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“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 3/14/2016

Above the Trend Line: machine learning industry rumor central, is a recurring feature of insideBIGDATA. 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:  Be sure to Tweet Above the Trend Line articles using the hashtag: #abovethetrendline.

By the year 2020, Gartner predicts that predictive and prescriptive analytics will attract 40% of enterprises’ net new investment in BI and analytics … NGDATA™, the customer experience management solutions company, revealed a new partnership with Zementis that will deliver real-time execution of predictive analytical models to help organizations improve the customer experience for their end users. Including technology from Zementis, banks, telcos and media/publishing companies using Lily Enterprise will now be able to operationalize the insights from their existing predictive models in real time, giving these organizations the most accurate, atomic-level view of their customers … Omnitracs announced the appointment of former Weather Channel VP Sathish Gaddipati to its team. Gaddipati will join Omnitracs as the vice president of data product engineering. This announcement comes not long after the appointment of Brad Taylor as VP of Data and IoT Solutions, and shows Omnitracs’ commitment to building a foundation of data experts. At his new position, Gaddipati will spearhead efforts to build a consolidated “Data Lake” and Hub for Omnitracs’ evolving Data Products portfolio … Highlighting the key role GPUs will play in creating systems that understand data in human-like ways, Rob High, IBM Fellow, VP and chief technology officer for Watson, will deliver a keynote at our GPU Technology Conference, in Silicon Valley, on April 6. Of course, insideBIGDATA will be lurking the halls of GTC, finding juicy tidbits for this column! … According to research from Gartner as many as 80% of big data projects will not fulfill their goals in 2016. Major reasons cited include inherent bias, data quality and data predictability … Recently learned that BeyondCore was positioned as a “Visionary” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms, recognized for their disruptive product offerings, innovative roadmap and automated smart pattern discovery that makes accurate analytics easy … According to Hank Weghorst, CTO of Avention, the emergence of ‘data exhaust’ is a trend that will continue to pick up momentum. Data exhaust is data that has already been produced and used by one source and then instead of being thrown out with the trash, is reused by a third-party. While most companies are collecting information for their own purposes, there is the potential to share these data leftovers … Another industry alignment: V.i. Laboratories, Inc. (“V.i. Labs”), a leading global software intelligence solutions provider, announced the acquisition of Trackerbird Limited. The acquisition expands V.i. Labs’ cloud-based software usage analytics and runtime intelligence capabilities giving software vendors and creators of enterprise applications new and advanced visibility into product usage to increase license compliance revenue, build better products, and drive end-user adoption … In funding news we heard that Zaloni, the data lake company, announced today that it has closed $7.5 million in Series A financing led by Sierra Ventures, with participation from Baird Capital. The company, which has been experiencing 100% year over year growth from its data lake management solutions, will use the proceeds to fund further expansion of the Zaloni software suite, sales and marketing, research and development, and international expansion. As part of the transaction, Mark Fernandes, Managing Director of Sierra Ventures, will join Zaloni’s Board of Directors … Later this month, Pyze will emerge from stealth to introduce Pyze Growth Intelligence, the first business intelligence (BI) platform enabling mobile app publishers of all sizes to maximize app growth and revenue, free of charge. The company will also announce it has secured $1.7M in seed funding … Gartner recently published the 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse and Data Management Solutions for Analytics, and while the title of the annual report may be a mouthful, two things are clear: this is the fifth consecutive year EXASOL has been rated and 2016 sees the company secure its best ever positioning … BlueData announced its EPIC software platform has been certified with Dell PowerEdge servers. EPIC leverages Docker and virtualization to drastically simplify Hadoop and Spark deployments … The Big Data ecosystem across Massachusetts is booming, according to new research produced by the Massachusetts Big Data project at the Innovation Institute at MassTech. The new research, Massachusetts Big Data Indicators 2015,” highlights the growth in several key categories, including over $2.4 billion in reported private investment that has flowed to Massachusetts Big Data companies and the millions of dollars in federal funding awarded to 194 different projects at Massachusetts institutions for computing and analytics research since 2013 … 1010data, Inc., the integrated platform that combines self-service data management and analytics at scale with ready-to-use data sets while also allowing users to share data and applications between companies, indicated that the company has been positioned in the “Challengers” quadrant in Gartner’s 2016 Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse and Data Management Solutions for Analytics … Nothing worse for a data scientist than dirty data. According to TDWI, bad customer data costs U.S. businesses more than $611 billion each year; data left uncorrected for one year could have a real dollar impact of more than $100,000 over five years … Alteryx is announcing for first time ever the Alteryx Analytics Excellence Awards. The awards were created to celebrate Alteryx’s users who have impacted the lives of others with the analytical work they do every day, as well as promote community philanthropy. Winners of the awards will receive $100,000 to split between charitable organizations of their choosing … Another industry alignment with Wipro Limited, a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company, announced a strategic collaboration with Tableau, a global leader in rapid-fire, easy-to-use business analytics software, to offer solution accelerators and innovative delivery models for Wipro’s and Tableau’s customers across the globe … The Google AI Go tournament is happening and Lukas Biewald, CEO and co-founder of CrowdFlower has some interesting thoughts about the competition. As an expert-level Go player and a Stanford Touring Tournament award winner he’s in a unique position to explain precisely why AlphaGo successfully beat Lee Sedol, and what this win means to the AI community — “What’s interesting to a lot of us in the AI field is that DeepMind learned to play Go in the same way most commercial machine learning products gain intelligence: by looking at massive training datasets. In other words: it’s not a handcrafted system like a chess algorithm; instead it uses a more general machine learning approach. These days I run a startup, CrowdFlower, that helps companies train artificial intelligence for commercial purposes, so I get an inside view into how businesses use machine learning for real world applications.  And the way they all do it is by looking at giant training sets, finding patterns, and making decisions based on the patterns they see. And that’s how DeepMind beat Lee Sedol.”

The big data ecosystem is alive and well! For yet-another alignment, Tableau Software revealed it has acquired HyPer, a high performance database system initially developed as a research project at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). As part of the technology acquisition, Tableau will add key technical personnel and plans to establish a research and development center in Munich and expand its research into high performance computing. We sought out a commentary on this acquisition from another member of the ecosystem, Sisense CEO Amir Orad who said, “We were pleased to see the announcement that Tableau acquired HyPer. This acquisition validates the technology approach Sisense has been leading for the last five years. The HyPer solution— which is still in the early stages of concept development —  is designed to eliminate the technical effort required to transform OLTP data to OLAP data. HyPer’s approach creates virtual memory snapshots for new, duplicated processes. These virtual memory snapshots can be used for executing a session of OLAP queries. This methodology represents a similar attempt to use technology to eliminate the data prep bottleneck in existing BI solutions. Sisense has been using similar patent pending technology, including vectorization, SIMD, and JIT Compilation for years. This technology underpins the key differentiators of our software and enables us to dramatically simplify business analytics for complex, multi-source data.  We believe this acquisition represents Tableau’s recognition that eliminating data prep is a key element in the path to making business analytics more ubiquitous.” HyPer is a fast main-memory database system designed for simultaneous OLTP and OLAP processing without compromising performance.


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