Palantir, the big data miner that provides services to the FBI, CIA, and many Wall Street firms, is looking like a rocket ship these days. The company is expected to announced a new round of funding this week that will value the company at $9 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports. That's a 50 percent increase from September, when Palantir was valued at $6 billion.

What accounts for the company's fast ascent? Some skeptics say it's the frothy funding environment where Dropbox is aiming for an $8 billion valuation and Pinterest is looking at a $3.8 billion one. However, Palantir's ability to cross-reference large sets of data is increasingly crucial as large caches of data become more and more common.

Most companies would have a public offering at this stage, but Palantir is opting to remain private. Its investors include Peter Thiel of PayPal fame and In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm established by the CIA.