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July 8, 2022

Meet 2022 Datanami Person to Watch Venkat Venkataramani

We’re entering a period where success will depend in large part on the speed at which one can squeeze insights from ever-faster flowing data. One of the people at the cutting edge of real-time analytics is Rockset co-founder and CEO Venkat Venkataramani.

Venkataramani, who a Datanami Person to Watch for 2022, recently took some time to chat about fast data analytics, his early days at Facebook, and the importance of surrounding oneself with talented people.

Datanami: Like many others in the big data community, you cut your teeth on big, distributed systems at Facebook. What important lessons did you learn there that have helped you succeed at Rockset?

Venkataramani: What I’ve learned from my past is that it is all about the people. When you surround yourself with amazing people, magic happens. I am fortunate to have worked with some really amazing people, who are the world’s best at what they do, at Facebook, and to now continue to work with an immense concentration of great talent here at Rockset.

From a technical standpoint, at Facebook every backend system, every aspect of the product, and every internal tool transformed from batch based solutions to real-time. It allowed the company to iterate quickly and build delightful products. At Rockset, we are building a real-time data cloud so that any company in the world can accelerate their journey from batch analytics to real-time analytics.

Datanami: What will Rockset do after it has solved all the technical challenges running real-time analytics on streaming data at scale?

Venkataramani: Efficient large scale real-time analytics is an extremely difficult technical challenge that has never been solved before. I am sure we will be busy making real-time analytics more efficient and more scalable for years to come.

Datanami: What do you hope to see from the big data community in the coming year?

Venkataramani: There has been tremendous progress the larger community has made on ML and AI. I would love to see more standards evolve there so that databases can seamlessly work with ML/DL models and make building a modern AI application as simple as writing a SQL query.

Datanami: Outside of the professional sphere, what can you share about yourself that your colleagues might be surprised to learn – any unique hobbies or stories?

Venkataramani: I love baking and gardening. Making neapolitan pizzas from scratch is one of the favorite pastimes for our family. On weekends I love to tend to the small vegetable garden we have in our backyard. Spring will be here soon and our raised beds are getting ready for another bountiful season.

To read the rest of the 2022 Datanami People to Watch interviews, click here.