Taking A Look Under The Hood At CreditKarma's Data Platform


November 13th, 2022

52 mins 2 secs

Your Host

About this Episode


CreditKarma builds data products that help consumers take advantage of their credit and financial capabilities. To make that possible they need a reliable data platform that empowers all of the organization’s stakeholders. In this episode Vishnu Venkataraman shares the journey that he and his team have taken to build and evolve their systems and improve the product offerings that they are able to support.


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  • Your host is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Vishnu Venkataraman about building the data platform at CreditKarma and the forces that shaped the design


  • Introduction
  • How did you get involved in the area of data management?
  • Can you describe what CreditKarma is and the role of data in the business?
  • What is the current team topology that you are using to support data needs in the organization?
    • How has that evolved from when you first started with the company?
  • What are some of the characteristics of the data that you work with? (e.g. volume/variety/velocity, source of the data, format of the data)
    • What are the aspects of data management and architecture that have posed the greatest challenge?
  • What are the data applications that are providing the greatest ROI and/or seeing the most usage?
  • How have you approached the design and growth of your data platform?
  • CreditKarma was one of the first FinTech companies to migrate to the cloud, specifically GCP. Why migrate? What were some of your early challenges taking the company to the cloud?
  • What are the main components of your data platform?
    • What are the most notable evolutions that it has gone through?
  • Given your strong focus on applications of data science and ML, how has that influenced the architectural foundations of your data capabilities?
  • What is your process for evaluating build vs. buy decisions?
    • What are your triggers for deciding when to re-evaluate components of your platform?
  • Given your work with financial institutions how do you address testing and validation of your derived data? How does your team solve for data reliability and quality more broadly?
  • What are the most interesting, innovative, or unexpected aspects of your growth as a data-led organization?
  • What are the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned while building up your data platform and teams?
  • When are the most informative mistakes that you have made?
  • What do you have planned for the future of your data platform?

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Parting Question

  • From your perspective, what is the biggest gap in the tooling or technology for data management today?

Closing Announcements

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The intro and outro music is from The Hug by The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

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