Big data projects are trendy, but they can be hard to pull off.
Venture capitalists understand the problem. They’ve been betting on startups like DataHero and Chartio that aim to make analysis and visualization of data fast and simple. Now another startup, Statwing, has revealed new backing, and it comes from a leading figurehead in the big data world, Jeff Hammerbacher, a cofounder of fast-growing big data company Cloudera.
Statwing uses a clean point-and-click interface, as opposed to a clunky and overly complicated tool like Microsoft Excel. Users can drop in data from a spreadsheet and then get super-clear statements that tell users what they’re looking for, alongside visualizations and high-level statistics.
Hammerbacher’s decision to back Statwing is meaningful. One can read between the lines of the news and conclude that Hammerbacher — one of two people credited with inventing the term “data scientist” knows the big data architecture that Cloudera supports isn’t the perfect tool for everyone to use. Cloudera was a pioneer in commercializing Apache Hadoop, a set of open-source technologies for storing, querying, and processing large quantities of many kinds of data. Big companies like Allstate, eBay, Expedia, and Groupon pay Cloudera to use Hadoop, but the technologies tend to be complex.
For companies that want to give many employees a way to pick out trends in data that they have with a small amount of overhead, tools like Statwing’s cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) could work very well.
“…[I]t turns out that since we translate statistical findings into plain English, we’ve made it much easier to get insight out of data than writing formulas or creating PivotTables in Excel,” cofounder and chief executive Greg Laughlin wrote in an email to VentureBeat.
Now Statwing has a program for partnering with software application providers, which could get Statwing up and running quickly inside of other applications. That way, usage can be more immediate; users don’t need to visit Statwing’s site every time they want help from Statwing’s software.
Plus, there’s something to be said about how it won’t cost a ton of money to use Statwing. A free tier of the service is available, and prices go no higher than $100 per month.
In backing Statwing, Hammerbacher joins Slicehost cofounder Jason Seats, IndexTank Founder Diego Basch, and Y Combinator. Statwing hasn’t disclosed the size of the investment.
The new money will help Statwing add functions to its software. For example, analysis of time-series data — which could be good for data from sensors that capture information at regular time intervals — could become part of Statwing’s capabilities, Laughlin wrote.