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The much-hyped data analytics startup ClearStory Data has pulled in $9 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins, Andreessen Horowitz, and Google Ventures.

It’s still in its early days, but ClearStory is positioning itself as the next evolution of the typical analytics-heavy dashboard, which provides only a “rearview mirror” look into your data.

The problem is that valuable data lives in separate silos and often requires engineers to bring it together. ClearStory is developing the tools to pull in relevant data from Google, Twitter, Facebook and other sites and present it in a visually compelling way.

Silicon Valley-based ClearStory is one of a dozen technology startups that would support data services teams employed by large corporations — or replace data scientists altogether.

img_sharmilaIt’s certainly a crowded space, but it doesn’t hurt that founder and CEO Sharmila Shahani-Mulligan (pictured, left) has been an investor and advisor to Bay Area startups for years. She has a knack for joining startups that are ripe for acquisition. Prior to founding ClearStory, she worked at Kiva Software (acquired by Netscape for $180 million), Aster Systems (acquired by Teradata for $263 million), and Opsware (acquired by HP for $1.6 billion).

ClearStory is still being baked by the company’s 20-person team and will not be generally available until 2013. However, it says what makes ClearStory stand out is its capability to pull data from disparate sources. “Not all data is born and lives inside your company,” Shahani-Mulligan says on the ClearStory blog.

Shahani-Mulligan says that simply retrieving a sliver of data from a single database or website can be a “chore.” ClearStory wants to provide an alternative to the legacy data visualization products on the market, including QlikView and Tableau, which the company blog describes as “cumbersome” and unequipped to handle unstructured data (texts, email, and so on).

Clear Story’s clear focus is its user experience and design. According to GigaOm’s Derrick Harris, who had a sneak peek of the demo,  it’s similar in feel to Platfora’s Hadoop-based software  — “pretty visualizations and lots of dragging, dropping and collaboration.”

[Top image credit:  Bruce Rolff/Shutterstock]

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