The big business version of ‘Just Google it’

October 23, 2014, 4:43 PM UTC
Kyle Bean for Fortune

In the rush to simplify business intelligence, some software companies sidestep IT compliance and access control considerations. ThoughtSpot, an enterprise technology startup, seeks to harmonize that disconnect.

The founding team’s central vision? Bring the simplicity of consumer technologies to the process of finding relevant business data.

“While BI served the enterprise well over the past three decades, the needs of users have changed tremendously,” says Ajeet Singh, the company’s co-founder and chief executive. “The future belongs to search, and ThoughtSpot is excited to bring a solution to market that answers this challenge.”

The company certainly has the technical chops to pull this off. Its employees have experience at companies such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and Yahoo. More recently, several senior executives started Nutanix, an enterprise storage company poised to make an initial public offering in 2015. So far, the company is backed by $40.7 million in funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners and Khosla Ventures.

ThoughtSpot’s technology is packaged in what it calls the Relational Search Appliance, a combination of hardware and software that processes information from a company’s existing data warehouses, spreadsheets, Hadoop data clusters, and other relevant applications. It doesn’t matter where they are located, and it takes a matter of hours or days to set up, according to Singh. Pricing for the technology starts around $149,000.

The interface looks similar to ones used to query consumer search engines. But behind the scenes, a company’s IT organization can tightly control who sees what—limiting the results according to what division an employee works for, his or her level of authority within the organization, or by geography.

The business development team for accounting firm Andersen Tax already uses ThoughtSpot’s appliance to identify and prioritize sales prospects. “We were looking for a product that could be deployed to all users without any training required,” says Megan Williams, the company’s director of marketing.

This item first appeared in the Oct. 23 edition of Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily newsletter on the business of technology. Sign up here.