“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 7/11/2016

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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.

For enterprise decision makers, we heard that Bigstep launched Bare-Metal Cloud for Big Data in the U.S. – Bigstep, the provider of a full-stack bare-metal cloud built for big data, announced its launch in the U.S. From its new Chicago-based data center and U.S. headquarters, Bigstep provides companies with the security and performance of a private bare-metal infrastructure, the self-service and on-demand scalability of the public cloud, and the versatility and convenience of an integrated stack of big data applications … Some Hadoop Summit alignments were creating buzz during the conference with Attivio, the Data Dexterity CompanyTM, announcing that the Attivio platform achieved certification on the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP®), and three additional product integration badges for governance, security, and YARN. Attivio is an early adopter of the Hortonworks Governance Ready program. With this certification, enterprises, especially those in financial services and manufacturing, can bring Attivio’s content analytics, entity analysis, and data source discovery closer to the data they need to run their business … Prowling the halls at Hadoop Summit we also heard that Alation, Inc., the collaborative data company, announced certification of its Alation platform with the Hortonworks Data Platform™ (HDP) and interoperability with Apache Tez™, the popular processing engine for Apache Hadoop™. Now analysts can more easily find and understand data in Hadoop using Alation for increased productivity and maximization of enterprise Hadoop investments … Distro leader MapR Technologies, Inc., provider of the Converged Data Platform, unveiled the MapR Converge Partners global program that will provide partners the technical and go-to-market resources necessary to jointly deliver outstanding customer experiences and address growing demand for the MapR Platform. The Converge Partners program focuses on nurturing alliances worldwide with select consultancies, platform and software providers, resellers, and distributors … SnapLogic, the unified data and application integration platform as a service (iPaaS), introduced  their new partner program, SnapLogic Partner Connect. The program is intended to recruit, retain and enable a rich, global ecosystem of technology,  services and reseller partners that help joint customers to accelerate adoption of big data technologies, software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications and cloud data management by accelerating integration and driving digital transformation in the enterprise.

On the machine learning research front, MIT’s new AI system that predicts human interactions (hug, kiss, handshake) via machine learning on shows like The Office is described HERE. We obtained the following insight/commentary on this research from Marco Varone, Founder and CTO of Expert System, a provider of cognitive computing technology:

This experiment represents a good scenario to apply machine learning because it uses a small set of input and possible output, so the investment in training is reasonable. It is important to note that real world scenarios are often more complex, such as the case in our sector of natural language understanding. Here, the costs and resources required are significantly higher and so is the complexity, requiring skills not always accessible to organizations. So we while we certainly welcome this research, the real use in the real world is still years away.”

We also heard some news from BigPanda, the company that uses data science to analyze massive volumes of IT alerts from fragmented clouds, applications and systems and turn them into actionable insights. It has launched new product updates and technology integrations which give Ops teams the ability to troubleshoot and maintain healthy infrastructure at scale. BigPanda’s platform now includes Unified Search and Incident Dashboards as well as new integrations with Atlassian JIRA Software, Splunk and Datadog.

A slew of new product features showered down onto the big data space last week starting with Pyze, the business intelligence platform enabling mobile app publishers of all sizes to maximize growth and personalize engagement, announcing the addition of two new features – loyalty and attrition management – to address the toughest challenges faced by the mobile app industry today: growing and retaining users. These new features allow mobile app publishers and marketers to create meaningful relationships with users based on automated, customizable interactions. They are included in the core Pyze Growth Intelligence platform, which is generally available free of charge – offering the same capabilities for which competing vendors charge thousands of dollars per month … Numenta, Inc., a leader in machine intelligence, unveiled the release of HTM Studio for anomaly detection, a desktop tool that makes it easy for businesses to experiment with advanced machine intelligence algorithms to uncover anomalies in their streaming data.  Simply add numeric, time-series data files to HTM Studio and with the click of a button, discover and visualize within minutes what anomalies can be found. HTM Studio is based on Numenta’s HTM (Hierarchical Temporal Memory) biologically inspired machine intelligence technology. HTM learns time-based patterns in unlabeled streaming data, making it ideal for prediction, classification and anomaly detection. Because of its ability to perform continuous, unsupervised learning, HTM can find subtle, temporal anomalies that other techniques cannot find … Nearly 15 years ago, the movie “Minority Report” predicted the future of advertising technology. Personalized content and messaging are quickly becoming a reality in the marketing world. It will change the way we interact with the brands we know and love. A new tech company, ADVIA Partners, launched its platform to deliver consumer experiences that are unlike anything we’ve seen before. Content that actually reasonates with individual consumers. They are helping brands and marketers deliver meaningful, one-to-one messages to increase engagement and sales. The cool thing about ADVIA’s technology is that it identifies the viewer and triggers the right content to engage them. For example, you may attend a sporting event with your kids and see a digital ad promoting the latest Disney or Pixar movie while standing in line at the concession stand. Once you step away, the ad changes to promote a rock concert to the three college students standing behind you … We also heard that Dimension Data and Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.) revealed significant enhancements to the big data cycling analytics platform that will deliver real-time information to viewers, commentators and teams at the 2016 Tour de France. Headlining the innovations is Race Center, a web-based application hosted on Dimension Data’s cloud platform and developed in partnership with A.S.O. that combines live race data, video, photographs, social media feeds, and race commentary which combines with a new live tracking website to give viewers an immersive digital experience that goes beyond the television coverage of the race. Race Center will become A.S.O.’s digital hub of the Tour de France going forward. And the Live Tracking website is testament to the evolution of Dimension Data’s real-time big data collection, analytics and digital platforms over the past 12 months. Viewers will be able to get far richer and more accurate information from each of the 198 riders in 22 teams, including speed, distance between riders, composition of the race pelotons, wind speed and direction, as well as prevailing weather conditions.

Surveying more than 400 data professionals, a new research study found that more than a third (37 percent) of respondents were dissatisfied with their ability to find relevant data and understand how to use it appropriately for BI and analytics. Not surprisingly, the study, published by TDWI and sponsored by Paxata, also determined that business and IT executives are under pressure to reduce the time required to achieve business insight. Here are some highlights from the study:

  • Manual data preparation burdens analyst resources. The majority of research respondents said that 61-80% of analysts’ time in their organizations is spent on manual data preparation processes. This has an impact on associated headcount costs by reducing total capacity for analytic projects.
  • Reliance on IT creates a drag on business responsiveness. Nearly 50% of analysts rely on IT for the first step of data preparation tasks. They report it takes IT six days to prepare data and 36% said it takes IT more than 1-2 weeks to fulfill a data preparation request. Weeks lost due to data preparation request backlogs means insights can come too late for organizations to achieve data driven status.
  • Too much time spend on data preparation re-work. Data preparation is primarily ad hoc, with most research participants reporting that they do ad hoc data preparation every single time, while only 4% said data preparation is entirely productionalized. Repetition of menial tasks taps analyst resources and holding onto tribal knowledge keeps understanding of the data from other analysts. Ultimately, massive value leaks occur as only small portions of data can be explored and analyzed or inconsistencies in data prep muddy insight.
  • Data quality continues to plague organizations. To make matters worse, 66% of the respondents were not fully satisfied with the quality of their data, and 94% of research participants are not very satisfied with processes for addressing data duplication.
  • IT data management services are insufficient for rich insight.  Almost half (45%) said IT only creates and maintains metadata models. These models tend to orient around integration and definitions that scale for common views. However, exploration and discovery performed by analysts requires an extended set of metadata and alternative data views to gain deeper business insight.

Big data also saw plenty of customer wins and use cases, starting with ProntoForms, a mobile data collection and analytics company, announcing that its customer, The Matworks, has leveraged ProntoForms Analytics to improve productivity and the customer experience. Applying business intelligence to its field operations, The Matworks has reduced customer calls for service by 75 percent … Rumor has it that Loop AI Labs, a leading provider of unsupervised cognitive computing technologies, was named by International Data Corporation (IDC) as a 2016 IDC Innovator in Machine Learning-Based Text Analytics. Loop AI Labs’ Cognitive Computing Platform works on principles inspired by the neocortex, the brain’s center for language and reasoning. Loop AI’s homegrown algorithms learn the underlying structure and concepts within each organization’s dark data. Unlike the competition, our appliance integrates hardware and software and does not require human guidance or labeling, domain-specific programming, pre-defined ontologies, or pre-defined dictionaries … MapR Technologies, Inc., revealed that TransUnion (NYSE:TRU), a global risk and information solutions provider, is using the MapR Converged Data Platform to power the initial product offerings in its new Prama analytics platform. TransUnion recently launched Prama, a new self-service environment with advanced analytics leveraging the MapR Platform and Apache Drill. Prama provides TransUnion’s customers with market insights and historical perspectives to make better decisions and operationalize those decisions more effectively. Drill’s interactive SQL engine combines with Tableau’s visualization layer to constitute the primary components enabling analytics in Prama Insights.

In people movement news, Denodo, a leader in data virtualization, announced that Lakshmi Randall has joined the company as head of product marketing. In this role, Randall will lead Denodo global product marketing efforts and report directly to Ravi Shankar, CMO. Randall brings over 19 years of experience in information management and analytics product marketing, research, and analysis of emerging and disruptive industry trends. She was also instrumental in guiding vendors’ product evolution strategies … And finally Sinequa, a leader in Cognitive Search and Analytics, announced that it has expanded its executive team with the addition of Stéphane Kirchacker who joins the company as Vice President, Sales EMEA. A seasoned software-industry veteran with a strong international background, Kirchacker brings deep expertise in streamlining sales operations, developing new business and recruiting channel partners. As Vice President, Sales EMEA, Kirchacker will have responsibility for driving sales and expanding channels to accelerate Sinequa’s regional growth, capitalizing on the rising demand for the cognitive search and analytics that enable organizations to have greater insight into their diverse data platforms.


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