Tamr Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tamr?

Tamr is a data connection/data fusion platform that dramatically reduces the time and effort required to connect and enrich data sources.

The cost and complexity of connecting and preparing the massive variety of internal and external data required to power analytics and applications are unacceptably high. As a result, most organizations use less than 10% of the relevant data available.

Tamr combines machine learning and advanced algorithms with collective human insight to identify data sources, understand relationships and curate siloed data at scale. Tamr unleashes the power of 100% of your data.

What problem does Tamr solve?

Organizations rely on slow, redundant, and individual or department-level manual data integration and curation activities. Tamr, built specifically to solve this problem, provides a fast, continuous and scalable way to leverage all relevant and available data.

How did Tamr develop its technology?

The concept and technology behind the Tamr platform began as a research project at MIT CSAIL. Tamr, the company, was founded in 2013. After two years of product development, commercialization and deployment with customers, Tamr publicly announced the platform in the spring of 2014.

What types of organization can use Tamr?

Any organization with a large and growing number of data sources can benefit from Tamr. Companies use it to help with competitive intelligence, operations and new product development. Pharmaceutical, information services, financial services and healthcare businesses and government agencies are just some of the organizations that find Tamr tremendously valuable.

How does Tamr work?

Tamr helps find, connect and enrich all of an organization’s data sources. The platform’s advanced algorithms can analyze and determine which attributes to match–often handling over 90% automatically. When Tamr can’t automatically make the determination, Tamr’s expert sourcing system sends concise questions out to the people who know the data, through the expert sourcing system. Answers are fed back in, and using machine learning, automation improves over time. RESTful APIs make it easy to tie Tamr into an existing data infrastructure.

Is Tamr an MDM (master data management) solution?

No. Tamr takes a bottom-up, probabilistic approach that complements the way data sources were created or discovered, while MDM takes a top-down, deterministic approach and does not take advantage of expert sourcing.

Does Tamr replace an ETL (extract, transform & load) tool?

Tamr complements ETL software. ETL tools are not equipped for expert-driven connectivity, which is required for creating unified, business-ready data sets from high-volume, highly heterogeneous data sources. However, transformations from ETL tools may be applied to data sources before or after they are ingested by Tamr.

What type of data sources can Tamr work with?

Tamr works with structured and semi-structured sources, including Big Data. Customers use Tamr to connect hundreds or thousands of traditional databases, complex spreadsheets, internal logs and third-party data streams.

How does Tamr deal with new data sources or changing data?

Tamr is designed to handle the reality of organizations–the continuous growth in data sources and the ever-changing data within them. When more sources are added, the platform actually gets smarter as machine learning and the input of data experts work together to improve accuracy and automation.

What does Tamr output?

Tamr ingests data sources, integrates them and outputs the resulting data set. Users can also obtain the unified schema that was determined to integrate the sources as well as the statistical model used to find duplicates and the transformations that need to be applied to the data.

Does Tamr work with business intelligence (BI) tools?

Yes. Large enterprises use a wide variety of BI tools, so the Tamr platform uses a RESTful API to make it as open as possible. We have also partnered with some BI tools providers, such as QlikTech, Tableau Software, Zoomdata and Statwing, to deliver an even more seamless experience.

Is Tamr a cloud or on-premise solution?

Tamr offers both deployment options. Many customers choose the on-premise solution because of their applications’ data privacy and security requirements.

How does Tamr handle data security?

Tamr requires as complete a view as possible of the data. Tamr will propagate security-relevant metadata to its output, enabling an organization’s existing security mechanisms to protect the data as needed.

How do organizations get experts to participate in expert sourcing?

Customers report that those who own or know the data are often enthusiastic about participating in the expert system. In addition, some organizations have tied system response rates to their corporate rewards programs to increase interest and activity.