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Precog, ‘Big Data as a Service’, opens public beta

Elliot Bentley
precog1

“Just you, a code editor, and our super simple REST API,” is the promise of a new service designed to simplify storage and analysis of big data.

Today
sees the launch of the public beta of the Precog platform, a new
service promising to simplify the storage and statistical analysis
of big data

In a press release, the company said their Precog platform
“combines the scalability of big data platforms with the
number-crunching power of statistical tools”, and that development
teams can quickly build big data applications “without the headache
and time commitment of custom data infrastructure development and
maintenance”.

Effectively, it’s a SaaS offering for your big data needs –
perhaps Big Data as a Service? – abstracted to a level at which
only the lowest level of technical knowledge is necessary. “There
[is] no software to download, no servers to setup, no
configuration, no schema, and no limits,” reads the
product
features page
. “Just you, a code editor, and our
super simple REST API.”

However, they also stress that Precog is “not designed for
end-users”, but “for developers who are building data-driven
applications”.

Data can be imported quickly from existing databases and
spreadsheets, or captured via third-party services (such as
Facebook and Twitter) and a

REST API
compatible with Java, PHP,
JavaScript, .Net, Ruby, C# and “iOS”.

Once this data is captured, it can be ‘enriched’ using apps
such as RapLeaf (which provides demographic info for email
addresses) or AlchemyAPI (which, among other things, analyses
‘sentiment’ within messages. These are available from the

marketplace,
which also contains apps for data visualization engine and
synchronisation with external databases.

Finally, crunching of your data can be carried out using
instructions relayed via the REST API. “You never need to write any
code to do any kind of data analysis,” touts the promotional
materials.

For companies with big enough pockets, an in-house solution
may be preferable: but for smaller enterprises, Precog looks to be
a great service for those who would prefer a simpler, and seemingly
equally as powerful, solution.

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