metaLayer bills itself as the “photoshop for data”, allowing users to create sophisticated mash-ups of big data sets by simply dragging and dropping any type of structured or unstructured data such as feeds, image galleries, documents and Twitter accounts.

The result is the ability to create complex workflows and contrast datasets with charts and graphs, which metaLayer co-founder Jonathan D. Gosier hopes will be helpful to journalists, data analysts and NGOs who don’t have the staff or resources to pay for expensive data analysis products.

 “Information drives every aspect of business and existing big data solutions price out all but the largest companies. We give companies access to powerful visualization and algorithmic tools, making analysis intuitive and more affordable,” says Gosier, an entrepreneur, blogger, designer and a TED Fellow.

Prior to metaLayer, Gosier founded the East African software development firm Appfrica and worked with the open-source disaster response organization Ushahidi, building an algorithm for verifying the accuracy of real-time information for which he won the Knight News Challenge. Working with his co-founder Matthew Griffins, whom he met in Eastern Africa in 2010, Gosier says they were inspired by the interactive feed aggregator Yahoo! Pipes, which just “overcomplicated things”.

The two are currently wrapping up their 3 months at the DreamIt Ventures accelerator program in Philadelphia and are planning to pitch their product to investors at the end of this month. Watch this video here for a short demo of their beta product:

While metaLayer was accepted into several incubators in Europe (Griffins is British), the two chose DreamIt Ventures to be geographically located between D.C. (where Gosier is based) and New York City’s thriving tech scene, where the team may eventually move. So far, they’ve created the metaLayer Dashboard, which is in private beta and the imgLayer API & dataLayer API, which are available now here.

I was able to take a peak at the metaLayer dashboard, and while we can’t give you beta access just yet, we will as soon as it’s ready towards the end of this month. The UI looks just like a social media analytics dashboard with resizable boxes. Features include sentiment Analysis, Tagging (auto-categorization), Export (to JSON, Excel or CSV), Color Extraction, OCR (extract text from photos), and various data visualizations. Check out the screen shots below for what the product will look like and stay tuned for more news from metaLayer.

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Featured image: Shutterstock/Neo Edmund