Knock me over with a feather.

Advance/Newhouse, an affiliate of private media company Advance Publications, just bought 1010data — a company Gartner rated as a “Challenger” in its most recent Magic Quadrant for Data Management Analytics.

Advance operates Conde Nast magazines (think New Yorker, Wired, Vanity Fair), cable company Bright House networks, American Business Journals and local media companies offering 30 newspapers and 12 websites.

A Natural Fit?

Well, it’s certainly not the $500 million exit we would have predicted for 1010data.

A purchase by a leading analytics or data warehouse provider like Teradata, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, HP or even Actian might have been more likely bets.

And though 1010data co-founder and CEO Sandy Steier told us several tech companies considered its acquisition, Advance/Newhouse was the best choice.

Not only for the money it seems, but also for the wins it produces for 1010data’s employees, all 150 of who are expected to remain on board. Steier also said that 1010data’s customers are unlikely to feel the pains of change

1010data’s competitors, on the other hand, might notice a difference as it raises its customer acquisition play.

Money to Grow On

Until now, much of the company’s growth has been organic, meaning it continuously reinvested the money it made, which limited its ability to spend, Steier said.

“Now we’ll have the capital we need to continue to grow,” he said. This should materialize as investments in sales and marketing, and in growing channel partners.

“Our technology is at a point where we can do more with it."

Business Essentials

Nomi Bergman, president of Advance’s cable television affiliate, Bright House Networks, will sit on 1010data’s board. In her mind, data and analytics platforms will become a core building block of all businesses.

“The opportunities that lie ahead for 1010data are boundless,” she said. Advance’s deep pockets will provide the resources it needs to “capitalize on all of them.”

Holger Mueller, an analyst with Constellation Research, told me he, too, found it interesting to see a media company jumping into the big data fray.

“Though it looks like a capital injection at this point, only the future will tell if there is not more of a use case for Advance,” he said, noting that 1010data customers will  likely  appreciate that the current management team remains on board and has a stake in the venture, which delivers 'skin in the game' going forward”.

Is this a big deal?

That of course, depends on who you are.

There’s certainly one thing worth noting: the only vendors in Gartner’s Data Warehousing and Analytics Leaders MQ are well capitalized multibillion dollar firms.

1010data may now have the capital it needs to provide customers with a more complete vision, which is all that kept it from being rated as a Leader.