“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 8/8/2016

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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.

Whew! What a week for Big Data. The pace of news and rumors was exhilarating to say the least, starting with a slew of new products, services, and programs such as ServiceChannel, a leading SaaS service automation platform for facilities managers and contractors, introducing ServiceChannel Data Direct, a new data warehousing solution that gives users on-demand access to facilities management data that can be easily and seamlessly integrated with other customer-specific data to enable more comprehensive and transparent business intelligence across the enterprise. Data Direct adds to ServiceChannel’s growing analytics and BI portfolio that is providing customers greater transparency and visibility of FM operations in key areas such as spending, vendor compliance and performance, and trend analysis. Data Direct can serve as an on-demand accessible and sharable decision-support platform for enterprises to unify their data … Narrative Science, a leader in advanced natural language generation (Advanced NLG) for the enterprise, announced the launch of its Solution Provider program. By joining the program, solution providers can sell and deliver Narratives for Business Intelligence™, a suite of integrated narrative products for data discovery and visualization platforms. The first partners to join include Bardess Group, Ometis Ltd., and Monsun, Qlik Sense solution providers who are reselling Narratives for Qlik®. Narratives for Qlik, available as a SaaS and on-premises offering, automatically generates dynamic narratives to accompany Qlik Sense visualizations. These stories explain what is most interesting and important from Qlik’s charts and graphs, thereby accelerating insights derived from data … The University of Illinois School of Information Sciences is launching a new master’s degree to meet the demand for information professionals in a world that relies increasingly on information to solve complex problems. The Master of Science in Information Management provides advanced information management and analysis skills that can be applied in a broad range of employment sectors. This preparation is grounded in an interdisciplinary, human-centered approach, emphasizing the practical application of data-driven solutions to make the world a better place … Persado, a leading cognitive content generation platform, launched Persado Connect, its partner network. Persado Connect enables qualified technology partners to easily infuse cognitive content into marketing campaigns across a number of channels: email, web, social, mobile, and display. Partner platforms at launch include Oracle, Salesforce, Adobe, Facebook, DoubleClick, AppNexus, and many more … Progress (NASDAQ: PRGS)  announced that its Progress® DataDirect® suite of data connectivity tools now provides Day One Support for disruptive big data technologies with frequent release cycles, including Hadoop Hive, Spark SQL, MongoDB and more. With this strategy – the first of its kind for any data connectivity provider – Progress DataDirect on-premises ODBC and JDBC drivers will support any new versions of supported data sources.

We heard of a number of new relationships, affiliations and partnerships including leading digital health & wellness solution providers announced their participation in the newly established medAI initiative, aimed at bringing AI powered personalization to the health and wellness sector. Select products from medAI participants now benefit from the ability to adapt in a meaningful and personalized way to every individual who uses them – a critical enhancement for healthcare-related products … Manulife’s Lab of Forward Thinking (LOFT) is collaborating with Nervana Systems, a company that is building the next generation of intelligent applications. Manulife’s LOFT will use these applications to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning tool to analyze the high volume of online information, financial news, emails and documents that portfolio managers receive each day when researching investments … Opera Solutions unveiled its partnership with Acxiom®, an enterprise data, analytics, and software-as-a-service company, to help businesses and other organizations improve and accelerate business results from their Big Data analytics activities. The partnership focuses on Opera Solutions’ industry-leading Big Data analytics platform, Signal Hub, which processes mass quantities of Big Data each day from over 500 million consumers globally. The two companies have collaborated to identify Acxiom data packages that are most relevant to Opera Solutions’ customers and streamline the process that integrates this data into the data sets that Signal Hub processes. By adding Acxiom’s highly curated data packages to their proprietary enterprise data, businesses using Signal Hub can develop a more thorough understanding of their customers, reduce time-to-results, and dramatically increase profitable growth.

We heard the following rumors about customer wins starting with M-Files Corporation, a provider of solutions that dramatically improve how businesses manage documents and other information, announcing that Port Tampa Bay, the largest port in Florida, has selected M-Files as their enterprise information management solution. The Port of Tampa Bay had been using the OpenText eDOCS enterprise content management (ECM) system, but the organization was looking for a solution that was more flexible, scalable and easier to configure to meet their specific and demanding information management requirements. For these reasons, the Port Tampa Bay made the choice to replace OpenText with M-Files … Denodo, the leader in data virtualization software, today announced that Fastaff Travel Nursing and U.S. Nursing Corporation have selected the Denodo Platform for Data Virtualization to accommodate rapid growth and a need to find innovative technology partners to empower enhanced efficiency. Denodo integrates disparate data sources to enrich an individual nurse profile record, allowing Fastaff and U.S. Nursing to quickly identify the nurse’s capabilities and match him or her to urgent needs at hospitals around the country … Bright Computing, a leading provider of hardware-agnostic cluster and cloud management software, announced that the Electronics Research Institute (ERI), and Brightskies Technologies, based in Cairo, Egypt have chosen the full suite of Bright technology to manage its HPC, big data and cloud infrastructure … VoltDB, the database purpose-built for fast data applications, announced that it has been selected by Peak Games, a leader in the mobile gaming industry, to power its real-time user segmentation services. VoltDB enables Peak Games to complete real-time stream processing with ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) properties, ensuring players receive the most relevant, personalized content at the right moment. By ingesting, analyzing and acting on incoming data streams in real-time, VoltDB enables applications to make smart, fully consistent decisions in milliseconds, increasing the value of each customer interaction.

In M&A news, we found out that Magento Commerce, a leader in cloud digital commerce innovation, unveilded that it has acquired RJMetrics, a cloud-based analytics platform tuned for digital commerce business intelligence. In addition to the valuable analytics extensions already built for Magento, the Magento core platform will now include a powerful native solution enabling merchants to better understand and optimize their commerce business based on actionable data and insights into customers, merchandising, channels, and more … EY (formerly Ernst & Young) unveiled the acquisition of Society Consulting, a Seattle-based analytics consultancy focusing on digital analytics and big data platforms. Society Consulting helps companies create the infrastructure necessary to aggregate, organize and visualize their customer data. They use this data to unearth insights that enable organizations to understand customers from every angle. They also design scalable, actionable marketing strategies that connect every channel and touchpoint so clients can offer better digital experiences to their customers …

More funding news erupted this week with Kentik Technologies, the network traffic intelligence company, announcing that it has raised $23 million in a Series B funding round led by Third Point Ventures, with participation by existing investors August Capital, Data Collective (DCVC), First Round Capital, and Engineering Capital, and new investors Glynn Capital and David Ulevitch. The new investment will enable Kentik to meet strong demand for its big data-based network traffic and performance visibility solutions. Kentik plans to use the additional capital to increase headcount in the next year to accelerate product capabilities and expand market reach.

In big data industry financial results news we learned that Tableau Software, Inc. (NYSE: DATA) reported results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2016. Total revenue increased 32% to $198.5 million, up from $149.9 million in the second quarter of 2015. License revenue increased 20% to $116.3 million, up from $96.7 million in the second quarter of 2015. International revenue grew to $57.1 million, up 55% from $36.7 million in the second quarter of 2015. In Q2, more than 3,900 new customer accounts chose Tableau, the highest quarterly addition in the company’s history, bringing the total to more than 46,000 worldwide … Qubole reported the company’s exponential growth in the first half of 2016, doubling its total revenue and adding several top-tier customers acquisitions including Lyft, Box, Amgen and Scripps. As more companies look for ways to reduce the overhead of deploying cloud-based analytics, data-driven companies such as Lyft look to Qubole to empower data teams to accelerate use cases and provide valuable data insights across the enterprise. Qubole now has more than 100 customers spanning a range of industries that process more than 250 petabytes of data each month. As use cases accelerate, customers have doubled the number of jobs run on the Qubole Data Service (QDS) platform to two million per month. To help meet this demand, Qubole has also grown its internal team by more than 50 percent, including key hires to its executive leadership, and continued to expand the company’s service and customer acquisitions beyond the US to the APAC and EU regions …
People movement news made a lot of noise this past week with Optimal+™, a leader in big data solutions for semiconductor and electronics manufacturing operations, announcing the appointment of Shykeh Gordon as Vice President and General Manager of its new Electronics Business Unit. Mr. Gordon, an electronics industry veteran, will work closely with electronics OEMs to help them achieve a higher level of supply chain transparency and end-market product quality through the use of the Optimal+ Electronics Operations Platform … Infogain revealed that Robb La Velle has joined the company as Vice President and Global Practice Leader for Business Assurance & Testing Services, reporting to Prashant K. Karnik, Sr. VP and GM of the High Tech Business unit. Robb’s responsibilities include positioning the testing practice for marketing differentiation and future growth, consultation, delivery and client relationship management. Robb brings more than 26 years of management consulting and professional testing services expertise to Infogain. Previously, he was VP and Global Leader of the Business Assurance & Testing Services group for HCL based in London …  Cambridge Semantics, a leading provider of graph-based Smart Data discovery and exploratory analytic solutions, announced the appointment of Steve Hamby to Managing Director Government. In this newly created position, Hamby will serve Cambridge Semantics’ federal government customers seeking insights from big data discovery, analysis and data management solutions, such as the Anzo Smart Data Lake™, to provide timely, accurate and customizable information to staff, citizens, media and businesses. Hamby brings over 30 years of experience in the information technology industry to the company, most recently serving public sector customers as the CEO of G Software, Inc. and as Chief Technology Officer for Orbis Technologies, Inc …

And finally, our Vendor of the Week is Alteryx, Inc., a leader in self-service data analytics, who announced the seven charitable organizations selected by the winners of the 2016 Alteryx Analytics Excellence Awards announced at Inspire 2016. The Alteryx Analytics Excellence Awards are designed to recognize and celebrate Alteryx customers’ success stories. The winners have selected from an amazing list of charities to split $100,000 equally.


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