Why I’m Excited to Join Tellius

Tellius is happy to announce that analytics and software industry veteran Russ Cosentino has joined the team as VP, Sales. In this blog post, Russ shares his perspective on the industry and what excites him about the mission that we’re on.

It’s official, I’ve joined my 4th startup, a young company called Tellius, which was founded by Ajay Khanna and is headquartered in Reston VA. In a very short period of time, his team has developed its Guided Insights application which leverages ML and AI to automatically uncover insights from large data sets. After meeting with Ajay, the team, and seeing a demo, the decision to join Tellius as their VP, Sales was a pretty easy choice for me.

The need for an insights driven analytical application first occurred to me a couple of years back. I was sitting with one of my favorite pharma customers and we were reviewing the Zoomdata dashboard experience we had just implemented for his team. At the time, it was a pretty amazing accomplishment, as we were generating interactive visualizations on a 7 billion row data set in seconds, and all on an iPad! During the review, he made an interesting remark that has resonated with me ever since, “this pie chart looks pretty typical.” In other words, the visualizations that were being generated highlighted WHAT he already knew about the data, but wasn’t telling him WHY business metrics had changed.

So it got me thinking about the traditional dashboard experience. This process begins with some smart people, who are very familiar with their data, constructing dashboards that leverage their knowledge of that data. For the more sophisticated analysis, analysts will stand in line at the Data Scientist’s office, while they are building advanced machine learning models that are ultimately exported to Tableau for analysis. At the end of the day, the data consumers’ interactions with their dashboards are more often than not, a guardrail experience, using predetermined drill paths, that display WHAT happened.

Enter Tellius. What really got me really excited about Tellius is Guided Insights. As users explore their data, Machine Learning algorithms run in the background, testing various hypotheses by analyzing all of the data and every combination of data points. Insights around segments, trends, discovery and comparison drivers begin to evolve and are automatically presented to the user. This intuitive experience not only helps the business understand WHY metrics have changed but also HOW to improve outcomes.

The whole Tellius experience is built around the data journey, which allows users to seamlessly navigate between a data prep engine that is bundled with an array of data connectors, a top notch Viz Pad experience and of course Guided Insights. An NLP engine facilitates the data journey, by interpreting questions, and automatically building visualizations. As a result, business users quickly go from WHAT, to WHY and HOW without needing an extensive knowledge of ML/AI techniques.

Of course, not only was I attracted to the technology, but Ajay has tasked me with building a modern sales organization. One that is designed for velocity, optimized for the cloud, and supports long term customer engagements. Like all startups, early sales execution lays the foundation for long term success. At Tellius, I’m fortunate to have inherited a great team, and customer roster, that loves our technology. I’m looking forward to a great career at Tellius, and yes, we’re hiring.


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