Think Big Analytics, a startup solution provider claiming its stake in the burgeoning big data market, announced this week its formal launch fueled by $3 million in funding from angel investor and former Cisco exec Daniel Scheinman, along with venture capital firm WI Harper Group.
Founded in 2010 by former Quantcast executive Ron Bodkin and former C-Bridge executive Rick Farnell, Think Big Analytics is one of the first solution providers out of the gate to be exclusively focused on big data, a market Gartner projects will drive a whopping $34 billion in IT spending in 2013.
The company provides a variety of big data-related services, ranging from consulting and engineering to the delivery of custom applications. It also boats a rich history of working with Apache Hadoop, the open-source framework sitting at the forefront of the big data trend.
"From the inception, [we've] been exclusively focused on big data," said Bodkin, who took the CEO spot at Think Big Analytics after founding the company. "We got in very early and, actually, I had started the company because I had previously been a VP of engineering at a company called Quantcast, a pioneer of big data. We put Hadoop into production in 2006 and had data science teams building predictive models to help measure the Internet and build better advertising models. Seeing how effective it was … I felt it was a great opportunity to start Think Big."
Specifically, Think Big Analytics aims to help organizations derive more value from their investments in Hadoop and NoSQL, a next-generation database, used as either a replacement or complement to traditional SQL or relational databases, which offers the flexibility and high availability required to handle big data sets. According to Bodkin, the value of big data is extracted largely through custom applications, which sit on top of these data sources and transform that data into information that can yield smarter business decisions and more accurate predictions.
"We focus on helping companies maximize the value they get from big data by assembling custom applications and predictive models," Bodkin said. "Our view is that there is some fantastic open-source technology and commercial products that allow you to do all kinds of great things, whether it be [to] build customer intimacy, increase profits and competitiveness … or increase efficiencies in structured and unstructured data processing."
Bodkin said another big aim of Think Big Analytics is to help its enterprise customers -- some of which are Fortune 100 companies -- determine their specific use case for big data. A retail chain, for instance, could use big data applications to analyze their customers' buying behaviors and create more targeted advertisements. Today, Think Big Analytics' customer lineup consists of major names, including Johnson & Johnson, NASDAQ and Intel.
The company touts partnerships with a number of big data-focused startups, including Cloudera, DataStax, EMC's Greenplum and Hortonworks. According to Bodkin, business has been growing "rapidly" since its inception in 2010.
Think Big Analytics said it will use its newly acquired $3 million in funding to expand its data science and engineering teams at its Mountain View, Calif.-based headquarters.
PUBLISHED FEB. 7, 2013