Rocket Discover: an interview with Product Manager Alan Brown

Many of our customers have massive amounts of data on their mainframes, and in different locations, platforms or formats. They want an easier way to analyze sales and market opportunities hidden in their data. And according to Gartner, this includes access to sophisticated, user friendly, data preparation tools.

Last week we announced Rocket Discover, a new business intelligence solution that provides a self-service, intuitive data preparation and discovery solution for business managers and executives. Rocket Discover lets users easily access that data by themselves and display it in colorful bar charts, pie charts, graphs, scatter plots and more.

I sat down recently with Alan Brown, Product Manager for Rocket Discover to discuss some of the ways it can help businesses get more out of their data.

Q: Does Rocket have special expertise in data discovery that other vendors don’t?

Alan Brown

Alan Brown, Rocket Discover Product Manager

When it comes to data discovery for those enterprise companies, there’s nobody else who does it better. Rocket Discover is easy to use, and we understand data prep. What other companies are doing now, we were doing back in the nineties. No one has our history.

Lavastorm and Alteryx are two products that often sit below our competitors, helping them bridge that data preparation gap in those big deployments. In our products you can easily arrange items from different physical data sources, join and filter them and soon arrive at the desired output. The user quickly establishes these `data flows’ which in turn can be published/shared as a data source (within their Rocket Discover community) for onward collaborative use in further such ‘data flows’ that others create.

That concept is what has really become prevalent in the data prep space during the last few years. This is how you design queries. Gartner writes about it and says this approach to data management and data governance is innovative and what they call out as a key emerging competency in BI. What LavaStorm and Alteryx gained traction with within the last decade or so, (the then) CorVu came up with in the nineties.

That was a decade or so ahead of its time (in my view). But alas we were in Sydney, and the fact was there wasn’t the strength of business network in that geography to sustain a substantial foothold in a market dominated by the then giants – Business Objects and IBM Cognos. However, we hung on due to a strong resonance our Balanced Scorecard solution had across the western public sector economies. Finally, in 2007/08 this dream ‘tech in stasis’ was acquired by Rocket and after some years of discussion, Rocket Discover (which was originally known as Project Andes/CorVu Next) was given the go ahead in 2013.

Q: So Rocket Discover is already designed to prep the data, and customers don’t need to buy additional products?

No. We had already developed some really innovative IP in our legacy products, and we are bringing that into Discover (it is built with both data prep and data discovery tools).
Everything you ever wanted to do in terms of enriching transforming, merging (or in current Gartner parlance `wrangling’) disparately sourced data has been distilled down to just seven key operations. Discover is very powerful, (beta) users are amazed when they see how quickly they can get the data they want within two or three clicks of the mouse. Rocket Discover’s beta program has had all-but unanimous positive reaction at how easy and intuitive Discover is to use.

Q: How does Rocket’s long partnership with IBM and expertise in mainframe connectivity help you develop the next-generation data discovery products that Gartner advises companies to look for?

We’ve got the mainframe connectivity that no one else in the industry has. We have the longest history in data prep of any other vendor. That’s why we’re so confident in launching Discover – no one understands data prep like we do.  We developed pioneering functionality that was way ahead of its time. It’s stuff we’ve known about for 20 years, it just took the rest of the world time to catch up!

Learn more about Rocket Discover and download a free trial version on

TM1 and non TM1 Dashboard

TM1 and non-TM1 dashboard

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Julianna Cammarano

Julianna Cammarano is Director of Product Marketing in the Rocket MultiValue group

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One Response to Rocket Discover: an interview with Product Manager Alan Brown

  1. Dennis Teekamp Gou May 11, 2015 at 5:14 pm #

    After testing Discover we expect a lot of this new Self Service Analystics solution. Goodn’t agree more that it is easy to use and unique on the dataprep site. Especially with the possibilities for mainframe connectivity.

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