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Big Data: Picking a Horse

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With hundreds of companies entering the Big Data space, how do we separate the winners from the stragglers?

“Big Data” has quickly become a very hot topic. Venture investors and Fortune 500 executives alike are wrestling to get a grip on the true meaning and business impact of software solutions that, as defined by Gartner, “harness high volume, high velocity, and/or high variety information assets to enable enhanced decision making, insight discovery and process optimization.”

Big Data - Google Trends Google Trends: "Big Data"

Matt Turck of FirstMark Capital has done thousands of investment banking analysts and all of us a great service by mapping out the 200+ companies in this sector, divided into 5 core categories: infrastructure, analytics, applications, open source, and data sources:

Big Data Lumascape - FirstMark[vision_divider]

Who’s winning?

We decided to marry Matt’s categorizations with our DataFox Quality Scores. We quantify heuristics such as management excellence, hiring pace, financial backing, and press momentum, to graph these 200 companies’ relative trajectories.

Here’s our map of the “Big Data - Analytics” space, for example:

Big Data Analytics Big Data Analytics - 86 companies - click for interactive version

Infrastructure, Analytics, Applications, Open Source, and Data Sources

Register for a free DataFox trial to dive into all five Watchlists:

 Sub-sector  Top Companies  Watchlist link
Infrastructure Microsoft, IBM, Amazon 71 companies
Analytics Google, Tableau, Splunk 86 companies
Applications HP, Microsoft, Google 65 companies
Open Source Oracle, Hortonworks, Elasticsearch 9 companies
Data Sources Jawbone, Fitbit, BlueKai 23 companies

SV Angel loves Big Data

In creating these watchlists, we also noticed that there are a few investors who have truly been leading the pack in investing in Big Data, SV Angel in particular:

 Sub-sector  Most active investors, by # of deals
Infrastructure (71 co's) NEA (6), Accel (5), A16Z, Sequoia, Ignition (4)
Analytics (86 co's) SV Angel (7), A16Z (6), Sequoia, Khosla (5)
Applications (65 co's) SV Angel (11), NEA, Google Ventures, First Round (8)
Open Source (9 co's) Benchmark, Index (2)
Data Sources (23 co's) SV Angel, Felicis, Google Ventures (3)

What does Splunk do, anyway?

To industry outsiders, it may not be immediately evident what all these companies do in the first place. At DataFox we've been building a brand new industry taxonomy, allowing us to effectively calculate the similarity between any two companies. The result? Sector maps like the one below, generated in seconds.

We looked up Splunk, one of the market leaders in the Analytics segment. The sector map shows us that Splunk straddles the “log management” and “operational intelligence” spaces. To all other companies on this map… expect to see Splunk eat your market, seek a partnership, or acquire you in the future!

Splunk - explorer Splunk's competitive space - click to see interactive visualization

Thanks again to Matt and Sutian at FirstMark for identifying the key players in this space. We hope you’ll find our additional insights useful in tracking the winners going forward.

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