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Junar gets $1.2M to make open data more useful

Junar gets $1.2M to make open data more useful

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Published by Crowdsourcing.org

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on May 29, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Junar gets $1.2M to make open datamore useful
By:Barb Darrow May. 29, 2012
With more governmentagencies, NGOs, businesses andacademic institutions making theirinformation public, the data
floodgates are opening. Now what’s
needed are better tools to cull that
 and present it in a
meaningful way. That’s the problem
Junar will attack with $1.2 million inseed money fromAurus, Austral Capital as well as unnamed angelinvestors from the U.S. and LatinAmerica.The open data movement holds that much of the information garneredusing public funds should be freely accessible to interested parties aslong as what they do with that information is also made available toeveryone. Organizations that are opening up at least some of their data
include NASDAQ, the New York Stock Exchange, the UK’s
data.gov.uk, and Data.gov.
“A ton of data has been opened up by governments, think tanks,
academia, NGOs
it’s an iceberg of data,” said Junar CEO Diego May
in an interview last week. The issue is finding the right ways to look atthat data to attack real-world problems. Open data projects have grownaroundgenomic data,other public and privatehealth data,even around food data.
“Many organizations are opening their data up to be more tr 
ansparent, to
foster collaboration, to help innovation … Many put out HTML tables or PDFs on their web sites, but they do a crappy job and it’s not really their fault. The tools [for really good visualization] are lacking,” May said.
Junar’s Open Data Plat
form promises to make it easier for users to findthe right data (regardless of its underlying format); enhance it withanalytics; publish it; enable interaction with comments and annotation;and generate reports. Throughout the process it also lets user managethe workflow and track who has accessed and downloaded what,determine which data sets are getting the most traction etc.
The most direct competitors to Junar’s software as a service are
Tableau andGoogle visualization tools, and Socrata but those products focus on the display/visualization piece of the solution, not all the othercomponents, May said.Junar, founded in 2010 in Chile but transplanted last year to Palo Alto,Calif., says its differentiator is that it offers an end-to-end SaaS solutionto data discovery, analytics, visualization, and reporting. Some 200agencies and other entities have used an early version of the product inthe past a few months, and the company is opening up access to anyonewanting to try it out as of Tuesday. Fees for the service starts at $290 permonth and depends on the amount of data accessed and varies by typesof data sets generated.

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