Disrupting Business Intelligence

David Beyer (Chart.io)

Overview -

The Business Intelligence market is late to SaaS (to say nothing of ease-of-use). The mega-vendors still sell on-premise tools in deployments that usually fail. Simply put, SaaS BI is in its second inning.

Funding -

Chart.io has raised $1.2M from investors, including:

Y Combinator
Avalon Ventures
Crosslink Capital
Zach Weinberg (Invite Media/Google)
Kenny Van Zant
Jeff Hammerbacher (Founder, Cloudera/Built Facebook data team)
Matt Ocko
Tamim Mourad (Founder, Pricegrabber)
Bill Boebel (Webmail.us/Rackspace)
Philip Fierlinger (Co-founder, Xero.com)

Team -

Dave Fowler, one of IBM’s most patented interns, YC 2008
Justin Davis, senior software engineer at Splunk
Michael Shiplett, Justin’s mentor at Arbor Networks, coding in Python since 1991
David Beyer, Brown B.A., healthcare IT startup 2009-10

Technology -

We’ve built some very sophisticated technology.

1. Guitar – A Javascript wrapper for Django, which allows us to support a very complex UI with ease.
2. Asynchronous MySQL – We’ve made MySQL asynchronous so that we can support customers with massive datasets without tying up our Tornado processes.
3. An abstraction layer which will allow our product to deliver a consistent front-end against any type of datasource we integrate in the future, including: SQL databases, NoSQL databases, Hadoop clusters and web services data (Zendesk, Google Analytics, etc.).

Strategy -

Chart.io is starting with the lower end of the market. While tail-distributed, SMBs nonetheless host their data with a certain number of hosting providers. These providers are traditionally re-sellers of infrastructure value-add services, but are moving up the stack towards business-level applications as they compete in an increasingly commoditized market.

In addition, our product is designed to be as automatic as possible. Since we’re focused initially on SQL databases, we can dramatically reduce the setup costs associated with deployments: Chart.io automatically extracts metadata about particular databases and can infer relationships among the data, such that within 15 minutes of setup, the product is available to a business user. Finally, since we do not warehouse customer data, we do not bear the computing and storage costs that attend large data sets.

As we move upmarket, Chart.io will benefit from new distribution methods, particularly around selling to the business end-user, which will lower the cost of sales. Moreover, by virtue of our product being on-demand, we can slowly scale into mid-market enterprises department by department and avoid running head-first into IT.

David Beyer


David Beyer is the CEO of Chart.io, which is “Google Analytics for Databases.” Prior to that, he was the co-founder of Cortex, a healthcare startup, which helped hospital executives share ideas around the country. He received his B.A. from Brown University.


  • Aster Data
  • EMC Greenplum
  • GE
  • Lexis Nexis
  • MarkLogic
  • Tableau Software
  • Cloudera
  • DataStax
  • Informatica
  • DataSift
  • Splunk
  • 1010data
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Connotate
  • Media-Science
  • Microsoft SQL Server

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