This analytics startup just emerged from stealth to help SMBs get a grip on unstructured data

'No data scientist needed,' it says

It's hard enough for companies to tame the masses of structured data now coming their way at top speed each day, but unstructured data -- the kind that doesn't fit tidily into traditional spreadsheets or databases -- is an even bigger challenge. That's typically the domain of expert users in large enterprises equipped with high-end software, and it's also where Taste Analytics has set its sights.

Taste Analytics emerged from stealth on Thursday with the launch of Signals, a new textual analytics tool it says can help users in businesses of any size crunch a wide variety of data without having to rely on highly trained data scientists or IT experts for help.

Aimed at marketers, business analysts and customer-care teams, for example, Signals is designed to process large volumes of unstructured and structured textual data from sources including emails, chat sessions, text files from Word and Evernote, blog posts, app reviews, social media and more.

The cloud-based tool's dashboard offers drag-and-drop data importing and drill-down options such as temporal trends, category overview, or buzzword and geospatial analysis. The Taste Analytics Signals platform taps technology such as predictive modeling, machine learning and robust statistical natural language processing algorithms to create visualizations of behavior communities, trends, patterns and outlying themes.

In all of that, the idea is to help business users quickly visualize key patterns and behaviors so they can better anticipate and refine strategies and best practices in real-time.

Taste Analytics has been operating the new platform in limited commercial deployments in several companies and government agencies over the past year. The tool requires no complex IT integration, and can be accessed from anywhere, it said. Pay-as-you-go pricing and monthly subscriptions are available.

Of course, Taste Analytics is by no means the only company trying to put data and analytics within closer reach for nonexpert users. Numerous others have also come out with user-friendly tools in recent months, including SAP, Oracle, MemSQL, AtScale and Arcadia Data.

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Katherine Noyes

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