Hakkoda Origin Story

November 3, 2021

Hakkōda is the culmination of a 25-year career in data, analytics, and professional services. And as much as it contains all that history and experience, it is equally about the moment we are in right now, 

  • Migration of data to the cloud making it faster, more accessible, and more governed
  • Talent is reprioritizing what’s important, requiring a new form of organization rooted in purpose, forward-thinking, and strong community and development. 

We intentionally designed our service models, selected our technology partners, and recruited the talent that can meet our customers where they are and help them realize incredible value from their data. Hakkōda accelerates data through the full value chain because landing it in the warehouse simply isn’t good enough. 

All innovation, from here on, requires new skills to tame vast amounts of data using new design patterns and new skills.

Hakkoda: Origin Story

There are three things converging that answer the question “Why does Hakkōda Exist?”:

  1. Companies are in an existential race to leverage data inside and outside their business
  2. Technology advancements have rewritten the playbook for a modern data platform
  3. Talent is scarce and seeking meaningful purpose and community

“The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.”
– William Gibson, The Economist, December 4, 2003

The Market 

Recognition of the importance of data throughout the organization is universal. The 2021 New Vantage Partners Executive Survey on Big Data and AI shows us 99% report active investment in data management and 91.9% of these report investments accelerating. 

Yet, that same survey shows us just how much work there is to do:

  • 48.5% are driving innovation with data 
  • 41.2% are competing in analytics 
  •  39.3% are managing data as a business asset

Our own research confirms this. You can read more about the legacy of data sprawl that is driving up costs and blocking innovation in most organizations in our research The State of Data. 

The market is big, growing and there’s work to do. 

Hakkoda Origin & Mission 

When we set our mission to ignite the power of data and embolden the changemakers to create a better world, we were intentional in aligning with those charged with driving data transformation. 

Igniting the power of data means we have to make it move faster, make it more secure and accessible,  make it higher quality, and make it infinitely more usable. 

Embedded in our mission is to help organizations spend less time fiddling with data and more time innovating and creating value. That’s why we carry data all the way through automated decisioning and rich data applications—to power the innovation our clients need. 

And while creating a better world seems cliché, or at best bold, we didn’t lean back. We believe the answers to the world’s greatest challenges exist in data. Our goal is to attract a team aligned with meaningful purpose and willing to take on these challenges. We make it real by helping our clients with their biggest data challenges and we volunteer our time and talent to organizations working to save our oceans. Marine science has large data sets and we have the skills and technology partners to make a real difference. 

The People 

I’ve worked in each kind of services business, from highly specialized, boutique data warehousing, to a disruptive cloud consulting firm with locations in the major markets around the world and most recently in the largest and most respected global systems integrator. Hakkōda reflects the best qualities of each but what stands out is our bold focus. 

To be bold takes commitment and I knew I needed aligned investors and board members. It had to start with Tercera. Not only do I know them well from prior ventures, but they were also on a similar mission to invest in and advise companies who want to lead the  Third Wave of Cloud Computing

The founding team was essential – not only to the success of Hakkōda but to my day-to-day joy in the journey. I have worked with each of our founding team members in prior companies for between 6 and 20 years each. Each of them complements me and each other. They form a team with a depth of experience and drive to scale from day one. 

Each of our Hakkoda hires adds to a community that can deliver powerful results for clients. They bring skills, perspectives, and diverse experiences. Hakkōda attracts those that are curious, and motivated to learn, experiment, and lead. 

The Location

Given the dramatic shift toward work-from-home and my prior experience at Appirio, a pre-pandemic pioneer in terms of success with a largely remote workforce, I knew our US team would be virtual. We’d redirect that real estate spends into training, while still pulling the team together to connect and build a culture in more creative settings. 

Building capacity in India is a default assumption in IT. The ability to scale talent quickly and at efficient costs has been a driver for my choosing this path a few times in the past. Taking a measure of the moment this time, I realized that the top talent in this competitive market needed balance. The time zone difference between India and the US was just too much. In order for our team to work with clients directly, it would require tough tradeoffs on working hours for them and often our clients. 

Our team had seen the rise of IT Services in LATAM and had seen the potential of building a delivery team and a customer innovation center in Costa Rica. Hakkōda was the time and this was the moment. 

Costa Rica is advantageous in its US time zone and emerging talent in the IT services space. I refer to it as our Austin office, just a bit further south. It is also highly aligned with our work to leverage our talent and skills to tackle the world’s biggest challenges. Costa Rica’s success in ES&G (environmental, social, and governance) makes it a leader and a good partner to do meaningful work. Costa Rica was the right fit for the skills and culture we need and reflects our aspirations for our teams and clients. 

The Technology 

Simply said, Snowflake is a transformational platform above and beyond a high-performance cloud data warehouse. We recognize similarities to how Salesforce viewed the CRM market as bigger than Salesforce’s automation and manifested it. The Data Cloud vision and technology already provide a decade of modernization to come, but the patterns tell us it’s only getting bigger. 

Snowflake is the center of gravity for an ecosystem that is redefining how you build and operate a modern data platform. We are seeing traditional data engineering learn and develop tools from software engineering and DevOps. Companies like dbt, Fivetran, Sigma, DataRobot, Unqork, and others are leading the way. They have enabled new design patterns and dramatically increased automation, efficiencies, and capabilities. We are seeing a clear delineation between organizations that leverage modern data platforms and those that are falling behind. We documented the data enlightenment journey to light the way. 

The Name

The name Hakkoda comes from the Japanese mountain range. We chose the name because it is one of the snowiest places on earth. It’s also a reflection of our affinity for the innovation Snowflake embodies. It’s also known for its backcountry skiing, insane powder, and a place most people haven’t been. It’s like Hakkōda the company, it’s where the experts go to do cool shit. 

We see a path to navigate the challenges with talent and legacy thinking and tooling in the market. Organizations need a new type of partner (and employer) to find a new way forward.  

Want to join us on this mission? Apply here.

Interested in working with Hakkōda on your data initiatives? Contact us here.

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