“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 5/16/2016

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Above the Trend Line: machine learning industry rumor central, is a recurring feature of insideAI News. In this column, we present a variety of short time-critical news items such as people movements, funding news, financial results, industry alignments, rumors and general scuttlebutt floating around the big data, data science and machine learning industries including behind-the-scenes anecdotes and curious buzz. Our intent is to provide our readers a one-stop source of late-breaking news to help keep you abreast of this fast-paced ecosystem. We’re working hard on your behalf with our extensive vendor network to give you all the latest happenings. Heard of something yourself? Tell us! Just e-mail me at: daniel@insideAINews.com.  Be sure to Tweet Above the Trend Line articles using the hashtag: #abovethetrendline.

In a manner reminiscent of HBO’s “Silicon Valley”, another industry alignment has Accenture revealing its acquisition of OPS Rules, a boutique analytics consulting company that specializes in the application of data science to create supply chain and operations analytics. Through this acquisition, Accenture is expanding its machine learning and operations analytics capabilities, developing fresh and innovative analytics approaches for clients across many different sectors. OPS Rules is led by David Simchi-Levi, a Professor of Engineering Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and renowned supply chain and operations analytics expert. Simchi-Levi and his team will join Accenture Analytics, part of Accenture Digital, and will also be a part of Accenture’s Data Science Center of Excellence … In a use case involving two companies with names that could only grow out of tech, Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK), provider of a leading software platform for real-time Operational Intelligence, announced that Zillow Group, which houses a portfolio of the largest and most vibrant real estate and home-related brands on the Web and mobile, has standardized on Splunk® Enterprise across its various brands to help improve the overall customer experience. Zillow has been steadily expanding its use of Splunk Enterprise over several years from IT operations and application delivery to DevOps and business analytics. The company will now use Splunk Cloud across additional Zillow Group-owned brands including Trulia® and Retsly®. Splunk solutions are used by hundreds of people on diverse teams at Zillow including engineering, IT operations, development, customer care and mobile … Just how cool is it to be on this list? Gartner, Inc., a leading global independent IT research and advisory company, has released this year’s list of Cool Vendors for Information Innovation and Governance, published April 29th. Kazoup, which offers an elegant yet powerful solution to managing masses of unstructured dark data, was recognized among only five technology providers in 2016. According to Gartner’s research, data is central to every decision, analytic and process in an organization, yet chief data officers are struggling with information governance and innovation. Gartner’s report explains that “Organizations continue to struggle to govern their master data because the effort required to change existing practices is daunting and costly…There is a dearth of effective unstructured dark data management capabilities and a lack of appetite for expensive solutions. Organizations are looking for simplistic and need-based management of this older data” … In a field sounding a lot like “Psychohistory” in Asimov’s Foundation series, Keyrus, an international player in Data Intelligence, Digital Experience and Management and Transformation, is pleased to announce a Group agreement to work with the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre and integrate its Apply Magic Sauce API. Marc Stukkens, Executive VP Northern Europe at Keyrus, comments, “Keyrus maintains close links with the academic world. These structural relationships are an integral part of our innovation strategy. In the field of data sciences, after having sponsored the “Data Scientist” chair created by the Ecole polytechnique of Paris, Keyrus is very proud to announce its international collaboration with the Psychometrics Centre of the University of Cambridge, pioneers in this specific area. This research will prove effective in enriching the insights we provide to our clients.’’ This API is a uniquely powerful trait prediction engine, giving access to accurate and ethical prognoses of psycho-demographic variables at the level of the individual … In what could become the world’s first sentient database, MarkLogic, a leading database provider, will integrate Expert System’s Cogito multilingual cognitive technology allowing MarkLogic® database users the ability to add cognitive capabilities to their information applications. This will allow users to make sense of their data with smarter information management workflows, thus creating a competitive advantage … Instead of skimming through the daily racing form before madly rushing the tellers with Kentucky Derby bets, Nutonian turned to their A.I.-powered modeling engine, Eureqa, to automatically build, evaluate, and analyze billions of models to discover the most predictive factors. In the end, Eureqa successfully predicted the #1 winner (Nyquist) and picked four of the five correct horses for the top five winners. Even more exciting, Nutonian data scientist Jay Schuren won $3,000 from a $5 bet based on the AI predictions … As another feather in the open source software cap, ODPi, a nonprofit organization accelerating the open ecosystem of big data solutions, revealed that it is a gold sponsor of The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of more than 350 open source projects and initiatives. ODPi joins existing ASF sponsors Pivotal, IBM, WANDisco, and Hortonworks, who are also ODPi members, in the industry effort to advance open source projects for the big data ecosystem … Realizing the importance of data prep for data analytics far and wide, Datawatch Corporation (NASDAQ-CM: DWCH) announced that Softmart, a leading solution providers, will make Datawatch Monarch available to its more than 75,000 customers across the globe. Datawatch Monarch is Datawatch’s premier self-service data preparation (prep) solution, which enables business users to rapidly access, manipulate, blend and prepare data from virtually any source … Adaptive Insights, a leader in cloud corporate performance management (CPM), announced it has shaken up its C-suite with the appointment of Bhaskar Himatsingka as chief product officer (CPO), building on significant product and customer milestones. Part of a continued executive team expansion announced earlier this year, Himatsingka brings world-class product strategy, development, and operations expertise to the Adaptive Insights’ product development team … Heard in a Morrisville back alley, Syncfusion, Inc., the developer solutions company, unveiled the release of a major update to the Syncfusion Dashboard Platform. The platform’s visuals have been constructed with an emphasis on modern design and mobile functionality. Dashboards created with the platform represent the current trends of 2016 and are perfectly at home on today’s devices. Development is easier, too, as Syncfusion’s powerful designer features superior drag-and-drop capability … Who knows, big data might just get us all past the next Presidential election with uplifting news from EY (formerly Ernst & Young) that published its Q1 technology M&A report which found that 7 of the 10 deal-driving trends were led by big data analytics (up 81% in YOY value and 72% in YOY volume). Overall, deal-making has “stabilized” following record-setting levels in 2015. In addition, the report found that the volume of deal-making in the following categories also had YOY increases: internet of things (up 22%), health care information technology (up 19%), cybersecurity (up 9%) and advertising and marketing (up 9%). These categories represent technologies that are disrupting non-tech industries like manufacturing, automotive, health care and media … Proving that the average business user isn’t afraid of killer AIs, Kore Inc., an SAP partner and emerging leader in the enterprise bots category, announced a new suite of bots that will help users to communicate more simply with business-critical systems running SAP® solutions through natural language, in the form of text and voice, on a variety of platforms including SAP Jam™, Skype, SMS, Amazon Echo and email. Kore’s Bots integrate with SAP solutions including SAP ERP, SAP S/4HANA, SuccessFactors®, Concur®, Ariba® and others through SAP HANA® Cloud Platform. Today, the average employee uses as many as 30 applications at work. Getting a job done requires toggling between multiple apps with distinct interfaces, in numerous places, which hurts productivity. Kore simplifies the way people work by naturally connecting them with the enterprise applications they already use from wherever they are communicating. How? With bots. Kore Bots connect smoothly with SAP solutions. With natural language users can receive alerts, get reports, execute direct actions and complete workflow tasks. Instead of wasting valuable time navigating disparate interfaces, users simply speak to, email or message their Kore Bots and the bot carries out a task for them … Proving that Pied Piper isn’t the only company being showered with VC funds, AtScale, Inc., the company providing business users with a fast and secure self-service BI platform for Hadoop, announced that it has raised a Series B round of $11M, bringing its total funding to date to $20M.  Led by Comcast Ventures, this round also saw the participation of UMC, AME Ventures as well as Storm Ventures and XSeed Capital … In an appointment to help ensure that more data becomes big data, Cloudian has named software-defined storage pioneer, Evan Powell, to its advisory board. Powell is a well-known entrepreneur, advisor, investor, founder and CEO of companies including StackStorm, Nexenta and Clarus Systems. He will support Cloudian as the company’s growth accelerates … Hush, want to  know how open source software will help shape tax policy in the near future? It’s a true example of how one of the pillars of open source (transparency) is being extended to other areas of business and government. The recently announced TaxBrain initiative enables policy makers AND the public to simulate and study the effects of tax policy reforms using open source economic models. No more secrets. For example, we can now plug elements of Donald Trump’s proposed tax policy into TaxBrain to get an idea of how it may perform in the real world. TaxBrain is built on Anaconda, the open data science platform from Continuum Analytics … Proving that quality analytics requires a brainiac at the engineering helm, Alteryx, Inc., a leader in self-service data analytics, announced that Jay Bourland has joined the company as its Senior Vice President of Engineering. He will be responsible for driving product engineering and quality, analytical applications and data, and continued product innovation. Jay holds a Ph.D. in applied mathematics, and worked for several years as an academic at the University of Washington, Stanford University, and Colorado State University. Prior to Alteryx, Jay was the Senior Vice President and General Manager, Customer Communications at Pitney Bowes Software where he led efforts to develop new technologies to enhance customer interactions … An example of bleeding-edge research, Numenta has launched a novel new project, a “living book” authored by Jeff Hawkins and members of the Numenta research and engineering team, which chronicles advances they are making in machine intelligence. The on-line book, which went live this week, is called Biological and Machine Intelligence (BAMI). It documents Numenta’s Hierarchical Temporal Memory (HTM) theoretical framework for both biological and machine intelligence. They call it a “living” book, because they are sharing their progress to-date on the components of the comprehensive theory – and because there’s still a lot more work to be done on HTM theory and additional chapters will be added and shared as they go. Just as they make all of their research and technology available in open source, they want to be transparent with this book as well, even well ahead of its completion.


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