Enterprise: Plan for Big Data and Realtime Contextual Analysis (And Drop Conventional Google Optimization)

To most of the discussions happening at the time, big data is another fad. Serious players know that world is now changing, and will be driven completely by data in near future. With consumers (and organizations) going from Mobile Present to Mobile First to Mobile Only, Google Search will not really be the biggest thing happened ever over internet as it is today and the context driven actions done inside the apps will be the future. Human interaction ( Going to Google and searching for How to tame a dragon) will not be required and behavior will change.

bigdata
bigdata

42% of organizations have more than 50TB of data with 6% of them having > 10PB (credits: IOUG Big Data Strategy Survey 2012). This is the data of whats happening with physical and online entities as well as human behavior. This is the data which will tell how much time you spent over apps / websites doing what, how many products were sold in your shop at what time and what else was happening in the world which triggered the sale, how much time you spent doing sex and how vigorous was it (check this), Is human race getting dumber or smarter and with what pace, how many cars crossed a particular spot on road in last n years etc. Data will be infinite out there.

32% of companies use this data by pre-processing it and then loading data warehouse for integrated analysis and 14% conduct big data analysis separately from traditional enterprise analysis (credits: IOUG Big Data Strategy Survey 2012).  The current setup, thus is exactly like what retail commerce was in 1990s. And world is changing so fast that analysis done by Big Data as a separate process might be stale to use it for next day.

BI requires integration of real time big data analytics results integrated into BI systems directly, without any file migrations and use this real time analytical results to take real time actions on user behaviors.

So, if you are planning to integrate big data analysis in your organization or already have a process in action and evaluating integration options, please consider this very seriously and don’t end up in masses for whom big data is a fad. Real time analysis and integration directly to your BI systems is the mantra. Start logging everything and treat data very carefully because it is going to be much more important than all your managers.

PS: I am not against hadoop as that is conventional big data tool which most companies use with data migrations to their BI system. Checkout how facebook used hadoop in real time (slides embedded below) and do checkout storm prpject too.


 

[Guest article contributed by Parag Arora. Image credit : shutterstock]

Cloud Based Bioinformatics Startup, InterpretOmics Raises INR 10 Crores Funding

Bangalore based bioinformatics startup, InterpretOmics, has secured an Rs 10 crore funding from a group of investors.

Amarante, a Singapore based  logistics solution company, has invested the funds along with MP Somaprasad and one other undisclosed Indian investor.InterpretOmics

InterpretOmics, which started in 2009 has developed technology pertaining to Big Data Biology. It has pioneered solutions in genomics for Human healthcare, Bio-Agriculture and Bio-Energy.

Started by Prahalad H. Achutharao and Dr. Asoke Talukder, company provides research and analysis services in genome-scale data and has tools for Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), Bioinformatics Contract Research Lab (BiCRL)  is a similar research service  by the startup.

Speaking on the market size, Prahalad, Founder & CEO, InterpretOmics, told NextBigWhat, “The market for Next Generation Genomics is about $1.6 trillion and our solution is based on cloud which makes the market opportunity much higher for us, somewhere around $3 to 4 trillion”.

Firm has built a cloud based platform, iOMICS, which aggregates biomedical data that can be used by bioinformaticians, clinicians and computational scientists for analysis and interpretation.

Globally we compete with companies like DNAnexus, who are having the same line of products. The recent funding is just one of the first steps of the many we anticipate, added Prahalad

It boasts more than 11 customers like Govt. Biotech SME, Pharma, CRO, Healthcare Providers, Crop Science and many more.

Last year Delhi based startup, Vyome Biosciences, raised Series A financing round of Rs.18.50 crore from IndoUS Venture Partners (IUVP), with Aarin Capital and Navam Capital as co- investors. Company focuses on developing novel and innovative treatments for common skin conditions such as dandruff, acne, pigmentation disorders and wound healing.

Recommended Read: Jai Heart : India’s first genomics based test for Heart disease risk assessment

Also see : Big data startup Minetta Brook Inc raises $2 million seed round.

Funding Roundup: Big data startup Minetta Brook Inc, DIY App Platform SnapLion, LocalBanya Raise Funds

MinettabrookBig data startup, Minetta Brook Inc has announced the closure of its seed round of $2 million. Company was developing its product for the last 2 years and has come out of beta to focus on revenues, it said.

The Seattle based TIE Angel Group (TAGS) and an early stage venture fund, Naya Ventures LP, has led the round. Prior to this a convertible note round was closed in February which was led by Keiretsu Forum Northwest.

Founded in 2011, the startup has developed a Big Data intelligence platform which streams structured and unstructured content for searching relevant information.

The investment will be used to launch the first product for consumers. The application will target finance sector to provide real time information to traders and analysts based on news, markets and reference data.

Minetta Brook was founded by Deepak Bharadwaj, ex Microsoft and Prabhu Venkatesh a Fintech veteran.

Online Grocery store LocalBanya raises undisclosed amount of funding

LocalBanyaBrand Capital Springboard has infused an undisclosed amount of fund in Mumbai based online grocery store LocalBanya.com. Springboard is an initiative of BCCL (Times Group) to fund the entrepreneurs’ which involves equity participation. [Source]

Founded in 2012 LocalBanya is a localised grocery shop serving online. Startup currently delivers in Mumbai city only and serves over 200 orders to more than 8,000 registered users states the same report.

Currently, Indian retail industry stands somewhere around $500 Bn and is expected to touch the mark of $800 Bn by 2015 according to a finding. Food and grocery accounts for 60% of the total Indian retail market.

E-Grocery market in India is valued at more than $4 Bn which accounts for 16% of the total organized retail.

SnapLion Raises Funds from India Internet Group & Others

SnaplionApp making platform SnapLion has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from a clutch of investors. Angel investor Rajan Anandan, Orios Venture Partners, Blume Ventures, Silicon Valley Angels and the India Internet Group have participated in the round.

SnapLion is a DIY platform for people who want to create apps but do not want to get involved in coding.

Big V Telecom selected for incub@TE, an incubation program by Tata Elxsi

Global design company, Tata Elxsi has shortlisted Big V Telecom for its incubation centre program, incub@TE. The startup has customized offerings in business telephony solutions. It has presence in selected Indian regions and is planning to expand in Indian and global market. It has developed more than ten telecom solutions such as YOCC, Big Shaadi, Bulk Voice call, Powerschool etc. Firm also offers franchise solutions.

Tata Elxsi is a design company by Tata group which caters to industry verticals such as communications, consumer products, defense, healthcare, media & entertainment, semiconductor and transportation.

Funding Roundup: Data Analytics firm Fractal Analytics raises $25 Mn, WeAreHolidays secures angel funding

Mumbai based data analytics firm Fractal Analytics has raised $25 million from US based private equity firm TA Associates (via). Fractal Analytics offers predictive analytics and decision sciences to global Fortune 500 companies spanning across verticals like  financial services, insurance, consumer goods, retail, technology, pharma and telecommunication.

The company will use the raised fund for global expansion, hiring and and build more products with intellectual property rights. It had posted revenues of about $20.5 million in last fiscal and eyeing for $35 million by the end of current fiscal. Founded in 2000 by former investment bankers Srikanth Velamakanni and Pranay Agrawal, Fractal Analytics currently has over 600 employees with offices in 7 cities across the globe.

TA Associates, which manages $18 billion fund-size globally, has been selective while making investment in India, and typically it does one-two investments every year. The PE firm sees big data as sweet spot for investment as it is being hailed as the next big thing in the IT world. According to Gartner, Big Data will drive $28 billion in IT spending in 2012 and in 2013, big data is expected to drive $34 billion of IT spending.

With exploding big data there is a broad scope of big data and analytics market, which includes data analytics, data distribution, data management and data visualization amongst others.Earlier in February this year MasterCard Advisors, a division of MasterCard acquired an equity stake in Mu Sigma and signed up the data analytics company to jointly develop analytics products for organizations in different verticals.

Recommended Read: Big Data and the Small Startup : What to do when you don’t have big data to analyze

WeAreHolidays secures of angel investmentweareholidays

WAH Holidays Pvt Ltd, which owns WeAreHolidays has raised undisclosed amount of angel investment led by Mumbai Angels with participation from Blume Venture Capital, Sachin Bhatia (co founder, MakeMyTrip) and GSF India. The deal was first reported by StartupCentral via The EconomicTimes

The raised fund will be used for product development, holiday content and back end integrations. WeAreHolidays is an engaging online platform that helps users to research, plan, book and share their holidays and experiences.

Founded in 2011 by Deepak Wadhwa, Harkirat Singh, and Mohit Piplani – WeAreHolidays allows booking via web or phone across 261 locations across India and foreign geographies. The company also offers handy informations for traveller such as things to do, places to see, nearby eateries, shop, night-outs including others.

Wipro Invests in M2M Platform Provider Axeda

wipro-axedaWipro Ltd and Axeda Corporation jointly announced that Wipro has made an $5-million investment in Axeda.

Axeda is a provider of cloud-based service and software for managing connected products and delivering machine-to-machine (M2M) applications

Wipro is an Axeda Platinum Partner and with this this investment, the two companies will accelerate services and end-to-end solutions designed to help organizations connect with any asset, leverage real-time machine data to enhance business processes, and develop new enterprise applications.

Wipro is the only Systems Integrator (SI) partner to have achieved Axeda Platinum Partner status. This will entitle it to receive top-priority commitment from Axeda and preferential benefits such as dedicated access to Axeda trained technical resources and premium support and services to drive Machine-to-Machine (M2M) initiatives.

The Wipro and Axeda portfolio is being built and tested in Wipro’s M2M Center of Excellence in Bangalore. Assets include an integrated M2M stack, various deployment models and reference applications for the telecommunications, health and life sciences, manufacturing and, energy and utility markets.

The companies says that the partnership will give their customers the ability to benefit from Axeda’s rapid M2M application development and Wipro’s big data analytics capabilities.

Commenting on the development, Dr. Anurag Srivastava, Chief Technology Officer, Wipro said,

“Wipro’s investment in Axeda is driven by growing demand and interest for M2M solutions across verticals from global customers and partners alike. We find that customers prefer to work with mature partners like Wipro and Axeda who have the capability and experience to plan, build and integrate M2M solutions that are able to demonstrate quick business results.”

TheSunnyMag: Inside Google X & Ranbaxy’s Dirty Medicine Scandal

TheSunnyMagHere goes our weekly magazine of stories curated from around the world. In this edition: Inside Google’s Secret Lab, Dirty Medicine and the Ranbaxy Scandal & How to Give a Killer Presentation by Chris Anderson.

New new world

Call Girl: What I Learned During My Year as a Customer Service Representative: “If you think you’re talking to an expert when you call a customer service center, you’re probably not,” writes Gabriella Paiella who spent a year as a customer service representative for an e-commerce company. Read more here.

Leaving Behind the Digital Keys to Financial Lives: BOB GINSBERG, a retired production manager for an educational publisher, is worried that he does not know any of the logins and passwords for online accounts belonging to his partner or brother and they do not know his. At 72, he said his concern was not about Facebook or e-mail. It was for their financial lives, which have migrated online, making paper account statements anachronistic. Now, when people die without disclosing their financial affairs to anyone, there is often no paper trail for heirs to follow. More here.

Big Data Gets Personal: Big data and personal information are converging to shape the Internet’s most powerful and surprising consumer products. They’ll predict your needs, store your memories, and improve your life—if you let them. Read the set of articles on Technology Review here.

Inc.

Inside Google’s Secret Lab: In this long piece of skillful writing, Brad Stone of Bloomberg Businessweek talks about Google X, the secretive research lab of search giant Google. The inside look talks about self driving cars to polymath engineers and scientists who work there. The company’s moonshots and more. Read the story here.

 

What Marissa Mayer Doesn’t (and Does) Get About White-Collar Work: When Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer banned her employees from working at home earlier this year, she sparked a culture war over How We Work Today. “Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home,” the head of Yahoo HR wrote in a memo. “We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.”  More here.

Entrepreneuring

How to Give a Killer Presentation: Chris Anderson, the curator of Ted, explains the secret to giving a killer presentation. He writes about framing the story, planning delivery, working on stage persence, multimedia and putting it all together. More here.

10 Eye-Opening Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read: These books reveal the truth of how organizations really work, and it’s not pretty. More here.

Technicolor

The solace of quantum: Eavesdropping on secret communications is about to get harder, writes The Economist. CRYPTOGRAPHY is an arms race between Alice and Bob, and Eve. These are the names cryptographers give to two people who are trying to communicate privily, and to a third who is trying to intercept and decrypt their conversation. Currently, Alice and Bob are ahead—just. But Eve is catching up. Alice and Bob are therefore looking for a whole new way of keeping things secret. And they may soon have one, courtesy of quantum mechanics. More here.

The $1.3B Quest to Build a Supercomputer Replica of a Human Brain: Even by the standards of the TED conference, Henry Markram’s 2009 TEDGlobal talk was a mind-bender. He took the stage of the Oxford Playhouse, clad in the requisite dress shirt and blue jeans, and announced a plan that—if it panned out—would deliver a fully sentient hologram within a decade. He dedicated himself to wiping out all mental disorders and creating a self-aware artificial intelligence. Jonathon Keats writes on neurologist Markam’s quest for Wired. Read the full story here.

What Yoda Taught Me About 3-D Printing: Inexpensive 3-D printers aimed at consumers are toys, not the factories of the future writes Jessica Leber. More here.

Big Picture (420 edition)

Rajat Gupta’s Lust for Zeros: Anita Raghavan puts together an article adapted from  “The Billionaire’s Apprentice: The Rise of the Indian-American Elite and the Fall of the Galleon Hedge Fund,” to be published by Business Plus. The fascinating turn by turn account uncovers the motives behind Gupta’s greed for more. Full article here. RanbaxyDirty medicine: Katherine Eban, DOris B urke and Frederik Joelving uncover the epic inside story of long-term criminal fraud at Ranbaxy, the Indian drug company that makes generic Lipitor for millions of Americans. Earlier this month, Ranbaxy peaded guilty on seven criminal counts of selling adultrated drugs with the intent to defraud, failing to report that its drugs didn’t meet specifications and making false statements to the government. Read the story here.

8KMiles Acquires FuGen Solutions for $7.5 Million

8kmiles Logo8KMiles Software Services Ltd, a startup that offers outsourcing service over the cloud, has acquired FuGen Solutions for a sum of $7.5 million, the company announced.

This acquisition will help 8KMiles build and expand on their cloud and big data security services and solutions, a company statement said.

8KMiles offers mobility and big data solutions for enterprise, small and medium business and state or local government institutions. The company was recently selected as an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Premier Consulting Partner.

The purchase includes FuGen Solutions’ Cloud Identity Broker and Multi-domain Identity Services Platform (MISP), an on-demand partner platform that extends the capabilities of existing Identity Management (IDM), SSO solutions and legacy services to allow enterprise customers to scale and manage their federated access, certification and SSO, and web services via the cloud.

The company has plans to acquire more this year, Suresh Venkatachari, 8KMiles chairman and CEO.

Read the earlier coverage of 8KMiles on NextBigWhat.

Majikal Wants to be Google for Events [App Review]

majikal-logoI have often faced an issue on a Friday evening, when I have finished my week at work and want to do just do something to just chill out. The problem is I don’t have the patience to open the newspaper or search multiple sites on the web to figure out something that interests me.  This is where a new iPhone app Majikal, that also has a web version comes in.

Majikal by New Jersey based Bawaal Labs is a location aware, social mobile platform that lets you discover and explore events happening around you. It aims to redefine the social experience around events.

Features

The platform fetches and aggregates events from all over the web, including Eventful, Meetup, Eventbrite, Facebook, TicketsNow, etc  and brings to you a list of events. It has super tags which make it easier to discover and find event as per an individual’s taste and needs.

Users can add comments and upload pictures while attending an event which could serve as a time capsule. The Majikal app tries to provide a complete social experience around events.

Majikal lets you see people attending the event and with the comments and pictures virtually see what is happening at the event, something like events in Google+ but on a mobile.

There are various super tags created by the developers to discover events around you like Causes, Dating, Desi, Kids, LGBT, Outdoor, Pets, Sports, Technology and Adult.

One can also easily share events on various social networks.

Design & performance

The design of the app is very basic and not much to write about. It could do with a bit of polish. On top is a red bar which allows one to search for an event. One can filter the events by location and also supertags. The events are displayed in a vertical list which displays the number of comments and people attending. You can also like an event.

You can also view all the results on a map. But the app uses Apple Maps to display the locations of events and we all know exactly how good Apple Maps are. Considering that Google Maps is now available on iOS we hope the developers take a serious look at changing to it so that the app could be more useful to users all over the world.

Clicking an event on the map will give you a popup which will give you the name of the event as well as the date and time.

Scrolling down in the list view, will show a pop up of the date and time. We found this super useful and could spot an event for our designed date and time more easily.

The detailed view of the event gives a description of the event as well as the ability to buy tickets if possible. You can also see or post pictures and comments or share the event with friends.

Being an international based app the number of events it displayed was limited but we see potential for this to grow.

Future features according to the developers

The company plans to add more sources of events so that some that they could someday be the Google of events.

The company plans to add more sources of events so that some that they could someday be the Google of events. A feature that will be introduced in the next version of the app is registered keywords, which will alert users about events of that type. Another feature is that the platform will soon let people add events to the platform and invite friends. Finally the company plans to build the app into a personalized recommendation engine for events.

The Android app is under development and should see a public release in the next couple of months.

Things we would like to see in the app

Apart from the above features which the developers have promised to bring to the app soon, we would like to see a few other things. To start with the design of the app might need a little tweaking.

We would also like to be able to see which events our friends are attending like that in Hangtime, an app we reviewed sometime back.

We would also like to see more relevant images for the results.

The Team

The team behind the app is Shashank Singh, the key evangelist behind the concept of Majikal, Raghavendra Pandey, Mrityunjay Kant, Neeraj Singh, who leads the teams behind the mobile apps and Vivek Sing, an expert in Big Data.

So looking for something exciting to this weekend, give Majikal a try and see if you locate something that interests you.

Download: Majikal for iOS.

Bangalore Based NBFC Varthana Raises Funds from Accion’s Venture Lab

varthanaBangalore based Varthana, a company which provides loans to support private schooling for children of the poor and emerging middle class, has raised funds from Boston headquartered  Accion Venture Lab.

Venture Lab, which is Accion’s $10 mn seed fund, did not disclose the exact amount of investment but said that typically an investment ranges from $100,000- $500,000 in convertible debt or equity.

The Bangalore based Non Banking Financial Company was founded by Steve Hardgrave, an entrepreneur with experience in international development and investment and Brajesh Mishra, a former retail banking executive.

With over 400 million student aged population out of which only 260 million enrolled in schools, there is a need for local entrepreneurs to set up private schools and relieve the pressure from the Government infrastructure.

According to Varthana,  dedicated school owners, often, former teachers or husband and wife teams, have launched and managed local schools using their own resources and are able to generate 20% -30% margins at price points that low-income families can afford. “This segment, which includes more than 200,000 schools and 80 million students, grows bigger every day,” says the NBFC which helps to bridge the financing gap in the space.

Venture Lab also invested in four other financial inclusion startups.

Singapore headquartered Coda Payments, a transaction procession platform, Hong Kong based Demyst.Data, a big data firm, PayClip, a payments company and Salud Facil, a Mexican company have raised funds from Venture Lab.

Accion is a not for profit organization which works in the financial inclusion space.

Wipro to Invest $30 mn for Minority Stake in US Based Big Data Co

India’s third largest IT services company Wipro is investing $30 million in Opera Solutions LLC, a big data company based in New Jersey.

Wipro will own a minority stake in the company, a company statement said.

Opera Solutions has one of private industry’s largest group of scientists specializing in machine learning, the statement added.

Gartner Hype Cycle Big Data
Gartner Hype Cycle for Big Data

Opera Solutioins has built platforms that extract threat and other sentiment from open source online data, as well as other solutions for financial services, capital markets, procurement professionals, and the healthcare industry.

Opera Solutions is backed by private equity players such as Silver Lake Sumeru, Accel-KKR, JGE Capital, Tola Capital and New York based Invus. The company raised $84 million in September 2011 from the investors.

Wipro launches Virtualization Solution

Wipro has also launched VirtualDesk, a packaged desktop virtualization solution. The solution, developed by Wipro, can be used to provision secure, provision and share applications and data for a mobile workforce, the company said.

The hardware-software platform features an app store, catalog, and menu driven administration to selectively provision required applications and desktops.

The cloud based solution is available on premise as well as on an off-site private cloud, Wipro said.

Exclusive: Times Group Puts NRI Focussed E-commerce Site Hutk on the Backburner to Focus on India

Times Internet Limited owned ecommerce website Hutk, which was positioned as a site for the Indian diaspora has shut down its operation. The site launched in December 2011, used to sell Indian wear, jewellery, flowers and handicrafts targeted at the NRI crowd.

Currently, the message on website says ‘it is under maintenance’, however when contacted by NextBigWhat Subhanker Sarker,COO,Times Internet said “The NRI opportunity is huge but our focus currently is on the Indian Ecommerce market and we want to focus all our energies there only.” 

HUTK

The site and the supporting sourcing relationships are very much alive but we have sought to set customer expectations right by making explicit our decision to not focus there currently, he said.

Hutk offered flower delivery within and outside India and displayed pricing in Indian Rupees, Pound Sterling, Euros and US Dollars, and claimed to deliver worldwide including India. This is the second major killing of its portfolio companies after dumping its mailing service this year.

The news of Hutk shutdown came on onset when NDTV plans to tap $2 billion Indian diaspora (NRIs) market through its subsidiary NDTV Worldwide Ltd.

After Satyan Gajwani had come to helm, Times Internet Limited has been making a few bold moves. The digital arm of one of India’s largest media group, which killed its mailing services some four months ago, also made investments in companies like Fab, ZopNow, Delhivery, ZipDial, MenXP and others recently.

Below is the excerpts of an earlier interview with Satyan Gajwani.

Q: Since taking over at Times Internet, you’ve made investments in companies like Fab and also killed product like Indiatimes mailing service? Was it too little too late?

My focus from day one to position Times Internet Limited as a product focused company as opposed to what people perceive us – content centric company. Fab investment was a part of global strategy of Times Internet, and moreover I know Jason Goldberg and Bradford Shellhammer from quite some time, and fab has been performing awesome over the past year and so.

Certainly, we will be helping Fab to roll out its Indian operation, however it is still at least 12-14 months away from now.

We decided to kill Indiatimes mailing service as we were not able to compete with players like Gmail and Yahoo. Yeah, we have been bit late to kill it, but you know sometimes it takes time to arrive on decisions:) 

Q: How does Times Internet leverage data?

Capturing data would be a top priority for us, and big data is very much important for group like Times Internet. We are sitting on a huge database, and content personalization across our properties is one of our steps towards leveraging data. Meanwhile, how you make big data navigable is a big challenge, and we are spending considerable amount of money and energy to cut through the clutter of data. 

Q: How are things with Indiatimes.com? Any signs of profitability in next 18-20 months.

Things have been really improving. At Indiatimes Shopping, we have been able to minimize our burn rate, although I won’t be able to share numbers, but we are amongst top 5 etailers in the country. This fiscal we aim to do business of Rs. 500 crore and hopefully Rs. 1000 crore by the end of 2014.

Pramati Technologies Spins Off Referral Marketing Platform GroupSave

groupsaveHyderabad based Pramati Technologies is spinning off GroupSave, a technology platform that helps retailers use the social data generated by customers to improve business, according to a new report.

GroupSave gets customers to recommend businesses to their friends. The platform can be used to setup special offers for customers free of cost. Users can claim discounts created by businesses by sharing it with friends on social media.

The company has plans to roll out the product in the US market, the Hindu Business Line reported.

Last year, Vijay Pullur, the founder of Pramati Technologies, had sold Qontext, a communication, sharing and collaboration tool to Autodesk.

Autodesk had plans to use Qontext to add new social capabilities to Autodesk 360, a cloud-based platform that offers users the ability to store, search, and view critical design data. Qontext is like Twitter++ for enterprises.

 

The company, which recently acquired WaveMaker from VMware, is looking for more buyouts in the cloud, social, mobile and big data space, the report said.

TheSunnyMag: Who is Santiago Swallow? The Surest Way to Build a Billion Dollar Business & More

TheSunnyMagHere goes our weekly magazine of stories curated from around the world. In this edition: Who is Santiago Swallow? The Surest Way to Build a Billion Dollar Business & More.

New new world

How to become internet famous for $68: Santiago Swallow may be one of the most famous people no one has heard of.
His eyes fume from his Twitter profile: he is Hollywood-handsome with high cheekbones and dirty blond, collar-length hair. Next to his name is one of social media’s most prized possessions, Twitter’s blue “verified account” checkmark. How did Santiago become internet famous? Read here.

Apple’s 10-Year-Old iTunes Loses Ground to Streaming: A decade ago, the newly started iTunes Store gave away a song called Over My Head (Cable Car) by an obscure Denver rock group called The Fray. That was, explains lead guitarist Joe King, the band’s big break. “I’ll never forget, our manager e-mailed and said there had been 300,000 downloads,” says King. “Immediately our fan base went from several hundred to thousands, everywhere. Our tour started selling out.” These days, iTunes doesn’t offer that kind of overnight success for undiscovered musicians, despite its 435 million registered users. More here.

Entrepreneuring

Dark skies and bright prospects: ADAM GROSSMAN waited impatiently under a shelter at a highway rest stop while the rain bucketed down around him. He had parked his car across a lot, now a drenching dash away, before the downpour began. When would the rain end, he wondered? He pulled out his smartphone and consulted online weather services, which showed a looped animation of radar maps of rain clouds, but offered no advice about what would happen next. Surely, it was possible to do better? More here.

Technicolor

A new brick in the Great Wall: Additive manufacturing is growing apace in China. ALTHOUGH it is the weekend, a small factory in the Haidian district of Beijing is hard at work. Eight machines, the biggest the size of a delivery van, are busy making things. Yet the factory, owned by Beijing Longyuan Automated Fabrication System (known as AFS), appears almost deserted. This is because it is using additive-manufacturing machines, popularly known as three-dimensional (3D) printers, which run unattended day and night, seven days a week. More here.

Lifehack

How to Bounce Back From a Social Media Disaster: Made a major flub in front of the whole world on social media? Here’s how to respond. More here.

9 Slightly Crazy Things That Might Make You Wildly Productive: Break up your routine with these secret (slightly off-the-wall) tricks to jump-starting your productivity. More here.

Inc.

The Surest Way To Build A Billion-Dollar Internet Company: A full two-thirds of the 24 publicly traded U.S. Internet companies worth more than $1 billion are digital transaction firms. The billion-dollar club includes a heavy dose of travel, local and real estate businesses. More here.

Tim Cook’s cash card: THERE was no firm timetable for an iWatch or for a revolutionary iTV. Nor was there a concrete plan for releasing a low-cost iPhone. There was, however, the promise of what is reportedly the biggest share buyback in American corporate history. More here.

Big Picture

An article from 1992 which came true: The Executive Computer; ‘Mother of All Markets’ or a ‘Pipe Dream Driven by Greed’? Sometime around the middle of this decade no one is sure exactly when — executives on the go will begin carrying pocket-sized digital communicating devices. And although nobody is exactly sure what features these personal information gizmos will have, what they will cost, what they will look like or what they will be called, hundreds of computer industry officials and investors at the Mobile ’92 conference here last week agreed that the devices could become the foundation of the next great fortunes to be made in the personal computer business. More here.

Growing Graph‘Big Data’ Researchers Turn to Google to Beat the Markets: Time to fire your portfolio manager? “Big data” researchers have found that mining Google search terms related to finance and plugging that data into an investment strategy would have outperformed all but the world’s greatest stock pickers over an eight-year stretch ending in 2011. More here.

Google Search Terms Can Predict Stock Market, Study Finds: More here.

Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen on What’s Next for the World: Four years ago, I accompanied a State Department delegation of tech executives visiting the war zone of Baghdad in an attempt to introduce Silicon Valley ideas to a barely recovering Iraq. The trip was organized by Jared Cohen, then a sharp young policy deputy to Secretary Hilary Clinton. A Google employee told then-CEO Eric Schmidt about the Wired article I wrote about the trip, and Schmidt contacted Cohen. Not long after, Cohen took Schmidt himself to Baghdad, and the bond between the two led to Cohen’s hiring as head of a new corporate enterprise dubbed Google Ideas. It also led to a book contract. Here, finally, is the typically ambitious fruit of that writing collaboration: The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business. More here.

Big Data Startup Dataweave raises Funds from Blume Ventures, Others

Big Data company DataWeave has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Blume Ventures, TLabs (Times Internet), 5ideas Startup Superfuel, Meta Studio Advisors and a group of angels.

Rajan Anandan, the Managing Director of Google India, Pankaj Jain of 500Startups,  Amex executive Bharathram Thothadri, Capillary Technologies Co-Founder Krishna Mehra and Abhishek Gupta are the angels who have invested in the company.

DataWeave is in the business of aggregating unstructured and noisy data from a large number of sources on the web and presenting it to businesses in readily usable forms. On top of data sets, they build APIs, visualizations, and analytics.

The company said it aggregates and processes more than 100GB a day, serving around 500 million data points.  PriceWeave, their first major product providers competitive intelligence for eRetailers, brands, and manufacturers. dataweaveThe platform is built on large amount of product data to provide features such as pricing opportunities, assortment intelligence, gaps in catalogs, reporting and analytics, and tracking promotions and product launches.

DataWeave is building similar offerings for telecom, travel, and real estate verticals.

Some of their existing customers include Rediff, Indiatimes Shopping, Puma, eBay, PlayGroundOnline, UrbanJourney, Jabong, OfficeYes, Paytm, Freecharge and Zigwheels.

The company was founded in 2011 and was part of the TLabs accelerator program.

Creators of Facebook’s Analytics Platform Raise $7 mn for their Big Data Startup Qubole

quboleBig data startup Qubole has raised $7 mn in a series A round led by a group of venture capital firms and angel investors. Charles River Ventures, Lightspeed Ventures and angel investors Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaram invested in the company.

Qubole, co-founded by Ashish Thusoo and Joydeep Sen Sarma, built and ran Facebook’s data service and scaled it to over 25 Petabytes of data with hundreds of users and tens of thousands of queries every day. They also founded and authored Apache Hive, helped to build key parts of the Hadoop ecosystem such as the Fair Scheduler and RCFile, and brought Apache HBase to Facebook. The startup was part of Microsoft Accelerator’s second batch.

The Apache Hadoop based startup recently announced that it has processed half petabytes of processed data since it came out of beta. The Qubole Data Service is optimized for cloud and is focused on making analytics.

The startup’s data engine enables customers to integrate and consolidate data from multiple sources, on premise and from the cloud, structured and unstructured, and provide instant access through analytic tools like Tableau and Excel. Qubole’s self-service user interface and the library of connectors to SQL sources, NoSQL sources and MPP platforms, allow analysts and data teams to combine, correlate, and create actionable insights from their data assets.

Venki Harinarayan and Anand Rajaram are co-founders at early stage VC fund Cambrian Ventures. The duo had co-founded Junglee Corp (sold to Amazon in 1998 for $250 mn in stock) and Kosmix (sold to Walmart in 2011).

Big Data and the Small Startup : What to do when you don’t have big data to analyze

The latest jargon to have made an entry into the tech lexicon is Big Data. No matter what tech publication you subscribe to, Big Data is bound to be there.

But does Big Data make sense when it comes to the small startup? First of all, you may not have that much data to analyze. Cost of ownership of a Big Data application may be another major deterrent. Add to it the steep price that a good data scientist (if you happen to find one, that is!) charges and you may well choose to avoid it altogether.

So can your cash-strapped startup never gain a competitive advantage through data? Will you be never able to transform your data into money?

You surely can! Sometimes all you need to do is but look in your own backyard.

3 data sources which you can cash on (both literally and metaphorically)!

1)  www.yourownwebsite.com

This is in itself a treasure house of data. If you have a website, 99.99% chances are that you use Google Analytics too. Get to know where your visitors are coming from, what they are doing on your site, how much time they are spending, whether there are any navigational blockages on you site and so on and so forth.

2) Social Media

This is where your actual customers interact. Understand what they like about you, what they hate about you and how you can improve. See what your competitors are doing. Social media is much more than a Like and a Follow. It is where actual conversations can happen, if you but engage your customers wisely.

3)  Sales Data

Invest in a good application to manage your sales and customer data. The amount of value you can get from this one investment is tremendous. Salesforce is a good place to start with.

Most of these (eg: Google Analytics, Facebook, Salesforce) come with their own in-built analytics and reporting and you do not necessarily have to be a data wizard to understand them. As you grow, you can combine data from these diverse sources, mix and match them and then visualize to generate business critical insights.

Remember, this may be only the tip of the Big Data iceberg but you have got to start somewhere!

[Guest article contributed by Shilpi Choudhury, a writer at FusionCharts]