Social Media has shifted the way we use and see the Internet in many ways. In fact, Social Media is the main reason for many users to connect to Internet, and has been a great contributor to the rise of the Mobile Web. Social Media has changed the way information is generated, democratizing the generation and consumption of information, and along the way, it’s radically changed the way Web Information Systems works. Most Internet based companies now need to manage such amount of information that overwhelms their previous technological infrastructure.
And then Big Data and NoSQL trends appears on the market, and everything changes, because knowledge is money, in fact, for most startups, knowledge is its core value. Knowledge about their users behavior, about news trends, about relationships among users, or whatever piece of information you may be able to collect from your web application. Knowledge is what Facebook “sells” to their customers (brans that want to show their ads to a specific segment of Facebook users). Knowledge is what Jason Goldbeg (Fab.com founder) sold to their potential investors in order to raise a $40 million round. And knowledge is what Twitter has been collecting and analyzing in order to increase its market value prior to develop a working business model.
We are now in the Internet’s Knowledge era, because for any Web application, knowledge is key. And for generating knowledge, we need to process information, gathered by collecting data. So we need solutions that allow us to collect, manage and explode, vast amounts of data. And that’s why Big Data is now everywhere, from Social Media to eCommerce, everything is (or will be real soon) powered by Big Data applications, and that’s why the figure of Data Scientist has become a buzzword in the startup arena.
Venture firms invested a total of $1.1 billion in 2009, $1.53 billion in 2010 and $2.47 billion in 2011, in fields around big data, such as data processing or database management systems. That’s a lot of money, and will be increased in the next years, opening a lot of opportunities for new startups and business ideas. Big Data companies like Mu Sigma, has been able to secure more than $100 million in a recent investment round, a quantity not so common for non business-to-consumer startups.
So Data is becoming the new sexy, because for many B2C startups, analyze the data generated by their customers is their only chance to develop a solid business model, and for most B2B companies, Data is the way to optimize their processes and be more competitive. And for Venture Capitalists, Data is THE opportunity, because Big Data is going to be everywhere, integrated within any company as a Data Layer among any of their processes.