, Berkeley.

Ali Ghodsi, CEO of Databricks


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Databricks Inc.

Lakehouse for Retail integrates various information into one digital repository. In the past, such repositories, often referred to as data lakes, required users to make copies of their data so that they could be structured and analyzed in different environments. According to Databricks, a new concept of “lakehouse” allows users to analyze data in the repository itself.

The goal of Lakehouse for Retail is “to help organizations operate in real time, provide more accurate analytics, and leverage all customer data to uncover valuable insights,” Ghodsi said. I am. The platform is also designed to facilitate data-driven collaboration and sharing between retail companies and partners, he said.

Retail data is rapidly gaining in popularity, and the ability to capture and analyze that data has emerged as a major source of competitive advantage.

“Where to look [retailers are] We will invest in new ways to collect and process information, “said David Swarts, a equity analyst at the research firm’s Consumer Sector Research Group.

Lucifer Ltd

Privately held Databricks says it has raised $ 3.5 billion so far. The company’s fiscal year 2021 revenue was $ 425 million by January 31, 2021 and its annual recurring revenue in August was $ 600 million. According to Databricks, the current valuation is $ 38 billion.

Investors include Morgan Stanley Counterpoint Global, Andreessen Horowitz, Funds and Accounts.

Black lock Ltd,

According to the company, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investment Board), Tiger Global Management and Court Management.

Lakehouse for Retail builds on the services Databricks already offers to its customers, including major US pharmacy businesses.

Walgreens

Boots Alliance Inc. Previously, retail customers had to create software and tools to derive industry-specific insights from Databricks. Lakehouse for Retail incorporates retail-specific tools into the platform itself and, according to Ghodsi, has the potential to expand adoption in this sector. Retailers are looking to further leverage their data to manage inventory and supply chains, forecast demand, and personalize marketing campaigns for their customers.

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Pharmacy manager Jayme Strnatka works behind the pharmacy counter at the Walgreens store in Chicago.


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eileen meslar / Reuters

Walgreens, based in Deerfield, Illinois, has been using Databricks for four years and gained access to Lakehouse for Retail six months ago, Walgreens’ Deputy Pharmacy and Healthcare Platform Technology Deputy. President Luigi Guadagno said.

Ghodsi said this professional service will be most useful to new Databricks customers and will allow them to skip some of the steps to write their own code to do inventory forecasting and more.

Still, pre-written code cannot serve as a full-fledged solution for a particular retailer. Dan Vesset, Group Vice President of Analysis and Information Management at market research firm International Data Corp, said: We will also discuss the unique requirements of subsegments within the industry and the very specific requirements of individual companies, “says Vesset.

According to Vesset, the lakehouse idea combines the elements of a data lake that store structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data with the previous idea of ​​a data warehouse where users perform data analysis. He said the lakehouse concept is still relatively new and most companies continue to use traditional data warehouses.

According to Ghodsi, Databricks is also considering launching more industry-specific lakehouse products for the healthcare, media and financial sectors.

Walgreens’ Guadagno said the Databricks platform is scalable and depends on a variety of tools, including those who collect data in real time, create software, mine data, mine data, and more. Said it was attractive because it could be used. Create a report. The advantage is that Walgreens doesn’t have to spend money on moving data or translating it into different groups, and all the data stays in the same place.

“We understand more and know more,” Guadagno said when it comes to dealing with patients. “Databricks is the engine behind us.” increase.

Write in Isabelle Bousquette at Isabelle.Bousquette@wsj.com

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Databricks announces analytics platform for retailers

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