“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 9/12/2016

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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: daniel@insidebigdata.com.  Be sure to Tweet Above the Trend Line articles using the hashtag: #abovethetrendline.

The Big Data Etch A Sketch continued this past week with more people movements starting with MapR Technologies, Inc., provider of the Converged Data Platform, revealing the appointment of Matt Mills, previously president and COO, as chief executive officer and board member. Company founder and previous CEO John Schroeder will assume the role of executive chairman. He will remain involved full-time with the company, continuing to partner with Mills while focusing on product vision and strategy, investor relations, and industry & customer relationships. Both executives assume their new roles effective immediately … Interana, a leader in behavioral analytics for the digital economy, announced the hiring of Technorati founder, serial tech entrepreneur and expert in user-centered product development David Sifry as Vice President of Engineering. In this role, Sifry will be responsible for the strategic development of Interana’s behavioral analytics solution and leading the engineering team.

We’ve also seen an upswing in new industry alignments and partnerships starting with Medidata (NASDAQ: MDSO) and SHYFT Analytics (SHYFT) announcing a strategic commercial partnership to increase access to healthcare data analytics in clinical trials. The partnership will enable life sciences companies to add real world evidence (RWE) data from electronic medical records (EMRs) and health claims to information traditionally collected in clinical trials, providing a more comprehensive view of patient health. Using Medidata’s industry-leading clinical technology platform and SHYFT’s intelligent analytics, life sciences companies and their contract research organization (CRO) partners can analyze RWE data to improve study design and site selection, two of the most critical and costly components of successful drug development programs. The joint offering will provide insights that can be used to identify specific patient populations for studies across therapeutic areas, supporting efforts to design more effective protocols, more efficiently recruit study participants and uncover the best treatment paths in clinical practice … Continuum Analytics, the creator and driving force behind Anaconda, a leading Open Data Science platform powered by Python, announced a technical collaboration with Intel resulting in the Intel® Distribution for Python powered by Anaconda. Intel Distribution for Python powered by Anaconda was recently announced by Intel and will be delivered as part of Intel® Parallel Studio XE 2017 software development suite. With a common distribution for the Open Data Science community that increases Python and R performance up to 100X, Intel has empowered enterprises to build a new generation of intelligent applications that drive immediate business value. Combining the power of the Intel® Math Kernel Library (MKL) and Anaconda’s Open Data Science platform allows organizations to build the high performance analytic modeling and visualization applications required to compete in today’s data-driven economies … We also got a quick comment from Peter Godman, CEO of Qumulo, regarding the Dell-EMC news:

There has been a lot of skepticism around this merger and worries of product overlap and confusion have taken notice. We at Qumulo see this as a positive move — customers will now have more options than ever before. We wish Dell Technologies all the success and welcome the opportunity to compete with what will now be one of the largest IT companies in the world. We feel that we’ve been fortunate enough to enter the space with the right products at the right time and are extremely excited to see what’s in store for the storage market in the years to come.”

Cloudera, a provider of a data management and analytics platform built on Apache Hadoop and the latest open source technologies, announced that it has entered into an agreement with Niara to resell Cloudera Enterprise, the leading Hadoop platform for cybersecurity, as part of its behavioral analytics platform for advanced threat detection. Niara, a recognized leader in user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) uses Hadoop to process an unmatched set of data sources in its analytics platform including logs, flows, packets and external threat feeds. This data is processed by over a hundred supervised and unsupervised machine learning models to establish baselines of normal behavior in order to detect small changes in typical IT activity that, when put into context over time, indicate attacks that have gone unnoticed using other, more traditional security solutions … ironSource revealed its technology partnership with Google Cloud Platform and the immediate availability of ironSource Atom in the Google Cloud marketplace. Atom, a big data flow management solution capable of gathering, organizing and transferring billions of data events in the cloud in near real time, was also recently listed as an AWS Advanced Technology Partner. Achieving Technology Partner Status with Google Cloud and AWS allows Atom to truly leverage its expertise in data management while providing clients access to world-class infrastructure support. Data-driven companies rely absolutely on their data management tools. As a result, many face the difficulty of choosing between an expensive solution that offers scale but lacks flexibility, and those which are more agile and affordable but don’t specialize in large scale data management. Atom provides the best of both worlds, enabling developers and businesses full control over their data, backed by enterprise-grade scalability and dependability.

Updates on financial results for Big Data industry players rolled in during the past week including EXASOL, who develops a high-performance database for analytics and data warehousing, has seen enormous growth over the past 12 months. In 2015 alone, customer adoption rate grew by 41% YOY and the company now serves over 100 customers in 16 countries.

We found a plethora of new products, services, research and solutions in the Big Data space including new research out of UMASS Amherst where a linguist, and computer scientists teach machines African-American English dialect. Researchers Su Lin Blodgett, Lisa Green, Brendan O’Connor published a preprint version of their paper “Demographic Dialectal Variation in Social Media: A Case Study of African-American English.” For the past 30 years, computer science researchers have been teaching their machines to read, for example, assigning back issues of the Wall Street Journal, so computers can learn the English they need to run search engines like Google or mine platforms like Facebook and Twitter for opinions and marketing data. But using only standard English has left out whole segments of society who use dialects and non-standard varieties of English, and the omission is increasingly problematic. The researchers collaborated on a case study of dialect in online Twitter conversations among African Americans … Nimble Storage (NYSE: NMBL), a leader in predictive flash storage, unveilved a comprehensive suite of features that are optimized around fast and predictable application delivery. The Nimble Predictive Flash platform allows IT to deliver applications confidently with Quality of Service (QoS) and secure multi-tenancy across VMware, OpenStack, KVM and now Docker Containers. With app-centric management within InfoSight Predictive Analytics businesses now have more visibility and control of application performance. App-based Storage on Demand provides a cloud-like pricing model where enterprises only pay for the storage consumed by each application. This app-centric approach provides greater predictability and ease of management for applications across the enterprise … New research from TransUnion (NYSE:TRU) found that two in three lenders feel that data and analytics are evolving faster than their own internal capabilities. The survey found that 61% of lenders feel that the vast amounts of data now available to them are overwhelming, and more than half (54%) say it is difficult to discover useful insights when there is so much data. Yet 70% of lenders want direct, immediate, self-service visibility into their analytics … Alation, Inc., the collaborative data company, and Teradata, a leading analytics solutions company, announced the general availability of Alation’s collaborative data catalog on the Teradata Unified Data Architecture™ (UDA) for greater database and Hadoop connectivity. Now, with extended connection to the Teradata UDA, Alation catalogs queries run through Teradata QueryGrid™ and Teradata Aster® Analytics. The extension adds to Alation’s existing Teradata database connectivity, making it easy for analysts to search, query, curate and collaborate on data no matter where it is stored.

In the industry recognition category, we heard that DataStax, a leading provider of database software for cloud applications, was named to the first-ever Forbes 2016 Cloud 100, the definitive list of the top 100 private cloud companies in the world, developed in partnership with Bessemer Venture Partners. The Forbes 2016 Cloud 100 list profiles the world’s top-tier private companies leading the cloud technology revolution, plus twenty rising stars within the field. With advancements in software, cloud security, or platform development, these companies are redefining the future for all industries and sectors … MongoDB, the database for giant ideas, announced it was named a Leader by Forrester Research in its report, The Forrester Wave™: Document Stores, Q3 2016, by Noel Yuhanna. MongoDB received the highest scores possible in 20 of the 27 criteria evaluated, including performance, scalability, tooling, road map, support, product revenue and reach.

More rumblings in the M&A scene with the recent acquisition of Seattle-based Turi for $200 million by Apple. We here at insideBIGDATA covered this company starting in 2015 when it was called Dato. Turi will become Apple’s machine learning division. Turi specializes in machine learning and artificial intelligence. It has developed tools like the Turi Machine Learning Platform that are designed to integrate AI and machine learning into apps that can be used for things like predicting customer trends. Machine learning thought leader, Kerry Liu, CEO of Rubikloud, believes the announcement is an indicator that consumer expectations are changing dramatically:

Machine learning has the power to change the way that we interact with technology. Consumers have come to expect personalized content that learns from their behaviors and reacts in real time. If anything falls short, they’re quick to take their business elsewhere. By increasing the efficiency and accuracy of content with enhanced machine learning algorithms, Apple is providing users a 1-to-1 customer experience, which will ultimately translate into brand loyalty and increased revenue for the company.”

We also heard that Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. will spin off software units in an $8.8 billion deal that it says will help it focus on faster-growing businesses. The spun-off businesses include big data, security for big companies and IT operations management units and will merge with British software company Micro Focus International. HPE is to get a $2.5 billion cash payment and a 50.1% stake in the combined company.

And finally, our Vendor of the Week is Zoomdata, developers of the high-performance visual analytics platform for big data, announcing it has signed a strategic investment and technology development agreement with In-Q-Tel (IQT), the strategic investor for the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). This investment and technology announcement with In-Q-Tel comes one month after Zoomdata’s availability to the IC through the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace for the U.S. IC. This marketplace is part of the Commercial Cloud Services (C2S) program, under the Director of National Intelligence IC Information Technology Enterprise (IC ITE).


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