Data Visualization Platform Enso Emerges from Stealth with $16.5M
This week, San Francisco-based data analytics firm Enso emerged from stealth with a $16.5 million funding round.
The company’s open source platform provides a self-service, visual data environment that is simultaneously an IDE and a programming language and can be used by both technical and non-technical users. Enso claims it to be as user friendly as Excel or other spreadsheet tools. The company says its free-to-use product allows users of varying expertise to build and automate data processes by connecting visual components.
The visual components, created by data input, can process data and output results using Enso’s high performance data processing engine allowing for visualization of millions of data points in real time. “For example, one component can consume a dataset of advertisement locations across a city, the next component can filter out only those advertisements on bus stops, which is available as a rendered map of the city with plotted advertisements,” the company said in a press release. Instead of writing code, users can update their data, monitor changes in real time, and make changes by mapping visual components in a variety of formats, including geophysical maps, scatter plots, tables, and histograms.
Enso was co-founded by engineer Wojciech Daniło, the company’s CEO and CTO, and physicist and computer scientist Sylwia Brodacka, who designs and manages Enso’s products. The pair were colleagues for eight years in the visual effects industry before founding Enso.
“When my co-founder, Sylwia, and I were in our previous roles helping VFX artists process data, we were repeatedly asked by companies in other industries if it was possible to use our tools for their data,” said Daniło. “It became clear to us that there existed a severe pain point, largely driven by the shortage of data scientists.”
In a video introduction to Enso, Daniło says that today’s methods of building software are “inherently broken” and do not allow for creativity or interactivity. “You bury yourself in code and become alienated from the actual problems you are trying to solve,” he said. In the video, he demonstrates exactly how the platform works using the aforementioned example of bus stop advertisements using data from Los Angeles Open Data, a public API data source that was easily accessed by the platform. In minutes, Daniło finds the company with the most ads on bus stops in L.A. and creates a map showing where each one is located.
It is well known that time is of the essence with data science. Repetitive tasks such as updating spreadsheets and formatting and augmenting data take away valuable time that could be used for solving analytical problems. A lack of interactivity within spreadsheets makes testing ideas difficult, and they can be slow and hard to manage as data changes. This challenging system requires data scientists to organize and manage these complex datasets, and data professionals are often in short supply and high demand.
Given the current shortage, Enso believes its platform can help fill in the gaps. “Because Enso makes analysis so accessible, businesses no longer need to spend extensive resources recruiting data scientists and dedicated engineers to support business analytics,” the company said.
It appears that others agree. The latest $16.5 million funding round saw participation from SignalFire, Khosla Ventures, Day One Ventures, Decacorn Capital, Y Combinator, Samsung Next, Harvard’s Endowment, West Coast Endeavors, Innovation Nest, and more. The company says it is community-driven, and it has an active Dischord that encourages community participation and innovation.
“Enso is alleviating much of the pressure on companies struggling to hire enough data scientists to keep up with today’s massive amounts of data,” said Sandhya Venkatachalam, partner at Khosla Ventures. “It’s a game changer for companies in the many industries that rely heavily on deriving insights from data for competitive advantage.”