DataSift Reviews

Updated 20 Apr 2017

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3.9
63%
Recommend to a Friend
84%
Approve of CEO
DataSift Chief Executive Officer Tim Barker (no image)
Tim Barker
6 Ratings
  1. Helpful (4)

    "Still feels like riding a rocket into space"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Product Manager in Reading, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at DataSift full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    I have a little more than 1.5 years at DataSift under my belt now, and I must say that the company keeps surprising me in a very positive way. As with all start ups there are ups and downs, long hours of hard work solving incredible challenges, but hey - that is what I signed up for, so what's not to like. I am constantly learning new things. I have more fun in this job than I have ever had in school or professionally. Holiday's are a pain as they rob me from my ability to work - yes, a bit on the edge, gut it is actually super cool to work in a place where you catch yourself missing work while on holiday. Anyways, DataSift is on an incredible journey, paving new paths in the art of big data and data science.

    Cons

    The teams are split across geography (San Francisco, New York and London), which makes decision making, communication and team work more challenging than a single location would.

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  2. "Loved it, but enough is enough"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Reading, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at DataSift full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    - Made a lot of friends within the team. Would love to work with any of them again in the future - Great opportunity to learn about developing and deploying distributed systems - Free food/snacks means that people socialise at lunchtimes etc

    Cons

    - Zero career progression options - Stagnating product unless you're lucky enough to be chosen to spearhead the latest idea. Everyone else spends their time changing configuration files or fixing flaky tests for months on end - Most people have no faith in upper management. The best they hope for is that management keeps out of their way - Any grass-roots initiatives are "supported" but no time is allocated to them, meaning they die as fast as they start

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    DataSift Response

    October 1, 2016CEO

    Thanks for sharing your feedback. Not sure if you were here during the 1:1s that I did with every employee, but several of the topics you raise came up here. I'm focused on a few areas that I agree need improvement. In many ways, everything comes down to “empowerment”. The freedom and autonomy to work on what’s important, organise and approach problems that need addressing, set priorities, and execute on this. I believe organisational alignment on priorities as the foundation for this, but specifically in engineering, there are a few areas that need to come together to make this work, specifically : - organising the team for ‘ownership’: Earlier this year we re-organized engineering into ‘feature teams’ to help drive ownership (an engineering-driven initiative). All would agree, it’s certainly not delivered on driving ownership down to teams. We need to improve how we organize, likely into more fluid, product teams. - accountability: With ownership and empowerment comes accountability, and thereby predicability. Like many companies, Agile is a journey we are still on. I know accountability is a harsh word, maybe even an unpopular idea, but we are all in business to build and sell great things. Re: career development, I’ve personally always found the key to this to be through giving people big goals and objectives, and helping them when they stumble along the way. That’s not to say that external training courses etc aren’t important, but you don’t develop your career unless you are doing. I’ll continue to try my best to get the get group of individuals working and developing as a team. Good luck in the next stage of your career!


  3. "Limited ability to execute"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Manager in Crowthorne, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at DataSift full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    In Tim Barker, DataSift have an enigmatic and effective CEO. Whilst I feel that his installment (some time ago now) may be a case of too little too late, I think he is DataSift's best chance of success as the company faces significant challenges making a real success of their SaaS products.

    Cons

    DataSift has no direct competitors in the market and without competition, there are no external forces that are really testing the internal assertion that the company is building a world class software platform. A few years ago, the things DataSift were working on were perhaps fairly novel. However, the processing pipelines DataSift are developing have largely been commoditized by big players through the likes of AWS and Google's big data and stream processing offerings. DataSift's core technology (SaaS data stream processor deployed to physical servers) now looks a little antiquated in the context of what can be accomplished through more modern managed offerings from the big cloud platform players. To compound this problem, DataSift's biggest asset is has become its biggest risk I think: The commercial relationships with their data partners (eg Facebook) mean that usage of modern, managed offerings for stream processing are simply off the table. This enforces the continued use of more traditional, labour intensive, approaches and means that a lot of time is spent building and maintaining infrastructure components rather than focusing on true value adding software. This is a shame and the effect here is that the company's ability to deliver features that will really drive revenue is being limited.

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  4. Helpful (3)

    "Good company and interesting tech - poor senior leadership"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Developer in Reading, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at DataSift

    Pros

    Great place with some interesting and smart technical people. The concept of social media analytics as a service is interesting, though not as compelling. Fun place to work too. Lots of character within the office which made the hard work enjoyable. Fast moving environment.

    Cons

    Ex-gamer former CTO/CEO tried to run it like a gaming dev house. Crunching to meet artificial deadlines, little thanks for lots of work. Naive belief that C++ was the only game in town for 'high performance' though C++ modules were some of the least performing and least reliable aspects of the platform. Some technical people not as good as they believe, I've seen much better since leaving from much humbler people.

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    DataSift Response

    January 22, 2016CEO

    Thanks for the feedback. I'll take it into consideration. 100% agree on humble and hungry. I'm not going to debate the merits of C++ vs others on this thread... but i agree with your sentiment that modern stacks are heterogeneous. Aligning the company to a compelling event like a market/product launch or industry event ("Crunching to meet artificial deadlines) is pretty much a standard for every company on the planet. I've personally found these rally the whole company and help create the fast moving environment that you enjoyed. But just don't take this to the extreme. We aim to do monthly releases so we maintain a cadence of predictability and momentum. Without setting a stake in the ground on a deadline, the temptation is to expand scope, push dates, and lose predictability.

  5. Helpful (1)

    "An epically innovative and exciting place to work!"

    5.0
     

    I have been working at DataSift

    Pros

    Great product with stacks of continued market potential.

    Cons

    Lack of stock option scheme so share the equity success of the company with employees.

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  6. "Super workplace, great colleagues and unique business culture..."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Product Manager in Reading, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at DataSift full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Work challenges, fun & games, (very) talented people. Unique culture that makes you feel part of something bigger than just 'work'.

    Cons

    Perks could be better. Company has start-up mentality, but is probably a bit beyond that stage why you would expect a set of core benefits that currently aren't there, i.e. pension contribution, health insurance (UK only) etc.

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    DataSift Response

    June 24, 2014Head of HR

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. DataSift is in the process of improving the UK benefits scheme. So be on the lookout for information on pension contributions, PMI and Season Ticket Loan programs in the coming weeks.

  7. "Smart people, high performing company"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at DataSift

    Pros

    Working with smart people on great technology. Lunch is provided. Employees are well supported with regards training and conferences.

    Cons

    Startup chaos Formulating processes and procedures Communication can be poor No pension or health care

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    DataSift Response

    May 18, 2014Head of HR

    Thank you for the feedback. I think most employees would agree that one of the greatest positive aspects of DataSift is the smart people and great technology. I'm glad this employee took the time to share cons, as well as pros, of working at DataSift. Other people have also expressed concern about the benefits package (UK specifically). These concerns have been brought to management's attention and are being addressed. More information will be shared on GlassDoor after being properly communicated internally.

  8. "Great place to work; full of innovation in a fast growing market and a great culture too."

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Technical Product Manager in Reading, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at DataSift full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Fast growing company in a fast growing market Innovative approach to market problems Highly skilled and high calibre employees Great culture and office facilities Free food Lean development process increasing speed to market Opportunity to travel to US offices

    Cons

    Challenges of communication with US offices No Pension

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  9. Helpful (4)

    "Poor Leadership, Poor Management & investment required!"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in Reading, England
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at DataSift

    Pros

    You do get some cool gadgets when you start there but only if you are developer. No one else matters to the company or it's management team. You can tweet and use facebook at work but be warned they change the rules from underneath you. If you like working in a silo this is a great place to work!

    Cons

    The company is disorganized, has no direction, mangement is virtually zero and their focus is on technical masterpieces and not on making money. There is no strategy being lead from the senior management team and the company desperately needs VC funding. The product is not unique and as a result there are competitors in the US that are more forward thinking with a better leadership team so they need to look after their staff and provide the benefits and services that you would expect form a company of this size looking to make waves.

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    DataSift Response

    May 18, 2014Head of HR

    I cannot argue whether or not this was valid feedback in 2011 since it was before I joined DataSift, but a lot has changed since the!. DataSift is well funded; having received a $15MM series B round in November 2012 and a $42MM series C round in November 2013. A SVP of Marketing has recently been hired to lead the marketing function and address some of the points mentioned about unique value proposition, etc. Finally, salaries have risen to be very competitive in the marketplace and additional benefits are in the works. More details soon.

  10. Helpful (2)

    "DataSift Thoughts"

    4.0
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at DataSift full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Great Exec team and a fun space

    Cons

    Made some mistakes in the past that have hurt the business

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