According to SiSense, traditional big data analytics solutions are like battleships: They're expensive, complicated to operate, and are actually overkill for most businesses, which just don't need that much processing. The typical business does not need to analyze petabytes of data. Rather, they'd be happy gaining insights on terabytes of data, but that's either too expensive or forces them to rely on in-memory solutions, which cannot later scale to handle massive amounts of data.
SiSense Prism is built to offer big data analytics technology to businesses of all sizes. With no coding or scripting required, business analysts can analyze data themselves, without having to draw IT or data scientists into the process. SiSense claims that Prism allows non-technical users to analyze 100 times more data than current in-memory analytics solutions, and it does so 10 times faster. There's no need to set up complex data warehouse systems or OLAP cubes.
Prism is powered by SiSense's Elasticube technology, which features a columnar data store, strong data compression, parallel processing, and advanced query optimization to offer analytical processing power previously available only with high-end solutions.
Market potential and competitive landscape: Wikibon believes the big data market will exceed $47 billion by 2017. SiSense competitors include Tableau, QlikView and SAP HANA.
Customers include NASA, ESPN, Target, eBay, fiverr, Online Commerce Group, Plastic Jungle, and Magellan Vacations.
What they do: Develop machine-learning-based platforms for big data analytics.
Headquarters: San Jose, Calif.
CEO: Martin Hack, who previously served as a director of marketing for GreenBorder Technologies (acquired by Google) and as a product line manager for SonicWall.
Funding: Skytree just secured (April 2013) $18 million in Series A funding. U.S. Venture Partners led the round and was joined by a new investor syndicate that includes UPS and Scott McNealy, co-founder and former CEO of Sun and Chairman of Wayin. Additional investors include Javelin Venture Partners and Osage University Partners. To date, Skytree has raised a total of $19.6 million.
Why they're on this list: Skytree finished in the top 10 in Startup50.com voting and has already lined up big-name customers.
According to Skytree, advanced analytics, contrary to popular belief, "is not a meat grinder into which you can dump data in one end and expect nuggets of wisdom to come out of the other end."
Skytree has created a general purpose platform that allows data scientists to focus on what matters most, which Skytree says is Mean Time to Insights (MTI), and focus on what they are good at: building and deploying analytic models rather than coding algorithms. Skytree is delivered as an application within a data center that can be used by many, as opposed to the traditional delivery model: an individual application used on a single PC.
Skytree argues that machine learning is the key that unlocks an entire treasure trove of predictions, customer recommendations, and anomaly detections that most people don't even know are possible. Machine learning solves that problem by unleashing algorithms on massive amounts of data and finding patterns that data scientists didn't even know existed.