Big data and integration solution provider Talend recently announced $40 million (around £24 million, or AUS$69 million) of strategic funding from investment companies.

CEO Mike Tuchen discusses what this funding means for the company and what it brings extra to the all-encompassing big data market.

The investment

TechRadar Pro: What will this investment mean for Talend?

Mike Tuchen: This investment ushers in the next step for us as a company as we double down on product innovation and scale up our go-to-market initiatives.

TRP: How does this investment improve Talend's big data offering?

MT: We'll be investing in a number of areas in and around big data and NoSQL. One important area is real-time.

The investors

TRP: How did you select / choose your investors?

MT: They actually came to us. BPI is the investment arm of the French government, chartered with fostering innovation in France. They look for innovative high growth companies with a strong presence in France, especially ones in targeted areas were they see huge opportunity like big data. With this in mind Talend was a perfect fit, so it's not surprising that they found us.

TRP: What role will the investors play in the business moving forward?

MT: BPI will be represented on Talend's Board of Directors.

Spending wisely

TRP: How will this funding be used?

MT: We're investing in both product innovation and accelerating our go-to-market. On the product side we'll double down on big data, an area that's exploding for us. We already have a unique solution with strong customer adoption, and this investment will increase our lead over the next year. On the go-to-market side we'll invest in inside sales and building out our community and partner ecosystems.

Talend

Data boom

TRP: How do you currently see the big data market?

The big data market is currently "crossing the chasm" in Geoffrey Moore's iconic market development framework. We're seeing early adopter customers finding unique benefits and strong ROI in a range of scenarios, and consequently many more mainstream customers are investigating and experimenting with it.

As a result the market overall is experiencing hypergrowth, though from a relatively small base measured in the low hundreds of millions of pounds.

It's worth pointing out that I'm using a fairly strict definition of big data here - there are many different things that could be included, and some companies and analysts are categorizing everything to do with any kind of data management as "big data" – the same things that we would have called traditional data warehousing, analytics, or business intelligence a few years ago. Using that approach yields large multi-billion pound market sizes, but it's less meaningful in my opinion.

Overcoming hurdles

TRP: What are the main challenges you are finding customers are facing with big data?

MT: Gartner published a great research paper that mirrors our own experience (see "Survey Analysis: Big Data Adoption in 2013 Shows Substance Behind the Hype").

Overall, we see three sets of customers: those that are trying to figure what big data really is given all the hype and rush to paint every technology that has anything to do with data with the trendy "big data" label; those that have figured out what it is and are identifying scenarios where they might find strong ROI; and finally those that are actively experimenting with it or running it in production. For the latter customers, the challenges fall into several areas:

Skills. Do I have the skills necessary to succeed with a big data implementation, from Hadoop, MapReduce, NoSQL, data science, and many more. Given how new the market is, there are very few people in the world outside of Google & Facebook with those skillsets so this is a widespread issue.