At GC innovate we have the unique opportunity to work with a network of specialists with a wide and deep knowledge of all things Google. Our ‘Meet the expert’ series is meant to highlight and celebrate our valued partners. This time we’re talking with Casper Claesen; Google Cloud Technical Lead at DataSight, Google Cloud Data Engineer and Architect certified. As you might have guessed, Casper is all about the advantages Google offers when it comes to data.
When does your company use Google’s services?
Casper: Within DataSight, we solely specialise in Google Cloud products, so pretty much all the time! As our name implies, DataSight provides Google Cloud Platform (GCP) solutions with a focus on data. In technical terms, we focus on data analytics, data warehousing, data visualisation and AI & machine learning. Google technologies like DataFlow, BigqQuery, Looker and Vertex AI are quite simply essential for the way we work.
But technology is just supportive, so more accurately we use Google services to help companies unlock insights in their data. Our job is usually not to implement certain technologies, but for instance to close the gap between the Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Information Officer. We do that by building platforms that make it easy to process, visualise and even predict important information across different silos. By working together with our partner Invisible Puppy, a marketing specialist within the Cronos Group, we can always ensure that the needs of both roles are met.
Casper: There’s only one natural choice really when, like us, you want to build a data driven company. And the proof is in the pudding, as they say: they operate several world-scale, data driven applications like YouTube, Maps, Search and Gmail. Google knows how to handle a lot of data.
There’s a recurring pattern, and it all started with the famous search engine, where they solved one of the first big data problems with MapReduce. They open-sourced it and today this methodology is still standard in data analytics solutions. Google is also the founder of Kubernetes, the most used open-source container orchestration technology. They opened up their storage system BigQuery. Google is behind Tensorflow, the industry standard tool for neural network machine learning applications.
Google has a habit of developing amazing technologies and then making them accessible to the entire world. With GCP, for instance, you can use machine learning models, like Cloud Vision API, that have the strength of all of Google’s data. So why should you not use them?
And did I mention that Google Cloud is a leader in security as well? Google encrypts data at rest and in transit by default, which is a first for any of the major cloud providers. Google’s ‘zero-trust’ security model ensures that your data is in the safest hands possible.
That is why DataSight chooses the GCP to build our clients data solutions in the cloud.
What direction is Google evolving in according to you?
Casper: So me and the rest of DataSight followed the last Google Cloud Data Summit in April. Our main takeaway was that Google aims to expand their multi-cloud position even further. True to their spirit of openness, they want to make it as easy as possible for their customers to avoid vendor lock-in by making their solutions multi-cloud and hybrid cloud compatible. For example, they recently introduced BigLake, a storage solution that allows organisations to unify data warehouses and lakes across multiple cloud and local storage formats.
Secondly, GCP has a strong focus on serverless solutions and is still expanding their serverless solutions like with AI Vertex. Serverless solutions eliminate the need for resource management and allows you to handle demand spikes without any intervention. No worries about spikes in demand, Google will handle them.
DataSight is also very interested in the new unified Google Cloud business intelligence (BI) platform. It seems like they are planning to extend the concept of one centralised, managed BI platform, allowing business users to use models built by technical profiles in Looker or visualisation tools, first within GCP and then with other BI partners.
Finally, Google is also still expanding their leading security position in the cloud by acquiring and integrating cybersecurity companies like Mandiant into GCP.
Which keywords would you use to Google your company?
From a business point of view, I would say ‘data analytics’, ‘data warehousing’, ‘machine learning’ and ‘BI visualizations’. From a technical standpoint, I would pick our favourite Google solutions: DataFlow, BigQuery, Vertex AI and Looker.