It's no secret that data volumes are growing exponentially. What's a bit more mysterious is figuring out how to unlock the value of all of that data. A big part of the problem is that traditional databases weren't designed for big data-scale volumes, nor were they designed to incorporate different types of data (structured and unstructured) from different apps.
Lately, Apache Hadoop, an open-source framework that enables the processing of large data sets in a distributed environment, has become almost synonymous with big data. With Hadoop, end users can run applications on systems composed of thousands of nodes that pull in thousands of terabytes of data.
According to Gartner estimates, the current Hadoop ecosystem market is worth roughly $77 million. The research firm expects that figure to balloon to $813 million by 2016.
Here are 10 startups hoping to grab a piece of that nearly $1 billion pie. These startups were chosen and ranked based on a combination of funding, named customers, competitive positioning, the track record of its executives, and the ability to articulate a real-world problem and explain why the startup's solution is an ideal one to solve it.
(Please note that this lineup favors newer startups. As a result, some big, well-funded names have been left off, such as Cloudera, Datameer, DataStax, and MapR Technologies, simply because they've been around longer than most in this new market sector.)
What They Do: Provide a big data analytics solution that transforms raw data in Hadoop into interactive, in-memory business intelligence.
Headquarters: San Mateo, Calif.
CEO: Ben Werther, who formerly served as vice president of products at DataStax.
Funding: $65 million to date. The latest round ($38 million Series C) was locked down in March. Tenaya Capital led the round, while Citi Ventures, Cisco, Allegis Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures, and In-Q-Tel all participated.
Why They're on This List: As with many startups on this list, Platfora was founded in order to simplify Hadoop. While businesses have been rapidly adopting Apache Hadoop as a scalable and inexpensive solution to store massive amounts of data, they struggle to extract meaningful value from that data. The Platfora solution masks the complexity of Hadoop, which makes it easier for business analysts to leverage their organization's myriad data.
Platfora tries to simplify the data collection and analysis process, automatically transforming raw data in Hadoop into interactive, in-memory business intelligence, with no ETL or data warehousing required. Platfora provides an exploratory BI and analytics platform designed for business analysts. Platfora gives business analysts visual, self-service analytical tools that help them navigate from events, actions, and behaviors to business facts.
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