A well-funded start-up out of Stanford University is attempting to revolutionize the way data is analyzed. The result, if successful, could be akin to the Gutenberg printing press or the electronic calculator, innovative technologies that put hitherto arcane skills in the hands of the masses.

In this case the technology is topological data analysis made available by Palo Alto-based Ayasdi and its Insights Discovery platform. The goal is to enable ordinary business users without specialized training to analyze and discover meaningful patterns in very large, complex data sets.

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