Precog Debuts at O'Reilly Strata Conference, Aims to be Heroku for Big Data

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ReportGrid, a privately held company based in Boulder, Colo., has today unveiled the Precog.io platform that enables developers to rapidly build big data applications without dealing with low-level big data challenges. As part of this launch, ReportGrid will be phasing out the ReportGrid name and has rebranded the company as Precog. Positioned as the Heroku for data-driven apps, the Precog platform offers an end-to-end solution for programmatic big data analysis: from capture and storage, to cleaning and enrichment, to deep analysis designed to power intelligent, insightful features inside applications. Precog can be used to power any application that needs big data analytics, including business intelligence tools. Precog is releasing an open source distribution of their technology, including a next-generation query language called Quirrel, which allows developers to work with big data at a higher level rather than low-level MapReduce jobs. The Precog platform will also include an add-on marketplace for third-party software, which can be used to design, clean, enrich, or annotate big data. Precog is actively seeking partners to develop such offerings.

ReportGrid, a privately held company based in Boulder, Colo., has today unveiled the Precog.io platform that enables developers to rapidly build big data applications without dealing with low-level big data challenges. As part of this launch, ReportGrid will be phasing out the ReportGrid name and has rebranded the company as Precog.

Positioned as the Heroku for data-driven apps, the Precog platform offers an end-to-end solution for programmatic big data analysis: from capture and storage, to cleaning and enrichment, to deep analysis designed to power intelligent, insightful features inside applications. Precog can be used to power any application that needs big data analytics, including business intelligence tools.

"Big data is hard to get right," explained Chief Executive Officer John A. De Goes. "Developers need to learn Hadoop, Map Reduce, and a host of related technologies, all fraught with complexity. Precog offers a compelling alternative: Rather than dealing with the difficulties and intricacies of those technologies, developers can simply call our APIs and store their big data in our cloud environment. We handle all the 'big data magic' needed to efficiently store, process, and analyze big data, thereby delivering enormous savings in time, cost, and maintenance. Precog releases developers from the low-level details of their big data needs and let's them focus on functionality -- it's a natural evolution from Hadoop and other low-level technologies."

Data capture and storage is handled by PrecogDB, a shared-nothing, columnar, multi-structured data store designed specifically for high-end analytics, statistics, and predictive modeling. Precog's API makes it easy to load PrecogDB with data from third-party sources, including external APIs (Twitter, Facebook, SalesForce), CSV files, websites, and transactional data stored in existing databases (SQL, Hadoop, MongoDB).

Precog is releasing an open source distribution of PrecogDB later this year. "We believe in open source and open standards -- all of our engineers are major contributors to open source," De Goes said. Precog is also releasing open source client libraries designed to make it easier to use the Precog API.

PrecogDB has built-in support for a next-generation query language called Quirrel, designed specifically for analytics on large scale, multi-structured data sets. "Quirrel lets you stay focused at the level of intention, instead of getting bogged down in the time-intensive task of translating high-level analysis into a sequence of MapReduce jobs," De Goes explained. "We're proud to be able to contribute this open standard to the big data community. It's a game-changer."

The Precog platform's add-on marketplace offers third-party software designed to clean, enrich, or annotate data stored in PrecogDB. For example, one add-on performs named entity extraction and sentiment analysis on written text, while another enriches an email with demographic information, and still another cleans dirty or stale contact data. Together, such add-ons enable application developers to dramatically increase the value of their data with none of the traditional data integration and extract-transform-load complexities. "We welcome conversations with developers who wish to offer such add-ons, and we are crafting a developer relations program to support third parties who wish to contribute or monetize their offerings," De Goes noted.

The Precog platform is currently in private alpha, and moves to private beta at the end of March, with public beta and wide launch expected to follow in June and July.

Current customers on the Precog platform include SnapEngage, FlixMaster, and ThinkNear, which all use Precog to power real-time analytics and statistics inside their SaaS offerings.

"We have spent the last year developing this technology, and have successfully tackled reporting as a first challenge to solve. We have now generalized the solution beyond just reporting, hence we are rebranding our company from ReportGrid to Precog.io," said John De Goes, CEO.

ABOUT PRECOG

Precog is an evolution of ReportGrid, a graduate of the 2011 TechStars Boulder incubator, and is headquartered in Boulder. Precog's engineering team includes experts in big data, analytics, and machine learning, book authors, major open source contributors, speakers, and language developers. The company is funded by Launch Capital, Doug Derwin, Walt Winshall, David Cohen, Ed Roman, and other angels, and is expected to announce closing of Series A funding before May. Press may direct their inquiries to contact(at)precog(dot)io.

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John A. De Goes
Precog
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