big-dataThe Big Data space is heating up – to the point that many pundits already see it as the over-hyped heir to “cloud.” The hype may be a bit much, but Big Data is already living up to its potential, transforming entire business lines, such as marketing, pharmaceutical research, and cyber-security.

While the space is still fairly new, IDC, for one, sees big things ahead. The research firm predicts that the market for Big Data technologies will reach $32.4 billion by 2017, or about six times the growth rate of the overall information and communication technology market.

1. Sumo Logic

What they do: Apply machine learning to data center operations, using data analysis to pinpoint anomalies, predict and uncover potentially disruptive events, and identify vulnerabilities.

Sumo Logic’s Anomaly Detection attempts to solve this pain point by enabling enterprises to automatically detect events in streams of machine data, generating previously undiscoverable insights within a company’s entire IT and security infrastructure and allowing remediation before an issue impacts key business services.

2. Ayasdi

What they do: Apply Big Data analysis in order to solve complex problems, including finding cures for cancers and other diseases, exploring new energy sources, and preventing terrorism and financial fraud.

Ayasdi believes a better approach is to look at the “shape” of the data. Ayasdi argues that large data sets have a distinct shape, or topology, and that shape has significant meaning. Ayasdi claims to help companies determine that shape in minutes so they can automatically discover insights from their data without ever having to ask questions, formulate queries, or write code.

3. Feedzai

What they do: Feedzai uses real-time, machined-based learning to help companies prevent fraud.

It’s no great revelation that online fraud is a major problem. However, its impact is often underestimated. For instance, the Target breach could end up costing as much as $680 million, according to the Ponemon Institute.

Feedzai claims that it can detect fraud in any commerce transaction, whether the credit card is present or not, in real-time. Feedzai combines artificial intelligence (AI) to build more robust predictive models and analyze consumer behavior in a way that mitigates risk, protects consumers and companies from fraud, and preserves consumer trust.

4. CloudPhysics

CloudPhysics is backed by $12.5 million in VC funding, including a recent $10 million Series B round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which adds to previously raised funds from angel investors and the Mayfield Fund.

CloudPhysics goal is to analyze the world’s IT data knowledge and use the information to transform computing, driving out machine and human costs in ways never before possible. Today, their servers receive a daily stream of 100+ billion samples of configuration, performance, failure, and event data from their global user base.

CloudPhysics’ service combines Big Data analytics with data center simulation and resource management techniques. CloudPhysics argues that this approach uncovers hidden complexities in the infrastructure, discovers inefficiencies and risks that drain and endanger resources, and enables what-if analyses that can inform every data center decision.

5. BloomReach

BloomReach has raised $41 million in three rounds of funding from Bain Capital Ventures, NEWA, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

BloomReach’s Organic Search combines web-wide intelligence and site-level content knowledge with machine learning and natural language processing to predict demand and dynamically adapt pages to match consumer behavior and intent. This helps companies capture up to 60 percent of net-new users. BloomReach also takes a data-driven approach to m-commerce, more accurately matching consumers with content and products. This increases revenue-per-site-visit by up to 40 percent, and drives sales across all shopping channels.

6. Altiscale

Altiscale is backed by $12 million in Series A funding from General Catalyst and Sequoia Capital, along with investments from individual backers.

Altiscale’s service is intended to abstract the complexity of Hadoop. Altiscale’s engineers set up, run, and manage Hadoop environments for their customers, allowing customers to focus on their data and applications. When customers’ needs change, services are scaled to fit – one of the core advantages of a cloud-based service.

7. Pursway

Funding: $17 million from Battery Ventures and Globespan Capital Partners.

Pursway’s software is intended to improve customer acquisition, cross-selling opportunities, and retention. By imprinting a social graph onto existing customer and prospect data, identifying actual relationships between buyers, and identifying target customers who have a demonstrated influence over others’ purchasing decisions, Pursway argues that it can help consumer-facing organizations close the gap between how businesses market and how people actually buy.

8. PlaceIQ

The company is backed by $27.75 million raised in three round of funding from IA Ventures, Social Leverage, kbs+ Ventures, Neu Venture Capital, US Venture Partners, Valhalla Partners, Harmony Partners, and Iris Capital.

PlaceIQ says that it “provides a multidimensional depiction of consumers across location and time.” This allows brands to define audiences and intelligently communicate with those audiences to support greater ROI. PlaceIQ’s product, Audiences Now, focuses on targeting customers where they are, in real time, creating an immediacy to a brand’s marketing strategy.

9. MemSQL

The company is backed by $45 million in funding from Accel Partners, Khosla Ventures, First Round Capital, and Data Collective. Their most recent funding was a $35 million Series B closed in January 2014.

Why they’re on this list: Big Data and real-time analytics have the potential to profoundly impact the way organizations operate and how they engage with customers. However, there are challenges that prevent companies from fully extracting value from their data. Legacy database technologies are prone to latency, require complex and expensive architectures, and rely on slow disk-based technology.

10. Couchbase

Couchbase has raised a total of $56 million in funding from Adams Street Partners, Accel Partners, Mayfield Fund, North Bridge Venture Partners, Ignition Partners, and DoCoMo Capital.

Couchbase is placing its bet on NoSQL. The startup argues that its NoSQL document-oriented database technology provides the scalability and flexible data modeling needed for Big Data-scale projects. Couchbase also claims to offer the first NoSQL database for mobile devices. Via