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ClearStory Data raises $9M for Big Data Analytics

ClearStory Data raises 9M for Big Data Analytics


Stashed in: Kleiner Perkins, @mabb0tt, @a16z, Google Ventures!

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There's a shortage in skilled data analysts.

ClearStory is trying to make it as simple as possible to work with large, disparate data sets.

Today they announced $9 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins, Andreessen Horowitz, and Google Ventures.

Co-founder and CEO Sharmila Shahani-Mulligan (pictured above) explains how it might work in the case of a video game launch:

A company might track activity on its Facebook launch page as it’s happening, as well as on Twitter and from Omniture or Google Analytics. Once players actually start playing, the company could work in data about who’s playing it and where from the Xbox Live service. Over the next couple days or weeks, it might start analyzing its own sales data, marketing spend, reviews from gaming web sites and perhaps data from a service such as Nielsen on consumer awareness.

Shahani-Mulligan said the company’s early users are stoked about being able to analyze and access all the data sources they want from a single platform. “Every customer we’re in front of … every single one of them has a huge appetite for that,” she said.

GigaOm writes: "ClearStory finds the common metrics (e.g., time and place) so the datasets can be combined without manual labor. At that point, it’s similar in feel to Platfora’s Hadoop-based BI software or a friendlier version of Tableau — pretty visualizations and lots of dragging, dropping and collaboration."

Competitors include Platfora, Datahero and Chartio; also Tableau, QlikView, Jaspersoft, and Pentaho.

I guess businesses need a LOT of analytics tools in the cloud computing era.

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She explains why ClearStory is solving a big problem: Hadoop is complicated.

"I saw that there were interesting things going on with Hadoop. A lot of people were downloading it but they couldn't use it. It was too complicated to set up," she recalls.

What people really want is to run queries against data "in lots of different places … Hadoop, Aster, legacy systems and the Web," she says.

Karim Faris of Google Ventures explains more:

"Enterprises have already been collecting tons of data. They never thought of getting insight from it because it's too much of a pain to extract anything from it," he said.

"I was shocked to find out that the data is not just ignored but often discarded. It hides a treasure trove of insights. The classic example is Starbucks and combining sales data with weather data. Is my latte selling well in warm weather?"

The article says ClearStory Data uses MapReduce technology created by Google to run queries from data wherever it sits, and then outputs answers in a pretty, visual report.

Sharmila is also the mother of three beautiful kids.

BusinessInsider wrote up what a day in the life of Sharmila Shahani-Mulligan is like.

Sharmila Shahani-Mulligan ClearStory Vaibhav Nivargi Georgie Gildea

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