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Analytics specialist Saama raises $35 million, unfurls industry solutions

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Saama Technologies isn’t exactly a new company. Profitable virtually since its inception in 1997, the services firm has handled custom business analytics projects for the likes of Unilever, Novartis, and Google.

Now, the 700-person company has raised $35 million in Series A funding to turn that expertise into a series of prepackaged offerings focused on specific industry sectors. First up: healthcare, life sciences, insurance, and consumer packaged goods.

“Many organizations have invested heavily in big data infrastructure. How do they get results out of this? We’re focused on the last-mile effort, on business outcomes,” said Saama founder and CEO Suresh Katta, a former engineer with Silicon Graphics.

Saama’s emerging software portfolio includes Fluid Analytics, which overlays a company’s existing data management technology, and Ready Analytics, prepackaged offerings intended to dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to get an analytics project up and running. Roughly 70% of each solution is prebaked; the rest requires integration work specific to the client company.

In healthcare, for example, Saama created specific applications for gauging patient sentiment and analyzing the effectiveness of certain clinical decisions so hospitals and clinics can make better decisions about where to allocate research money.

Carrick Capital Partners led the minority financing; partner Marc McMorris is joining Saama’s board. “At Carrick, we believe that effective analytics requires both software and services capabilities and that the most successful companies will have a great combined offering,” McMorris said. “Saama exemplifies this hybrid delivery that we see as critical to the fast-moving Big Data solutions space.”

IBM is also talking up industry-specific analytics services as a means of speeding operational insights. Its initial solutions are focused on banks, retailers, wealth management firms, oil and gas companies, and the media and entertainment sector.

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