This start-up aims to replace 40,000 worth of man hours with one click

Key Points
  • IDC predicts big data and business analytics will be a $203 billion market by 2020.
  • ThoughtSpot's new SpotIQ software automates the work of business analysts.
  • LightSpeed Venture Partners and Capital One Growth Ventures are among ThoughtSpot's investors in a new, $60 million round of venture funding.

Given a Cambrian explosion of digital data over the last decade, businesses are struggling to make sense of all the information in their possession and turn it into something comprehensible. On Thursday, a search start-up called ThoughtSpot revealed a new product called SpotIQ to automate that task.

SpotIQ employs artificial intelligence to create hundreds of insights from data in a company's cloud or on-premise storage systems. These include charts that are tailored to the interests of a particular worker, team or executive.

Normally, this work would take days and involve teams of business analysts, data scientists and graphic designers, said ThoughtSpot CEO Ajeet Singh. His company claims it can now do a job that would take 40,000 man hours in a single click, once its software is set up.

The first time a worker uses SpotIQ, the ThoughtSpot platform asks them to input a little bit of information about what they focus on at work, then to rate various charts, much like they would rate a song on a streaming music app.

Singh, who previously co-founded cloud computing company Nutanix, describes SpotIQ as something like Amazon recommendations for business intelligence. Customers who have been piloting the system already were able to rapidly identify anomalies in their business operations, and find easy ways to either save money, or increase the speed of delivery of goods, he said.

Corporations that use ThoughtSpot already include Bed Bath & Beyond, Capital One, Celebrity Cruises, DeBeers and Scotiabank among others.

Earlier this year, ThoughtSpot raised $60 million in new venture funding from LightSpeed Venture Partners and Capital One Growth Ventures, bringing its total capital raised to about $160 million in funding to date.

Singh said that money will go toward ongoing research and development, hiring, and international expansion. All ThoughtSpot users will have access to SpotIQ by the end of September. The company will not charge its users for the new feature.

ThoughSpot is competing against the likes of Microsoft Power BI and Tableau software for a piece of the massive big data and business analytics market. According to research from International Data Corp., worldwide revenue for big data and business analytics will surpass $203 billion by 2020.