Community has never been more important, so why not join ours? In this blog, our Global Community Evangelist, Christian Langmayr, invites you to get involved with the Exasol Community and take advantage of the wealth of data and analytics experience within the network.
It might be hard to believe, but Exasol was once small enough for our Head of Pre-Sales to know every customer by name. The personal relationships we had in those early days was a key component of our initial success.
But as the organization grew and developed into new markets, we forged different types of relationships – often through digital or remote means – while maintaining those close ties elsewhere. All this comes back to our promise of flexibility and customer obsession. Exasol is there for them, however they need us.
Our customers tend to know each other well, too. One came up to me at one of our central conferences and said, “I’m so happy I’m not alone anymore!”
They’d found our Community. And when you’re using a sophisticated, versatile product like the Exasol database, reading the manual is barely the tip of the iceberg.
To get the most out of the data and understand how best to interpret the insights, it helps to speak to like-minded individuals in a shared language, with the same frame of reference. People who’ve lived the experience you want to recreate are invaluable when you are aiming for maximum returns.
We’ve always invested our energies in forging long-term bonds out of this shared context and environment. When we meet with customers or spend time together in Usergroups and see the same questions coming up on a topic, we invite our Developers and team to jointly come up with answers. And if possible we go for Pizza afterwards. It’s not just a physical connection, but a bonding exercise based on common experience.
As Exasol has grown, it’s become harder to know everyone by name. And recent events haven’t simplified matters, either. While we still love the in-person conferences and group meets, it’s not been the easiest eighteen months for face to face interaction.
As such, you have to look to virtual alternatives to connect people alongside the physical events that we find so rewarding. It’s a question of taking that homegrown, intimate ethos of community meetings and offering the same, engaging feeling online.
That’s the ideology behind the Exasol Community.
The Exasol Community is a place in which everyone involved in Exasol, from new customers to technical wizards, can come together to create solutions to the challenges facing data scientists in any sector. It’s an active, organic community that has a genuine passion for making projects better: faster, more detailed, and more intelligent.
Despite only going live in May 2020, 80% of customers are signed up to the Community, with 22 user groups globally. Two thirds of our users are anonymous – potential customers who have sought out Exasol by reputation or research, on the basis that we may be able to cure that which ails them when it comes to analytics.
The Community comprises three distinct audiences:
- Existing customers
These are the well-versed users of our platform who can use their skills and knowledge to inspire each other to try new things, as well as educating other user groups about more specific topics.
These are Exasol staff who form an immensely important part of the feedback loop for product development, monitoring conversations for feature requests and exploring areas where the platform can be improved.
- Potential customers
These are the new users seeking a grounding in technical skills, or advice on how to get their project running quicker or more effectively.
The mix of these groups offers a total encapsulation of the Exasol user experience. No matter your query or skill level, someone will be able to offer you informed advice to help you take a project forward.
To the future
The ultimate aim for the Exasol Community is to be able to offer that personal experience mentioned at the beginning of this blog to a community of thousands.
Improvements to our Community are more than a new user interface – though that’s coming too! Our support teams are striving to reach 100% customer involvement, while we’re also exploring the potential of inviting universities and students to solve Community problems.
The presence of Exasol staff within the Community, helping to moderate it as a happy, friendly network, will also help us grow in a natural and organic way. We want it to remain a creative, optimistic, and not so business-like environment where people feel comfortable and unintimidated.
Any business needs a supportive community to succeed, and the philosophy at Exasol is the same. We genuinely believe in the power of data to do good, and to tell stories. Being able to inspire people through a genuine passion for Exasol and what the platform can achieve is incredibly valuable to us. We hope that such passion can inspire the positive impact and compelling stories that we believe the platform is capable of.
Christian Langmayr is Exasol’s Global Community Evangelist. He has more than twenty years experience in the technology and analytics industries and been with Exasol since 2015.