Featured Startup: PreCog

Leading developer of infrastructure for data warehousing and analysis Precog has recently announced the open beta launch of their Precog platform. Aimed primarily towards data scientists and developers, the new platform takes advantage of big data platforms’ inherent scalability and the sheer number-crunching capabilities of statistical tools, resulting in big data application building minus the hassle and complexities found in infrastructure development and maintenance. Data scientists, on the other hand, will be able to collate, analyze, and model staggering amounts of data without the need for a separate ETL process into small-data statistical tools.

How PreCog Addresses the Challenges of Big Data

One of PreCog’s main selling points is that they make it easier for companies to inquire about their data. This may seem simple in writing, but being unable to access their own data is actually one of the stumbling blocks that prevent a lot of companies from taking advantage of big data. For starters, hiring data scientists can be hard and expensive, while the IT department may not have enough budget to deploy a full on-premise infrastructure, with their developers lacking the necessary skillsets for an effective deployment.

It’s one of the problems plaguing big data: companies have been told time and again that the data they can collect will provide valuable insights into their operations, businesses, and customers – but they can’t afford to get said data, and rarely know how to take advantage of it even if they do.

According to PreCog CEO John De Goes, they allow companies to delve into their own data and ask very deep statistical questions easily, requiring no big data infrastructure or complex tools, which can be cumbersome more often than not.

PreCog’s Use for Developers

PreCog provides developers with an easy to use API that will package analysis into applications and load data from various social networks, like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, and enterprise apps like Salesforce.com They also provide support for transactional data stored in various databases like Hadoop, MongoDB, and SQL.

Similar to other big data startups like Sqrrl, Continuuity, and Splunk, PreCog’s platform is based on the cloud. They also recently launched a tool called LabCoat, which is a front end analysis tool, and an app layer reporting tool called ReportGrid.

PreCog’s Biggest Challenge

Since their private beta launch back in May, the biggest challenge for the company is finding technical talent. De Goes admits that their vision of redefining data capture, storage, and analysis is a huge challenge from an engineering standpoint.


In spite of the challenge they face in hiring more capable technical minds, PreCog is already off to a good start, as they already have eight customers using their product. One of the early adopters is the online sales and support provider SnapEngage, which is using PreCog in order to capture thousands of interactions per second, which they then use to provide insight into the effects of the support process when it comes to retention and conversion.

PreCog’s Current Status

PreCog is certainly one of the companies to watch out for as it makes its mark in Boulder, Colorado, which is a region that boasts of a budding tech community. The company’s founder, De Goes, graduated from Tech Stars just last year, but has already raised funding from previous enterprise startups. PreCog itself already managed to secure $2 million in venture financing led by RTP Ventures, and is expected to raise it further in the second round of funding.

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