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Twitter Buys Big Data Analytics Startup Lucky Sort

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Posted May 14, 2013 By Pedro Hernandez     Feedback

Another Big Data startup gets swept up by an industry bigwig. This time social media giant Twitter comes calling.

Enterprise software and services providers aren't the only ones snapping up Big Data analytics startups.

Twitter made news on May 13 by acquiring Lucky Sort, a Portland, Ore.-based Big Data analytics and visualization firm. Lucky Sort CEO Noah Pepper announced the news on his company's now-defunct website. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Lucky Sort specializes in turning Big Data-driven insights into easy-to-digest charts and graphs. "Our goal was to make huge document sets easier to analyze, summarize and visualize by building elegant and user friendly tools for text analysis," wrote Pepper.

The company's cloud-based, natural language processing platform offered customers the TopicWatch API, the TopicWatchr R package and TopicWatch Studio for Web, which enabled developers and analysts to generate and explore data using the company's charting and graphing technologies. Lucky Sort also offered data import and secure, encrypted Web services.

A quick glance at, Lucky Sort's founder's blog, offers a big clue as to why Twitter approached the startup with checkbook in hand.

Post after post offers insights into what Twitter users are discussing. Examples include the top, non-retweeted Super Bowl ad hashtags, sentiment analysis on Apple's stock or a look into smartphone trends.

Twitter has yet to announce plans for Lucky Sort's IP, but Pepper's statement hinted that it will be brought in-house. Current customers may be forced to look elsewhere. "We'll be helping current customers transition off our system in the coming months such that we can focus fully on our future at Twitter," he wrote.

While it seems that hardly a week goes by before an IT behemoth goes shopping for a Big Data startup -- IBM in particular -- Twitter has been keeping the acquisition train steaming ahead.

The Lucky Sort deal follows just days after the social media heavyweight giant acquired Big Data and large scale computing company Ubalo on May 9. "We hide the details of the computers, environments, and messaging, so our users can worry much less about integration and scaling and instead write just the code they need for their analysis or processing," boasted the firm.

A note from founders Jacob Mattingley and Ian Downes signaled that Ubalo's technology will play a role in Twitter's data centers. "When we met the infrastructure folks at Twitter, we realized that it's a company with brilliant people, strong momentum, exciting challenges and a promising future," they wrote.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Enterprise Apps Today and Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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