Personal finance site Mint.com was one of the breakout web products for data analysis — and a key architect of the technology was Kumar Saurabh.
Mint.com was sold to Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU) in 2009, and in 2010, Saurabh co-founded Sumo Logic, which is focused on helping companies analyze enormous amounts of data to deal with application problems and security.
IPOPlaybook.com recently had an opportunity to talk to Saurabh about “Big Data,” the cloud and more:
Q: What is “Big Data,” and how does your company deal with it? How large is the market opportunity?
A: From our vantage, Big Data is best defined as a vast subset of data, which has thus far not been amenable for analysis, but is extremely rich. Our focus is on the largest subset of Big Data within the average enterprise: log data.
It is growing at an exponential rate, but the technology to analyze the data has not kept up. We have developed technology that leverages the cloud to address the problem.
Q: What is “collective intelligence,” and how is the cloud driving it?
A: The real power of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) always has been its ability to ingest the entire Internet, rank pages based on a measure of their soundness, then ultimately understand which links people actually click on in the search results to intelligently re-rank results.
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is another example. Assume you could run its recommendation engine with just a roster of your friends participating — the recommendations would be very poor, or at least very skewed, as you and your friends likely have similar tastes. In other words, collective intelligence is enabled by smart algorithms and a lot of data — a lot of data. In fact, even a simple algorithm with access to a lot of data will be more effective than a sophisticated algorithm with very limited data.
The only place this approach has been applied in the enterprise with great results is spam filtering. Until now, no one has applied the power of data to IT and security management and monitoring. Fundamentally, on-premise products cannot solve the problem because they constrain their customers into silos. Ultimately, our vision is that every customer will derive learning from other customers across our service. It’s about bubbling up insights and trends that benefit everyone.
Q: How important is dealmaking in your space?
A: As with ArcSight’s IPO in 2008, it’s important validation for the market and speaks to the significant opportunity presented by the data explosion within the enterprise. The space will continue to evolve, however. There’s a new wave of technology and innovation on the way.
Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He also is the author of “All About Short Selling” and “All About Commodities.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.