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

Elliot Bentley

“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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