3 Innovative Startups Making Big Data Manageable for Everyone

December 21, 2016

5:50 pm

Big data culture has become pervasive across all sectors, from Amazon delivering on shopper personalization strategies by leveraging real time insights, to presidential candidates steering campaign efforts with predictive modeling around voter sentiment. As the practical applications of analytics continue to grow, as does the amount of money invested in them.

Big data equals dollar signs. A recent Gartner study indicated that nearly half of companies surveyed allocated part of their budget towards such findings in 2016, and three quarters of them will do so in 2017. By 2019, according to market research firm IDC, big data applications, tools and services will reach sales of $187 billion.

As businesses increasingly utilize analytics to drive decision making, big data vendors must evolve to ensure these valuable findings can be quickly understood and applied to revenue generation. Here are three innovative members of that marketplace who are currently optimizing collection and reporting methods to change the game.


The engineers behind Confluent are heavy hitters in the world of programming, having developed a data handling system called Apache Kafka for a little site called LinkedIn. That gravitas helped them raise $30.9 million in startup capital to fund a real-time streaming platform built around Kafka. Confluent concentrates on the importance of how information travels.

The platform’s core benefits are speed and agility, offering incredible power without being weighed down by a slew of moving parts. This allows Confluent to provide organizations like Twitter and Uber with easy access to enterprise data, quickly in real time.


Transform is now a formidable force in the realm of data management as the source of decision-making analytics for clients like Intel, Macy’s and Xerox. First, their RevTech platform processes all available performance data from both internal and external sources, cleaning it up and making it work together to generate marketing, pricing, promotions, sales and product findings.

From there, Transform’s platform develops models that identify what’s truly affecting an organization’s gross revenue and offers actionable insights to address these factors. It’s a complete approach with quick results, turning key learnings into profitable opportunities, and it’s a winning strategy that makes a data program pay for itself.


What started as a two-man operation has since raised tens of millions through several rounds of funding. Looker’s now 100+ employees sell ready-made, tailored apps app making capabilities to an impressive list of clients that includes Etsy and Sony.

Looker can provide data to teams including sales, ecommerce, customer service, and logistics for companies ranging from startups to large enterprise organizations. That it can easily be used across departments to keep data out of silos and customized to meet the needs of any business functionality is what’s allowing Looker to bring the power of integrated data culture to the masses.

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David Jacoby is a media futurist and consultant to numerous fortune 1000 brands as well as startups. His primary area of consultation include marketing, sales and ecommerce technologies.