Naveego sees joint work on customer deployment with BI vendor Sisense as portent of more vendor collaborations

Data quality vendor Naveego has announced a collaboration with Sisense around one customer, and while this is not even a formal partnership, they believe that their synergies with BI vendors and ability to work easily with their platforms make such strategic partnerships an important part of their future.

Katie Horvath, Naveego’s CEO

Traverse City, Michigan-based Naveego makes cloud-based Data Quality Solutions that detect and eliminate data quality issues across systems. They have announced a collaboration with business intelligence vendor Sisense to provide a data quality and analytics solution for a customer. The collaboration is the first of its kind for Naveego, and they don’t intend for it to be the last.

Naveego is a startup which began as a BI platform inside Michigan managed service provider Safety Net, and was spun out in December 2014 to focus on providing data quality solutions that ensure that data in systems is reliable and minimize the chance of costly errors. Safety Net is actually the customer here. The significant part of the news is not so much that Naveego made a sale to an affiliated company, as that they made a joint sale with a BI vendor, in what they hope will be a common route to market for them.

“Dashboard companies create powerful analytics, but if they start with data that has errors, that data isn’t worth very much,” said Katie Horvath, Naveego’s CEO. “It’s a natural fit for them to work with us so that they can have the data scrubbed.” Naveego recently updated their platform in their 2.0 release a month ago through a strategic partnership with Hortonworks, expanding the platform’s capabilities to fully handle Big Data ingestion and storage, in order to leverage Hadoop technologies like Apache Kafka and Apache Spark.

Sisense, a BI vendor with offices in New York City and Israel, uses technology that lets non-technical users crunch large amounts of data, and is classified as a Visionary in the Gartner Magic Quadrant. Their working relationship with Naveego developed as a ‘meet at the customer’ situation.

“It is not an official partnership,” Horvath said. “It came from the customer wanting to pair things together.”

Derek Smith, Naveego’s CTO

“Sisense is a application that stores data in their own proprietary format,” said Derek Smith, Naveego’s CTO.  “Our technology allows us to work with another tool. This collaboration shows our ability to be versatile with whatever the customer is doing.”

Smith, Naveego’s co-founder and technical architect, was Naveego’s original CEO, and moved to the CTO role earlier this year in a planned succession designed to let him focus on the technical side, with Horvath coming in as CEO.

“Derek architected the platform so that BI vendors like Tableau, Power BI, and Sisense can work with it,” Horvath said. “We don’t want to be that BI dashboard company.”

Ironically, that was their original intent when the technology was being developed.

“Naveego originally positioned itself as a BI dashboard because that’s what we thought we would be doing,” Horvath said. “Our work on a back end to feed into the dashboard led to dealing with data quality issues, and the focus became on the back end, and that became the focus of the company. The result is that whereas at one time Naveego and Sisense would have been competitors, we now complement each other.”

Horvath said that while the relationship with Sisense at this moment is just around the one customer, and they are not yet ready to announce anything beyond that, Naveego’s strategic objective is to leverage relationships with BI vendors to create new opportunities.

“We are highly complementary to them,” she said. “We are looking to have partnerships not just with service integration firms, but with BI vendors. We really do see it as the beginning of great opportunities.”