Talent Neuron just tip of India's analytics iceberg

Talent Neuron's acquisition is the harbinger of what's to come in the analytics space in India.

The art and craft of crunching numbers has quickly become one of the next big revelations for not just large, consumer-facing companies that are anxious to figure out what their customers are saying and thinking, but also for tech startups eager to cash in on this wave.

A lot of that action is beginning to take place in India, with larger foreign companies in the Big Data and Analytics sectors on the hunt for choice acquisitions here, while VCs continue to scour the terrain for good investments.

Just a few days ago, Talent Neuron, a Bangalore cloud-based talent analytics platform that produces a planning and management solution using big data principles and methodologies, got acquired by Arlington-headquartered member-based advisory company CEB. The company was incubated by Bangalore-based global advisory firm Zinnov for $15, according to TechCrunch.

Talent Neuron could become critical to HR heads and their teams who need to make savvy decisions about acquiring specialized talent within their own functions. Website StartupCentral offers the example of a CIO who, when assembling a network operations center, could leverage TalentNeuron to figure out where the most appropriate collection of talent exists and what its attributes are.

"We've long prescribed that companies must apply the same rigor to managing their people as they do their balance sheet," said Tom Monahan, CEB chairman and CEO in StartupCentral's piece. "With the addition of Talent Neuron, we're helping our members bridge the gap between talent outcomes and business outcomes by equipping them with the missing link — trusted employee and market data."

Fractal Analytics is another star in this field, and is quickly becoming the go-to choice for many global consumer companies, such as P&G and AIG. Its Rs 150 crore revenue ($25 million) may not seem like much today, but according to this Forbes article, the global head of insurance major AIG thought it important enough to fly down in his private jet to Mumbai for a five-hour meeting with it. Boston-based private equity firm TA Associates plonked down Rs 150 crore ($25 million) on Fractal in June last year.

As the Forbes article describes, Fractal built the first statistical consumer credit risk scorecard in India as a pilot project for ICICI, India's second-largest private bank using mathematical models over 15 years ago and has never looked back.

With the country overflowing with engineers and quant jocks, look for more Fractals and TalentNeurons to emerge out of the woodwork here in the near future.