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mode logoBy Ted O’Brien

I was able to speak with CEO, Derek Steer last Fall about Mode, a company that calls itself the “Github for Data Analysis” and will be an online repository for data science work. The site is now live!

It will serve two main purposes:

1) It will promote sharing of models and code publicly or privately across a company to save Data Scientists and Analysts from “reinventing the wheel” every time and increase access to explore data among employees that need it.

2) It will also become a popular place to show off your data science work to potential hiring managers, which is often critical to landing that first great gig for new, post graduates of Master and PhD programs.

A few companies are already using Mode’s software to get lots of people analysing data on a regular basis, Derek Steer, Mode’s chief executive and a co-founder, told VentureBeat in an interview.

“Mode makes it super-easy for them to create something and share it out really quickly with the rest of the company,” Steer said.

The fresh venture backing for Mode and the user-friendly nature of the service suggest it’s a good idea to help many employees use company data, not just, say, a small group of vaunted data scientists.

Mode co-founder and chief executive Derek Steer speaks at VentureBeat's 2014 DataBeat conference in San Francisco on May 19.

But data analysts still outnumber data scientists, so it’s reasonable for Mode to focus on them — and others interested in working with data but not learning how to use powerful data-wrangling languages.

Lots of data analysts already understand SQL, which stands for structured query language. So it makes sense for Mode to have focused its efforts on SQL so far. For those who don’t know SQL yet, Mode has crafted a handy introductory guide. Think of that as the tool to make Mode a big hit among a company’s employees.

Armed with even a little education from Mode’s “SQL School,” you can start pulling up certain kinds of data from your sources in Mode, or from pre-loaded data sets from sources like Billboard, Crunchbase, and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The data comes out looking sort of like a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel. Then you can run statements to find certain data, clean data, perform calculations, generate pivot tables, and share the data, charts, and applicable queries. Colleagues can access the reports, data, and queries you make, so they can analyze further if they want to.

That makes Mode much more than just a factory of static dashboards that one employee sends around to the rest of the team. Mode’s reports are interactive.

“We want to be like the glue for your results, code, data, and any other part of your process,” Steer said.

And Mode remembers all of the previous queries you’ve run on a given data set, so you can go back to results you got hours ago.

You can upload data from spreadsheets onto Mode. You can also send data in from sources like Amazon Web Services’ Redshift cloud data warehouse, Microsoft’s SQL Server database software, theHadoop open-source software for storing lots of different kinds of data (through the Hive query engine), and a good old MySQL database.

Formation 8 led the new round of funding for Mode. Goldcrest, Panorama Point, Alexis Ohanian, Garry Tan, and other angel investors also participated. To date Mode has raised more than $2.9 million, including $550,000 the company announced last year and $375,000 in additional capital Mode disclosed in February.

The new money will help the eight-person startup continue to flesh out its product.

For one thing, Mode will start letting people analyze data using languages other than SQL, like Python, Steer said. Not that there’s anything wrong with prioritizing SQL, but the support of more languages should make Mode compelling for more data analysts.

JOIN/EXPLORE MODE NOW and see how it can help your career in Data Analytics!

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Blog Publisher / Head of Data Science Search

Founder & Head of Data Science Search at Starbridge Partners, LLC.