Big Data: great opportunities for startups

While large companies still have advantage over startups, such as access to private data or capital, there are other barriers that are completely destroyed. While some people believe that Big Data is something that only large companies can exploit and profit, the truth is that conditions have never been better for small companies to get monetizing this raw ‘new’ material from the Internet, mobile and sensors.

While large companies still have advantage over startups, such as access to private data or capital to recruit and retain the best talent, there are other barriers that are completely destroyed. Today, the cost of the hardware component is at its lowest levels; and the software component can be treated with open source tools like Hadoop. Big companies like Yahoo, Facebook and Netflix use Hadoop.

Some may argue that the biggest problem that startups are your chances to monetize data when not even have data that can explode. However, many public and private entities are now starting to share data that they can collect from sensors, satellites, statistics etc. There are already many success stories of small companies that have managed to create a commercial value from what is commonly known as Open Data. These companies not only consume and use the data directly but develop methods that achieve convert the data into something more accessible and useful to users.

An example of a company using Open Data is, a website that has been considered as one of the 50 best sites of 2014 by Time magazine. collects price information vehicles sold in order to give advice to their clients about what is the right price of a new car or second hand one. Your users can buy a car with confidence that its price is in line with what others are paying today. What this company has done is create a large database of raw information and purify it to make it something much more valuable.

But what happens when public or private entities decide not to share data? The truth is that as many of the activities that occur in large companies, there could be a strong desire to outsource to those who can add value to your data. If a startup is able to develop a tool that makes understandable the Big Data or who specializes in a specific machine learning mechanism, you may get a profitable business.

Tableau Software, which was founded in 2003 and employs 2,400 employees today, decided to explore this idea of facilitating understanding of Big Data analysis and data visualization. Part of its mission is “Making data analysis quick, easy and beautiful; and develop software that fits all”. In 2014 the company turnover of 412.61 million dollars.

A recent study by IDC says that by 2018, the Big Data technology enjoy an increase of six times the growth rate of the global market for information technology. Opportunities to create value with the Big Data are immense.

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