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At the helm of innovation: from wildly popular open source startup to AI leader

laptop with CNN Business news story databricks ai

Company Type:




01: The Challenge

02: The Strategy

03: The Results

Databricks, the data and AI company, has been on a growth tear for the last several years.  More than 10,000 organizations worldwide—including Comcast, Condé Nast, Grammarly and over 50% of the Fortune 500—rely on the Databricks Data Intelligence Platform to unify their data, analytics and AI. However, when we started working together in 2020, the company’s business-level attention was inconsistent and coverage was heavily skewed toward IT trades. At the time, Databricks was popular with data scientists and analysts, particularly from the open-source community, but broader audiences didn’t know their name —Inkhouse was ready to change that and establish Databricks as a clear leader in AI. With companies and competitors flocking to the AI bandwagon at a rapid pace, we first had to craft a mediagenic narrative to crystallize Databricks’ value to enterprises, then we got to work generating awareness on traditional media and on social channels.

In late 2020, Databricks officially launched its Lakehouse Platform and built on it further in 2023 with its Data Intelligence Platform, enabling organizations to unify their data and deliver on AI initiatives faster. We doubled down on what had worked well in the past—product and technology stories—while boosting business press, thought leadership for the CEO and customer impact stories. Maximizing what already existed while simultaneously pursuing evergreen creative stories ensured a steady drumbeat of coverage, and invaluable relationship-building with top-tier media. We also developed Databricks’ social media voice and used several channels to amplify and extend the reach of its business story.

In 2023, Databricks launched the first open-source, commercially viable large language model (LLM) to hit the market and, shortly after, we helped Databricks make waves ahead of its eminent Data + AI Summit by announcing its acquisition of MosaicML for $1.3B (during an industry-wide M&A cooling). This was an essential moment in solidifying the company’s role as a pioneer and innovator in the generative AI space, offering a viable vision for businesses to efficiently thrive in an era of changing customer and employee expectations. Developing this innovation story not only put Databricks in the AI limelight in broadcast, technology and business media, but also paid homage to the company’s roots in—and lasting commitment to—the open-source community.

Fortune Magazine digital article

Databricks has evolved from the original creators of a popular open-source project and tech departments’ favorite tool to well-known leader in the technology industry and in business media with a 2023 valuation of $43B. Competing with the likes of Google and Meta for recruiting top talent, Databricks now attracts tens of thousands of annual conference attendees, and has a massive social media following.


We take a quantitative approach to measuring media coverage based on article depth and media tier; we have surpassed our goals each year and continue to raise the bar as priorities shift. In Q2 of 2023 alone, we:

  • Almost doubled our goal, securing over 700 pieces of media coverage, including broadcast features with Bloomberg and CNBC.
  • Increased social media followers (Twitter: 22%, LinkedIn: 60.2%)
  • Increased social media engagement (Twitter: 70.1%, LinkedIn: 85.1%)

Databricks’  CEO has become a go-to expert on an AI-driven future among top-tier business and technology media (WSJ, Bloomberg, CNBC), with reporters proactively sourcing insights from him in their coverage as the AI conversation continues to grow.

laptop with CNN Business news story databricks ai

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