Big Data, Big Bets

Big data apparently means big money.

Big data companies, old and young, are raking in investment dollars. Opera Solutions, a cloud-based predictive analytics provider, is the latest, announcing an $84 million in financing from a round led by Silverlake Sumeru.

The funding round is big backing for Opera’s analytics platform, Vektor. The platform combs big data input for what the company refers to as signals, specific patterns of data which constitute influences on certain actions such as consumer purchase behavior. The 600-person company is currently valued at $500 million, according to the WSJ, and counts Citicorp and Nissan as clients.

“The new world of Big Data creates a torrential flow of data, it’s constantly growing,” said CEO and founder Arnab Gupta. “Companies no longer have the luxury of data mining a static pool of data; they need to find ways to mine the flow of data as it streams past. This will take completely different infrastructure, capabilities, and mindsets One CIO I talked to this week told me that in one year, their company is expecting to have 100 times the amount of information they have now.”

Gupta hopes his company will fill that gap with what the company describes as a user-friendly tool for managing data and insights across multiple business units. Under the hood, Opera’s analytics platform extracts customers’ data flow, then structures and integrates it, mining it for predictive signals and patterns. The platform then creates a stream of decision recommendations to insert back into customers’ front line operations.

Investor enthusiasm for big data companies shows no signs of losing steam in a market intent on managing a squeezing value out of the ever-growing volume of consumer data available from social media, publishers and offline sources.
“Even the largest companies do not have enough scientists to be able to find the patterns in Big Data flow, extract their meaning, and turn them into business results,” said Gupta.

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