Profile: Confluent

During the last couple of years, there is a great chance that you have probably heard of the phrase “big data.” If you are like most people, there is also a great chance that the meaning of this word is quite convoluted or unknown. In the most succinct way as possible let me try to explain what it actually is. In short, “big data” is a term used to describe a large conglomerate of informational data that is commonly used, by tech companies, to reveal or identify patterns in certain industries, namely computing, commerce, banking, and social media.

Due to the large increase in companies shifting towards mobile, as well as other digital platforms, the need for such companies, companies that analyze “big data,” has become a necessity for businesses looking to take their business to the next ‘stage.’ So, it is no surprise that there are quite a few new tech startups that are addressing this particular niche given the growing demand for it. One such company, called Confluent, deals specifically with the development and implementation of Apache Kafka applications and software, which is basically a format of big data information streaming and exchange.

Created by engineers and programmers who branched off from LinkedIn, Confluent has taken a different approach to doing business, instead, dealing with more technical matters. As previously mentioned, they largely deal with an open-source system that is called Kafka. Kafka is a platform that collects large amounts of data, i.e. logs, reports, messages, etc., and sorts it out by uses complex algorithms. After having sorted out and filtered the data, it is then compiled and decoded into a simpler form so that businesses can use it to implement in their workplace, producing better products or increasing efficiency.

One of the co-founders of Confluent, Neha Narkhede, came up with the idea of founding Confluent not only because of her work experience at places like Oracle and LinkedIn but also because of the fact that she recognized the large demand for companies that specialize in analyzing big data. With the work environment becoming so integrated with the web, in addition to companies becoming so concerned with maximizing product efficiency, Neha understood that there was a great opportunity at hand that would allow her to not only help these companies improve their work but advance her career as well. As a result, Confluent was created on September 2014 with the help of other individuals who also came from LinkedIn, most notably Jay Kreps.

Gaining support from well-established businesses like Netflix, Cisco, Goldman Sachs, Uber, and IBM, Confluent has grown fairly rapidly during the past few years. Just to understand the extent to which Confluent’s Kafka system is impacting the enterprise and corporate environment in the United States, their LinkedIn platform manages over 1.1 trillion messages per day.

Today, Confluent is managing one of the most successful data analytic platforms, competing against businesses like SAS’s Event Stream Processing Engine, SAP’s Aleri, and IBM InfoSphere Streams. Despite this intense competition, they have, thus far, managed to grow considerably and continue to attract an array of business partners. Because they are such a young company, it is difficult to gauge their future business projections. However, it is likely that they will continue to undergo massive growth given that notable companies like IBM and Uber have already jumped on board with them at such an early stage in their development.

Neha Narkhede, like many young millennials of color, has shown great resiliency and tact given all of the barriers that they have had to face throughout their life. These impediments, however, are just a bump in the road for many young adults in America looking to carve out their own destiny. While some people certainly doubt Gen X and chastise them for being lazy and unskilled, people like Neha break down that stereotype.