The Next Generation of AI: A Conversation with Dan Wright and Debanjan Saha

This article was written by Dan Wright and Debanjan Sahaand originally appeared on the DataRobot Blog here:


Today, I’m thrilled to welcome Debanjan Saha to DataRobot as our new President and Chief Operating Officer (COO). Debanjan joins us at a critical juncture in DataRobot’s growth journey as we supercharge and scale our innovation and impact for our customers around the world.

AI has the potential to reshape nearly every business and every industry, from restoring resilience in supply chains to accelerating the treatment and prevention of countless diseases. DataRobot works with organizations across all industries, including a third of the Fortune 50. We work with customers like McLaren Racing, Lenovo, and Mars to drive massive revenue growth, streamline operations, reduce costs, and power innovation – and we’re just getting started.

Debanjan is a visionary technologist who joins DataRobot with twenty years of product, engineering, and operational leadership experience at some of the most innovative and successful technology companies in the world, including Google, Amazon Web Services, and IBM. As COO, Debanjan will drive the expansion of our AI Cloud platform to help more customers realize value and get results faster, at scale.

Let’s hear more from Debanjan:


What drew you to DataRobot?

DEBANJAN: I spend a lot of my time talking with customers, and that’s how I first got to know Dan and DataRobot. DataRobot was, by far, the most commonly deployed AI solution.

AI is essential for the most successful organizations across the private and public sector to accelerate growth and become more efficient. Organizations understand that AI is a true competitive advantage, but I’ve seen firsthand the challenges that many face when it comes to getting the results they expect from AI solutions.

DataRobot is in a unique position to drive this next era of the market. DataRobot enables entire teams — from data scientists to data engineers and from IT to business users — to collaborate on a unified platform. More than any solution on the market, DataRobot is focused on accelerating time to value from AI, with industry-focused solution accelerators so that teams don’t have to start from scratch, with automation across the platform, and with AI-powered insights that reach the frontline decision-makers. And everything that DataRobot delivers is enterprise ready, with critical governance, security, and compliance to protect the business, drawing on expertise across highly regulated industries like banking and healthcare to make sure that every AI solution built in DataRobot delivers mission-critical results.

I believe in DataRobot’s vision of democratizing AI and enabling the entire organization, not just a few, to use the awesome power of data to drive this next wave of transformation.


What’s the biggest opportunity you see for DataRobot?

DAN: 2021 was a breakout year for DataRobot. We raised a Series G round to accelerate future growth and investments, debuted DataRobot AI Cloud with hundreds of new features and capabilities, and brought in incredible leaders. We’re just scratching the surface of what we can accomplish for our customers.

DEBANJAN: At Google, Amazon Web Services, and IBM, I saw firsthand the explosion of data being generated by organizations across the world. In fact, we see estimates like this every day where the amount of digital data created over the next five years is expected to be double the amount of data created since the start of digital storage.

Every organization is under growing pressure to transform this sea of data into valuable insights. AI is how to turn data into insight and impact — and a competitive edge. DataRobot is the clear market leader to accomplish this.

Just as the cloud providers revolutionized the way businesses access data, DataRobot AI Cloud is revolutionizing AI, serving as a single system of record for all AI/ML initiatives to extract deep insights from diverse data and environments and accelerate time to value.


Given your background at some of the largest cloud providers in the world, how is DataRobot’s approach to the cloud different?

DAN: We’ve put a tremendous amount of innovation into our multi-cloud architecture to meet our customers where they are. And the public cloud providers continue to be an important part of our strategic partner ecosystem.

DEBANJAN: For the majority of organizations, multi-cloud is the reality. Different providers, different systems, diverse ways of storing and accessing data. Organizations need a solution that provides optionality, so they can deploy where they want with portability between environments.

DataRobot AI Cloud is purpose-built for multi-cloud, giving organizations the flexibility to work across a combination of public clouds, the data center, and the edge — the proverbial single pane of glass. By partnering with major cloud companies like AWS, Google Cloud, Azure, and VMware, DataRobot helps customers harness the power of their data wherever it lives.


As you come on board at DataRobot, what is some of the best advice you’ve received in your career that you’ll bring to our company and our customers?

DEBANJAN: Throughout my career, I’ve found there are three things that are really important, regardless of role or company.

First, focus on the customer. I’ve always learned the most from our customers on what to build, feedback to keep making the product better, and what’s working and driving results.

Second, dream big and take smart risks. I’ve had some big successes in my career, but they wouldn’t have been possible without failures. I will never stop dreaming big, and I work hard to make sure my team and others around me feel like they can do the same.

Finally, execution matters. Ideas are important, but without execution they don’t have much value. I’m always thinking about how my teams can get things done quicker, smarter, better.


What’s the impact you hope to make at the company this year? In five years?

DEBANJAN: Working closely with Dan and the rest of the amazing DataRobot team, my goal is to supercharge our growth and scale and, most importantly, deliver even more impact and innovation to our customers around the world. I’m excited to be part of this journey, work with our customers, and take DataRobot to the next level.