Imagine if you could use Excel to examine 10 million gigabytes of data as if it were a spreadsheet parked on your desktop. Datameer Analytics Solution lets you do exactly that. The San Mateo-based company announced a beta program for DAS, which builds on top of the open-source Apache Hadoop system for extra-large scale data handling.

DAS, based on a familiar interactive spreadsheet, also includes a wizard for incorporating data from both old and new types of sources. It handles relational databases, call center logs, and tweets with equal aplomb. The spreadsheet interface is meant to replace SQL queries, which must usually be created and run by a database expert. Datameer’s spreadsheet is meant to let marketing managers and other non-techies build and run their own analyses of outsize data sets.

The company told me in a conference call that they already have a customer that analyzes hundreds of terabytes of data across 40 servers with DAS. Theoretically, the system will scale to 4,000 machines and several petabytes of data.

Today, Datameer also announced a $2.5 million first institutional round of funding from Redpoint Ventures. The money is earmarked for sales and marketing, now that the company feels its product is ready for prime time. It will be sold in the usual enterprise-sales forms of subscription or license payment models, with professional support and services from Datameer.