The New Breed of Data-Driven Startups: DraftKings and Actifio

Data is eating the world. All businesses, non-profits, and governments around the world are now in full digital transformation mode, figuring out what data can do to the quality of their decisions and the effectiveness of their actions. In the process, they tap into IT resources and landscape that have changed dramatically over the last decade, offering unprecedented choice, flexibility, and speed, facilitating the management of data eating work.

Launched in 2012, DraftKings is a prime example of a new breed of data-driven, perpetually-learning companies. One of the few players in the market for fantasy sports, it has faced “unique challenges that haven’t been solved by other businesses yet,” says Greg Karamitis, Senior Vice President of Fantasy Sports. To solve these challenges, “we have to lean on our analytical expertise and our ability to absorb and utilize vast amounts of data to drive our business decisions.”

Founded by serial entrepreneur Ash Ashutosh 10 years ago, Actifio is a prime example of the new breed of IT vendors transforming the IT landscape from a processor-centric to data-centric paradigm, from a primary emphasis on the speed of computing to a new focus on the speed of accessing data. “It used to be that only the backup people cared about data,” says Ashutosh. “Then it was the CIO, and later, the Chief Data Officer or CDO. Now, every CEO is a data-driven CEO. If you are not data-driven, most likely you are not the CEO for long.”

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