DataRobot Flies Higher with Zepl Acquisition, Adding Cloud Native Notebook Solution to AI Platform

May 11, 2021
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· 4 min read

At DataRobot, we believe in 10x-ing our efforts: returns for our customers, professional development of our team, and our platform. Today’s acquisition of Zepl does exactly that. It 10x’s our world-class AI platform by dramatically increasing the flexibility of DataRobot for data scientists who love to code and share their expertise across teams of all skill levels.  

Founded in 2016 by the creator of Apache Zeppelin, Zepl provides a self-service data science notebook solution for advanced data scientists to do exploratory, code-centric work in Python, R, and Scala. It was built with enterprise-ready features such as collaboration, versioning, and security. It supports both Zeppelin and Jupyter notebooks — new or imported.

The Perfect Complement

At DataRobot, we have always known that data science is a team sport. To be successful with machine learning, we must embrace multiple user personas, all with different skill sets—from analysts and citizen data scientists who love to build models and discover new insights using our intuitive GUI, to advanced data scientists who love to open the hood and use their own code to create new models and extend the out of the box capabilities DataRobot provides. When it comes to the latter, our customers have made it clear that they want the ability to not only use their own code with DataRobot but also have a fantastic notebook experience to crack open and take advantage of the power of everything DataRobot brings to the table within our platform.

By embracing the code-first data scientist, Zepl broadens our capability to bring AI-powered applications to every area of the business and to the world, allowing DataRobot to continue to build on our self-service offerings in a cost-effective way. Put simply, Zepl helps make DataRobot easily customizable. Data scientists who prefer to code can continue to use DataRobot’s automation capabilities to quickly build baseline models and accomplish other routine tasks, but then edit and customize these artifacts with their own code. These extensions are then easily injected back into DataRobot’s blueprints and can be shared across projects and reused by experts and non-experts alike.  

Data Exploration, Visualization, and First-Class Integration

Not only does this acquisition embrace the code-first data scientist, but it will also benefit developers, data engineers, and data analysts who seek to leverage the power of DataRobot’s platform in other areas of their organization. Zepl brings to the party some new ways for users to depict their data with flexible and attractive charts and graphs, supplementing the best-in-class insights DataRobot has long been known for. Zepl also provides great integration to our partner Snowflake, making it a fantastic environment for bringing data science to the cloud data platform. Both DataRobot and Zepl have achieved Elite status with Snowflake, which is the highest tier for Snowflake’s partners. 

And Even More to Come in 2021

But what if I want to work in my favorite tool? Let’s make sure we answer your question loud and clear — YES YOU CAN. We understand that many advanced data scientists will want to use their own notebooks or IDEs, and we will support that fully. We will not force customers to use our hosted notebook. We have great things in store for coders this year no matter what their favorite coding environment is. This will include revamped Python and R API’s that will be open-sourced, comprehensive and easy to use public API documentation, Composable ML, custom inference models, and even more exciting new capabilities for coders that will be announced later this year. Stay tuned.

It is especially exciting to share this news at the same time we are launching Composable ML, another capability that supports data scientists who want to combine the best of automation and their own code. You can hear all about these developments at DataRobot’s AI Experience Worldwide conference, which starts today. Come see for yourself how we are 10x-ing DataRobot to rapidly increase your time-to-value across all your data science initiatives. 

Get Started with DataRobot and Zepl Now

Starting immediately, we will offer current DataRobot customers and prospects the opportunity to use Zepl for free. You can be up and running in less than five minutes. We already have a robust and growing library of pre-built templates right out of the box to enable collaboration between Zepl and DataRobot for many common use cases and scenarios. For example, there’s tremendous power in seeing through code in the Zepl environment, just how easy it is to build model factories within DataRobot.  If you are not a current DataRobot customer, sign up for Zepl’s public trial here and see what you can do to 10x your projects.

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About the author
Nenshad Bardoliwalla
Nenshad Bardoliwalla

SVP Product, DataRobot

Nenshad is an executive and thought leader with a proven track record of success leading product strategy, product management, and development in business analytics. He is the co-author of Driven to Perform: Risk-Aware Performance Management From Strategy Through Execution (Evolved Technologist Press, New York, NY, 2009). Bardoliwalla is currently SVP of Product at DataRobot. He joined DataRobot through the acquisition of Paxata, where he was the Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer.

Meet Nenshad Bardoliwalla
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