Those involved in the Boston tech scene might wonder why a company like Datawatch, which has been around for over 20 years and is publicly traded, flies under the radar. Is it because the company is based in the suburbs? Or maybe it’s because the company’s products don’t fall under a certain category of technology?
Those keeping a close ear, however, may be hearing some noise from this Bedford, Massachusetts-based company. The company is bringing new products to market and research firms like Gartner and Forrester are taking notice.
Datawatch is in the business of self-service data preparation and analytics with its Monarch portfolio of products. Monarch is a self-service, easy-to-use platform which gives companies access to a diversity of data type, format and source location.
“We have a heritage of accessing, transforming, blending, preparing and analyzing data from a multitude of sources and bringing it to life,” says Datawatch president and CEO Michael Morrison.
The origins of the company’s technology goes back to the Mainframe Era of computers. As technology keeps changing, however, Datawatch’s platform has evolved along with it.
Three years ago, the company set out to build the next generation of their flagship Monarch platform. They built it from the ground up with a modern architecture and a new code base, which focused on accomplishing two goals. First, the new version allows customers to access information which may be stored across a broad range of cloud and on-premise based applications. Second, they wanted to make the platform self-service, so business analysts or data scientists could easily access the data and not have to rely on IT.
Today, Datawatch’s multi-structured data solutions are available in different versions depending on a customer’s needs. Monarch Classic - its original product and Monarch Complete - the latest version, are both desktop products which allow you to access data and analyze data.
Last month, Datawatch also released a new cloud-based version of Monarch called Swarm. For many companies, there is now an urge to move to a cloud-based platform for data. Swarm allows multiple users to analyze data, creating a collaborative environment. “You hear a lot about the socialization of data,” Morrison says. “Swarm is a great enabler of that.”
The company has thousands of clients, including 93 of the Fortune 100. “We cut across all industries and all company sizes,” Morrison says about Datawatch’s client list. One of their longtime local clients is the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The Boston-based organization uses Datawatch’s software within their financial department for patient reimbursements and payments. By utilizing the Datawatch platform, Dana-Farber has eliminated several manual tasks for reconciling payments.
MasterCard is another customer that has saved time and money with Datawatch’s platform. To validate transactions between systems, a small group of employees would previously print out reports and manually reconcile the transactions. “What used to take several hours for data extraction was done in 30 seconds,” says Morrison. “We automated the process and eliminated potential errors. Now employees can focus on more meaningful tasks.”
Datawatch has an employee base of 140 people, with some of them coming from a recruitment program involving the military. Morrison wanted to implement this idea at Datawatch and enlisted Brigid MacDonald, Datawatch’s VP of Human Resources, to begin a program. MacDonald partnered with Alliance Careers, a firm dedicated to helping top-performing military talent transition to successful business careers.
Over the past year and a half, Datawatch has hired more than ten employees through this military recruitment program and it is something Morrison considers “an unbelievable success.” The recruits have held high-level responsibilities while stationed in the service and have a great work ethic. “It’s been great for us,” Morrison says. “They rub off on the rest of the organization.”
Datawatch is a company with an extensive history with data management, data migration and data preparation. Not only are they saving companies money, but they are automating many time consuming tasks thanks to the Monarch platform. To sum up the company’s overall goal, Morrison says straightforwardly, “At the end of the day, we enable organizations to dramatically improve business outcomes and productivity of all their information workers.”