Yandex is upgrading the significance of its big data business by assigning its current general director of Yandex.Money, Yevgeniya Zavalishina, to a new international big data project, Vedomosti reported.
Big data companies collect and analyze databases whose size exceeds traditional methods of analysis.
Maria Gracheva will take Zavalishina's place as general director of Yandex.Money. Gracheva was previously the business development director at Yandex Money.
If Yandex decides to seriously pursue big data, there is a good chance that Russia that will enter the international big-data market, said Sergei Matsotsky, vice president at IBS Group.
Although companies like Palantir and Pivotal exclusively focus on big data, Internet companies like Google and Amazon also provide big data services. The big data industry has an annual growth of 58 percent and 2013 revenues of $18.6 billion, Forbes reported in February.
Yandex first ventured into big data processing in 2012, when it paid $1 million for a 25 percent stake of Seismotech, a big data company specializing in gas exploration and scientific research.
Yandex has already made millions on big data projects with several companies, Yandex's founder Arkady Volozh said in a February interview with Company Secrets magazine. Volozh said that Yandex helped a mobile company predict which customers were most likely to change providers. Big data was also used to help a bank interested in reducing the number of ATMs that reject bank cards. Russian oil company Rosneft and Norwegian oil company Statoil have recently requested Yandex's services on big data projects, Volozh said.
Although Yandex's share of the big data market is still small, Volozh said that "our partners have a constant need for computing solutions, and we have offered them our range of services." Yandex has previously worked with mobile companies MegaFon and MTS on projects unrelated to big data.
Yandex is Russia's leading search engine and had 2013 net earnings of 13.5 billion rubles ($378 million).