If you’ve ever wondered what big data means at an individual level, this realization about sums it up: “I could either keep dying my hair or retire a year earlier.” It’s those types of realizations Intuit hopes its heavy big data use will help uncover.
We live in a big data world, full of complex algorithms among any type of information one can imagine. Gaining the skills to work with it requires a lot work, however — and the first step in changing that might be realizing that data can be fun.
British startup Fizzback, which has won much praise for its popular customer service software, has been bought by a larger Israeli rival for $80 million. But investors seem to think the business had more in the tank. So was the founder right to sell?
Here’s how much drivers across the U.S. have been spending on average to fill up their tanks per month, courtesy of online banking web startup Mint.com. Folks in Silicon Valley are spending the most, while New Yorkers spend the least.
Simplee is looking to bring a Mint.com-like approach to health care expense management with a free service that lets people understand their plans, what they’re paying for and how they can optimize their coverage. The service is now available to the public today.
Is the Foursquare, Twitter, or Mint.com of real time energy data just around the corner? GridGlo, a year-old startup working on combining energy data with other big data sets, launched on Wednesday, with a plan to sell apps around energy info to utilities.
Popular financial service Mint extended its mobile support to the Android platform this week, and SlingPlayer Mobile also entered into a private beta for Android handsets. Meanwhile, a touch tablet running atop the OS is being readied for market by Nigeria-based Encipher.
Bundle.com launched this week a data visualization site for personal spending. The company, founded last June with funding from strategic investors Citigroup, Microsoft and Morningstar, helps users understand how they match up to others in their demographics and locations with regards to monthly household expenditures.
Intuit said today it’s spending $170 million to acquire Mint.com, a site that helps people manage their personal finances through budgeting and spending trackers, among other features. Mint has around a million users and has amassed a treasure trove of data on their historical spending and financial habits — data which is worth a fortune in the right hands, and which Mint has thus far stored but ignored. Read More about Why Buying Mint Makes Sense For Intuit
For those curious about their carbon footprint, basic carbon calculators abound across the web, but none have really been all that successful or effective. The Almanac, a New York-based startup that presented at our Green:Net conference last week, thinks it can do better using a more automated and holistic approach. While most carbon calculators rely on users’ own estimates and require them to enter all their own carbon footprint information, the Almanac is developing what it describes as a Mint.com of carbon emissions.
The Almanac is working on a set of tools that will tap into users’ electric bills and credit-card statements to create an automatic carbon consumption log based on the products users buy, including gasoline and airline tickets. Users will also be able to add more data, but the idea is to garner as much objective information as possible without users having to do anything after they’ve added the accounts they want included.
The purpose is to make the process as easy as possible for users and to also extract carbon data info from hard to quantify areas. “How are you going to regulate thousands of actions whose impacts on the environment aren’t even clear to you?” asks Jonah Bloch-Johnson, a co-founder of The Almanac. “It’s too complex, too complicated.”
Read More about The Almanac: A More Holistic Approach to Carbon Calculation