Godfrey Sullivan, BBA '75

Godfrey Sullivan, who majored in real estate at Baylor, says he intended to be a developer of land—not computers—but that changed in 1980.

Godfrey Sullivan
Godfrey Sullivan, Harnessing Machine Data

“My career was sidetracked when I was introduced to the concept of personal computers and the original spreadsheet,” Sullivan says. “I knew this would change the world, and I went to work for a startup company named Apple Computer.”

Sullivan worked at Apple until 1992 and then worked a number of years at Autodesk, a computer software company. Today, he is chair of the board for Splunk Inc., a leading platform for operational intelligence.

More than three quarters of the Fortune 100 and thousands of companies, universities, government agencies, and service providers use Splunk software to harness the power of their machine data for application management, IT operations, security, web intelligence, and customer and business analytics.

“Our mission at Splunk is to make machine-generated data available and valuable to everyone,” Sullivan says. “Our technology enables users to search and analyze machine logs and events much like Google enables search of text. Splunk makes data science, or the analysis of data, much easier.”

Sullivan says his company assists other companies to improve their processes through machine intelligence to make them safer and more efficient through the management and analysis of big data.

“We help security teams find the bad actors, and we help IT and business teams improve their digital operations,” he says. “Data science will make the world a much better place. Whether it’s genome tracking, DNA sequencing or customer analytics, we are on the verge of a vastly better world as a result of analytics.”