A bird? A bird on a branch? A bird on an underscore? What does Dataiku's new logo represent... and why?
A few months ago, we launched some improvements (and huge changes) to Dataiku’s look and feel – new logo, new website, new product release. Our aim is for Dataiku, as a brand, as a company, and as the software developer behind Dataiku Data Science Studio (DSS), to be the place where people involved in the data process can excel in transforming raw data into business solutions – no matter their skill set or level of expertise.
What does the new logo represent?
A bird? A bird on a branch? A bird on an underscore? Well that all depends on who you are:
- If you are relatively new to data science and have spent very little time coding, you’ll see a bird on a branch (granted, a very straight branch).
- If you can’t remember if your first words were in Python or in English, you’ll see a bird on an underscore.
Dataiku is for the whole data team – from the Excel user to the R developer. Designing such a tool means creating an environment where all types of users can work together, where those who see a branch can collaborate with those who see an underscore, and vice versa. As we’ve built Dataiku for both, so have we designed our logo.
Ok, but why a bird… and why an underscore?
1) A Story: From Heavy Data to Agile Solution
First, let’s ever so briefly explore where big data analytics started, where they are heading, and how Dataiku is accelerating the process.
A. Where It Started
Peter Naur coined the term "data science" as a substitute for “computer science” in 1960. So for over 50 years, human beings have been using computers to understand and to extract knowledge from data. How do humans typically do this? By writing lines of code. Indeed, getting from raw data to value involves lots and lots of this:
Therefore, for a very long time, data science was reserved to the few who spoke “computer” (i.e., Python, R, Pig, Hive, SQL, etc.). The process was often long and tedious, even for experts.
B. Where It Is Heading
In the past few years, we’ve seen an increasing amount of solutions that attempt to alleviate the process from raw data to business value. For business analysts, many no code necessary platforms have appeared. For data scientists, strenuous tasks like cleaning and enriching, modeling and testing, deploying and running, each have their own dedicated tools to increase productivity. But very few solutions answer the problems of data professionals – from beginner business analysts to expert data scientists - simultaneously. That’s where Dataikui comes in.
C. Dataiku, the Game Changer
Dataiku is rich in code-free functionalities as well as being completely whitebox and compatible with standard machine learning and big data technologies. Hence, whether they are working alone or collaboratively, analysts can point, click, and build, developers and data scientists can code, and high-level data consumers can visualize. Dataiku is agile and enables people, no matter their skill set, to write data stories from scratch to draft to publication - quickly.
2) A Symbolic (and Visual) Quest: Tying it All Together
Our company name, Dataiku, encompasses this idea as well: on one hand, the name refers to data - information that is produced or stored by a computer - and Haïku - a very short and structured form of Japanese poetry. Similarly to the brief history we just explored, the name Dataiku encompasses the evolution of data science from a tedious and time-consuming task to a light and efficient process.
So the underlying question when brainstorming about our new visual identity was how to represent the dichotomy between heavy data and agile solution, between machine language and human collaboration.
With this in mind, we began to ask ourselves the following questions:
- How do you represent data science visually?
- How do you represent agility, freedom, and speed visually?
- How do you represent all of these aspects simultaneously?
A. Draw Me Data Science
We first tackled the question by immersing ourselves into the world of data science and big data, trying to find a symbol that was omnipresent. After drawing 0 and 1s, data silos, representing computer language logos, elephants, hippopotamuses, and everything else we could think of on a white board, Jean-Baptiste (a.k.a., JB, Dataiku's awesome Art Director) suddenly rose from his chair and drew a small horizontal line.
As our faces went blank, JB explained. As mentioned above, there is a lot of code behind data science and big data. And what is omnipresent in all of that code? That small horizontal line: the underscore.
What better way to visually represent data science than by using the one symbol that is present in almost all programming languages? The decision was easy to make: the underscore would somehow be a part of our logo.
B. Draw Me Something Free, Draw Me Something Light
With the data science aspect covered, we wanted to represent the agility, freedom, and speed that Dataiku brings to the people that use it. The “haiku” aspect of our corporate name most definitely fed our imagination. Thus began our quest to find the perfect mascot to represent the agility that Dataiku brings to its users.
The first though that came to mind, and the one we stuck with, was the bird. These winged creatures are symbols of agility, freedom, and speed as well as being in line with the more poetic “haiku” aspect of our brand. To narrow our search, Beatriz (a.k.a., Bea, Dataiku's super talented and first ever graphical designer) suggested that we focus on the bird most commonly mentioned in haikus, the nightingale.
Not only is this bird ever so common in poetry, symbolizing creativity and spontaneity, but it is also known to adapt its song to cut through background noise in crowded environments. How fitting to what Dataiku brings to its users!
C. Draw Me the Agility We Bring to Data Science
Now that we’d determined our main elements, the underscore and the nightingale, we just needed to find a composition that evoked our message:
The nightingale, resting on it’s pedestal, faces the right side, evoking the future; with its bird’s-eye view it has a more complete perspective of what is to come.
As for the underscore, it can be perceived in a variety of different ways: a branch, a pedestal, or simply an underscore… all depending on the reader’s interpretation and background.
Click here to watch our bird fly ;-)
Update: Oh no! Did a cat eat the bird?