Trifacta, a startup focused on getting raw data into shape so data scientists, analysts or whomever can get started analyzing it, has raised $25 million in series C financing. Ignition Partners is a new investor in the latest round round, which also includes previous investors Greylock Partners and Accel Partners.
For large companies with big Hadoop clusters consisting of terabytes of data, it can be difficult to analyze all the unstructured information, said Joe Hellerstein, one of Trifacta’s co-founders and its CEO. In order for the big data to become usable, a person might have to write code that can organize the data so it can be loaded into a predictive-analytic platform; this is a labor-intensive task that takes a relatively long time to accomplish.
Enter Trifacta. Its software can be installed on Hadoop clusters, where it cleans up the data so an organization can get it primed for analytic applications like Tableau. What makes the product stand out from the rest of the data cleanup tools out there, said Hellerstein, is Trifacta’s visual-display format that allows a user to determine how the data needs to be arranged, all without having to write any code.
Through the use of a visual display, a user can view how Trifacta’s product attempts to organize the data, and the user can guide the service through manipulating the dashboard. It’s similar to the way a text editor in a content management system shows how text appears on the web, but underneath the text editor resides the HTML code that is performing the actual task of making text appear.
Using Trifacta, a company could use the data from application logs tracking user-behavior, for example, and share it in various configurations that conform to what different departments in the firm might find useful. A company’s marketing department might want the information displayed in a certain way so it can better target ad placements, whereas the IT department could use the same information displayed in a way so that it can prevent machine failures.
“Our core tech is interactive tech focused on analysis,” said Hellerstein.
However, Trifacta isn’t the only startup that is trying to make hay out of companies’ desires to spend less time prepping their growing data volumes and more time analyzing them. Just last week, big data bigwigs Michael Stonebraker and Andy Palmer launched their own data-cleanup company called Tamr, along with $16 million in funding. In October, Paxata hit the scene with $10 million in capital from Accel and data-preparation software that tries to help companies easily merge multiple datasets.