In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the US intelligence community, has taken a stake in Paxata, a developer of "adaptive data preparation" technology. Paxata's platform can import multiple data sets, regardless of format, and create a single answer set that removes duplications automatically.
"Paxata's technology enables users to break through the data preparation bottlenecks that have prolonged the analytic processes for decades," T.J. Rylander, IQT's investment team partner, said in a press release announcing the deal. The company's product offers government analysts a way to create cleaner answer sets and "accelerate accurate insight," he explained.
The platform includes analytical tools that anyone can master, according to Prakash Nanduri, Paxata's co-founder and CEO. "We're using extremely complex and complicated technologies, delivering very easy-to-use solutions," Nanduri said.
[Looking for savvier data analysts? Read Big Data Hiring: 5 Facts From The Field.]
Analysts, whether in the commercial world or government agencies, have a lot of domain expertise and a lot of institutional knowledge, Nanduri said. "[But] what they've struggled with is the hard, boring manual work that takes too much time. If they can relieve themselves of that manual work," he pointed out, "they can do more [value-added analysis]."
Besides providing the ability to combine and clean data sets from disparate sources and analytical tools to turn the information into knowledge, the platform tracks data lineage and provides data set sharing, allowing several people to work with the answer set at the same time.
Paxata also provides full governance. By setting standards for different groups of people, it's possible to ensure each group only has access to the portion it's authorized to see. This provides efficiency and also compliance, Nanduri said.
The platform is cloud-based, enabling sharing and storage of massive quantities of data. Paxata's customers include Dannon, UBS, and Box.
Over the past year In-Q-Tel has invested in other companies with cloud-based technologies and data-sharing capabilities. The firm looks for promising commercial technologies that may have particular applicability in the intelligence community. Generally, IQT enters into a partnership with each company that may allow it to either suggest particular product developments of interest to its unique needs or give the small company an infusion of capital to continue its work.
Paxata's Nanduri declined to discuss any details of the arrangement with IQT, but he confirmed that it falls within this kind of partnership arrangement.
You can use distributed databases without putting your company's crown jewels at risk. Here's how. Also in the Data Scatter issue of InformationWeek: A wild-card team member with a different skill set can help provide an outside perspective that might turn big data into business innovation. (Free registration required.)Washington-based Patience Wait contributes articles about government IT to InformationWeek. View Full Bio