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“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 2/20/2017

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.

If the early weeks of 2017 are any indicator, the year should be gangbusters for big data. We’re definitely seeing a sustained upswing in activity across the board. Let’s start with more than ample new funding news — Global call analytics company IOVOX Ltd. announced the completion of a $10M Series A round of equity and debt financing led by Octopus Ventures, SF Capital, and Silicon Valley Bank. IOVOX is using the new investment to expand in the United States and execute a product strategy to widen the addressable market for IOVOX services. Co-founded in the U.K. by Ryan and Belinda Gallagher, IOVOX is a leading European provider of call analytics solutions for large brands such as British Telecom, Zoopla (the U.K.’s largest property portal), AutoTrader U.K., and Pizza Express. The company has recently expanded into the United States, and its office in Mill Valley, Calif. serves as a hub for its U.S. growth plans … Immuta, the unified data platform for secure organizations, announced an $8 million Series A round led by Drive Capital with participation from Greycroft Partners and Conversion Capital. The round brings the company’s total funding to $9.5 million to date. The Immuta platform frees data science teams to work with highly-regulated data without being hamstrung by complex security regulations or information governance policies. The platform also gives information governance teams the confidence they need to expose sensitive data without breaching policies, which in turn gives data scientists the access they need to accelerate time-to-breakthrough. Using Immuta, data scientists can quickly create immediately regulated and compliant data sandbox environments that combine disparate data sources from within and across organizations. Immuta supports every major structured and unstructured data source, on premise or in the cloud, including Amazon S3, SQL, NoSQL and Hadoop. The Immuta platform virtualizes data from any data source, which protects the integrity of original data sets. This allows data owners to confidently expose data and data scientists to experiment at will.

A number of new partnerships, alignments and collaborations were unveiled last week starting with … Global Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics software vendor, Yellowfin, has partnered with Kodak to deliver real-time analytics in KODAK’s new PRINERGY Cloud platform – the first SaaS offering of its kind in the print industry. Built on the Microsoft Azure platform, Kodak PRINERGY Cloud enables secure, fast and reliable Yellowfin data analytics in the form of embedded Decision Analytics. Embedded in PRINERGY Cloud as its rebranded Decision Analytics Services reporting module, Yellowfin’s BI software allows print service providers (PSPs) to reduce costs and improve productivity by monitoring production processes in real-time … CSRA Inc. (NYSE:CSRA), a leading provider of next-generation IT solutions and professional services to government agencies and programs, announced it has partnered with Silicon Valley-based Perspica. Through this alliance, CSRA will bring Perspica’s artificial intelligence powered analytics capabilities to customers in the federal government. Together, both companies will help our government customers leverage innovative technology and big data analytics to support their critical missions. Through CSRA’s Emerging Technology initiative, CSRA matches its deep mission understanding and experience working with the federal government with groundbreaking innovations to create positive mission outcomes for its customers. Perspica’s partnership and collaboration with CSRA is a clear indicator of the initiative’s early success. Both companies are working together to protect critical U.S. government data center operations by leveraging Perspica’s predictive analytics solution to identify anomalies within mission-critical services that could cause outages or performance degradations within agencies … IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Hortonworks (NASDAQ: HDP) announced the planned availability of Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP®) for IBM Elastic Storage Server (ESS) and IBM Spectrum Scale. The agreement with Hortonworks will lead to certification of Hortonworks HDP on Power with IBM Spectrum Scale and Hortonworks HDP on x86 with IBM Spectrum Scale. With the recent announcement of availability of Hortonworks HDP on POWER8 platform, IBM clients already have increased choice when selecting the platform for their Hadoop distribution. This new agreement will enable IBM clients to also leverage their existing and future investments in IBM storage in deploying Hadoop based big data applications. Additionally, this agreement will provide existing Hortonworks HDP customers an enterprise-class storage alternative with IBM Spectrum Scale for their Hadoop and Spark workloads. The agreement represents the first IBM Storage offering and industry first enterprise Software Defined Storage solution certified for Hortonworks. When completed, the HDP certifications will provide a significant layer of confidence to existing IBM and future clients. Those users can now run Hadoop applications on the leading software-defined storage solutions. IBM clients will have the benefits of enterprise storage to analyze data in place with Hortonworks analytics applications. With the choice of centralized or distributed deployments, organizations can improve business efficiency with the data management, backup, security and hybrid cloud storage … Organizations generate enormous amounts of data everyday—from logs tracking website visitors to orders placed to cyberattack attempts. These records, frequently scattered across silos, are not always easily accessible so organizations are working hard to improve their ability to manage, search and analyze their data in real-time. To help achieve this goal, management and technology consulting and engineering firm Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE:BAH) and Elastic, creators of the open source software Elastic Stack (Elasticsearch, Kibana, Beats, and Logstash) and X-Pack commercial extensions, announced a partnership that will enable organizations to shift more quickly to open, flexible and cloud-based technologies that support massive data volumes, to allow for data diversity and to accelerate access to real-time insights … Reemo , a complete solution designed to empower seniors and improve quality of life, announces its partnerships with Teradata, a leading analytics solutions company, and Mission Health , a network of managed communities offering a broad range of services to  individuals in need of high-quality healthcare and rehabilitation assistance. Through the use of smartwatches and powerful communication tools, the  Reemo System seamlessly provides seniors, family members and caregivers with real-time health and wellness information, while simultaneously  allowing health systems to remotely track biometric and behavioral data. These analytics assist in care improvement and help identify potential health declines.

In new M&A news we learned that leading data analytics software provider Infogix, Inc, completed the acquisition of Data3Sixty, a leading cloud-based data governance provider, for an undisclosed amount. The combination of Infogix’s automated data controls and Data3Sixty’s business-focused data stewardship and metadata management solutions will empower business users to consume trustworthy data. Infogix’s data controls monitor, measure and analyze the accuracy, consistency and reliability of data at rest and in-motion. Together, the offering will enable businesses to not only report on data lineage and governance metrics, but to continuously improve them. This deal further establishes Infogix as an industry leader with a full complement of end-to-end data governance, data integrity and analytics solutions.

As for new special designations, we heard that Forrester Research, just gave KPMG data & analytics services its highest rating of Leader in a recently released report “The Forrester Wave™: Insights Service Providers, Q1 2017.”  In fact, among all the organizations in the Leader category, KPMG was first.  “KPMG cracked the code for balancing business and technology expertise. KPMG comes to the table with an impressive portfolio of data and analytics capabilities, brought together in its Lighthouse center of excellence (CoE),” wrote the report’s authors. “KPMG’s broad ecosystem is the gold standard among insights service providers.”

In the new IP area we heard that Tamr, Inc. announced that it has been issued a patent (US9,542,412) from the United States Patent and Trademark Office covering the principles underlying its enterprise-scale data unification platform. The patent, titled Method and System for Large Scale Data Curation, describes a comprehensive approach for integrating a large number of data sources by normalizing, cleaning, integrating, and deduplicating them using machine learning techniques supplemented by human expertise. While the challenge of data unification is decades old, the award of this patent recognizes and protects the uniqueness of the innovations embedded in Tamr’s software platform.

In the customer wins category, we heard that Netsmart, the technology provider connecting behavioral health and post-acute care, selected the InterSystems data platform with embedded analytics to unleash knowledge trapped in electronic health records (EHRs). The myAvatarTM CareRecord EHR and practice management solution from Netsmart was created specifically for the behavioral health industry and allows providers to connect with the rest of healthcare. InterSystems worked closely with Netsmart and Mental Health Center of Denver (MHCD), known nationwide for its innovative approach to mental health treatment and high-quality patient care delivery, to develop these new capabilities within the Netsmart solution. Previously, MHCD had developed a robust set of assessments to measure mental health recovery from both the patient’s and clinician’s perspectives. Patients evaluate their progress regularly in a brief assessment, which physicians then analyze to track progress toward recovery on several key dimensions. Netsmart solutions enable a clinician-friendly view of the rich and largely untapped potential of clinical notes. Unstructured information, such as psychiatric evaluation and management notes, case management notes, clinical intake narratives, and treatment plans, is difficult to analyze in a traditional EHR view. Using InterSystems technology, which extracts concepts from structured and unstructured data, MHCD was able to capitalize on the data housed in its Netsmart system to give physicians the ability to bring the client story back into the data while still being able to work within their familiar clinical workflow … Dataguise, a leader in sensitive data governance, announced that Bock Corp has partnered with Dataguise to help data-driven enterprises address the challenges of sensitive data security and compliance. Focused on big data enablement in the enterprise, Bock Corp’s relationship with Dataguise is centered on strengthening data governance for organizations throughout Australia and New Zealand. Bock Corp is an IT solution provider specializing in strategic big data implementations for data driven insights. The company utilizes a pool of data scientists, data engineers, and application developers, who provide full support and training to help customers satisfy their business requirements. The organization empowers best of breed partners to ensure business focused outcomes in a timely manner … Rubikloud, a leading machine learning intelligence platform for enterprise retailers, has been selected by the A.S Watson Group (ASW), the largest international health and beauty retailer in Asia and Europe, to power the company’s big data and machine learning roadmap. The Group will invest at least $70 million (approximately HKD540 million) in the coming three years in big data, to further enhance customer experience and operational efficiencies. ASW will partner with Rubikloud to deploy Rubicore, the company’s data enterprise platform built for easier artificial intelligence applications plug-in, as well as two of its machine learning applications (Promotion Manager and Lifecycle Manager) in ASW’s network of 13,300 retail stores and 14 brands across 25 Asian and European markets.

In people movement news, we learned that … Talend (NASDAQ: TLND), a global leader in cloud and big data integration software, announced that it has named Nanci Caldwell to its board of directors. Caldwell brings more than two decades of global IT and software industry experience to Talend’s board, adding significant marketing and sales expertise that will help inform Talend’s business strategy as it expands its leadership in the fast-growth cloud and big data markets. Ms. Caldwell is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of PeopleSoft Inc. Prior, she spent nearly two decades at Hewlett-Packard in increasingly senior and executive sales and marketing roles in Canada, U.S and globally. A highly sought after corporate director, Caldwell currently sits on the boards of CIBC, Citrix, Equinix, and Donnelly Financial Solutions.

We learned about a number of new products, services and solutions beginning with … Velocify, the leading sales acceleration platform, announced the launch of ReportHub, a new business intelligence solution that provides actionable insight to evaluate and improve performance across sales reps, campaigns, and lead sources. Like a digital fitness tracker for sales organizations, ReportHub empowers sales managers and sales admins to up their game by delivering near real-time intelligence through easy-to-use data visualizations that guide quicker, more informed decisions about sales strategy and execution.

The big data vendor ecosystem is reporting strong financial results beginning with … Trifacta announcing it ended 2016 (fiscal year ended January 31) with record momentum, reporting 4X growth in bookings and more than triple the number of enterprise customers. New customers include: Banco Santander, Bell Canada, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), eBay, Enstar Group Limited, Etihad Aviation Group, Munich Re, Nordea Bank and Rank Group Limited, among many others. The big data and analytics market could grow to more than $187 billion by 2019; as a result, demand for self-service data wrangling is growing exponentially as enterprises transform big data into strategic assets. The growth in new customer adoption, in conjunction with existing customers expanding usage to additional business units and use cases, is testament to the value these organizations can realize from data wrangling. Trifacta Wrangler is now used by tens of thousands of users at more than 4,500 companies in 135 countries around the globe … Impetus Technologies, a big data software products and services company, announced that in 2016, the company doubled its big data services and solutions revenue. Based on the increasing demand for its big data services and products, including StreamAnalytix™ and its data warehouse modernization solutions, Impetus Technologies is well-positioned to build on its strong momentum in 2017. According to a recent report, the Hadoop big data analytics market is projected to grow from nearly $7 billion in 2016 to $40 billion by 2021, an annual compound growth rate of 43 percent. Almost half of this growth is expected to come from real-time streaming analytics – a market Impetus Technologies is poised to engage with its StreamAnalytix platform. Overall, this growth is being fueled by a desire for deeper insights faster in the journey toward the real-time data driven enterprise … Hortonworks announced financial results for fourth quarter and full year 2016. Hortonworks continues to grow, with over 1,000 customers in 60 countries including approximately 60% of the U.S. Fortune 100 and 30% of the Global Fortune 500. Here are the highlights:

  • GAAP revenue: Q4 was $52.0M (up 39% Y/Y) and FY16 was $184.5M (up 51% Y/Y)
  • Operating billings: Q4 was $81.4 (up 56% Y/Y) and FY16 was $269.9M (up 63% Y/Y)
  • Achieved adjusted EBITDA breakeven, showing operational improvement
  • Continuing to target operating cash flow break even between Q3 and Q4 this year
  • 125% increase in $1M+ deals in Q4, with over half of those deals including Hortonworks Data Platform and Hortonworks DataFlow

Text analytics provider Linguamatics announced that 2016 represented one of the company’s most successful years ever, further positioning the organization as the leading provider of Natural Language Processing (NLP) text mining solutions for healthcare and the life sciences. Highlights from the past year include the highly-anticipated I2E 5.0 release; the addition of further high-profile customers and strategic partners; and industry recognition from leading research firms KLAS, Forrester and Frost & Sullivan.

And finally, here are some thoughts about the recent Instapaper outage. The company reported that after 31 hours of downtime, they were able to rebuild a database instance to get Instapaper back online. In the interest of coming back up as soon as possible, this instance only had the last six weeks of articles. For now, anything users saved since December 20, 2016 is accessible. The company is working on getting the rest of the articles restored, but wanted to give users access to the most recently saved articles in the meantime. There wasn’t any actual data loss. The full database exports have taken much longer than anticipated. The company is aiming to get the full archives available by Friday, February 17 at the latest.

Here’s why the problem at Instapaper is so common: scaling a database is hard, and not quick,” said Michelle McLean, Vice President of Marketing at ScaleArc, the database up-time company. “This is complicated engineering, and it often has to get paired with adjustments to the application code hitting that database. These kinds of meltdowns are common during surge events – like ESPN suffered with the launch of Fantasy Football or when Macy’s suffered last Black Friday. You can prep for those events. When it happens on a random day, it usually means your data tier was already fragile – it was already running warm and needed to have more capacity added proactively. Organizations need to prepare their technology stacks to handle unexpected. The Instapaper crisis also shows how the cloud alone doesn’t solve the challenge of scaling the data tier. While elasticity is a hallmark of cloud services, the physics around having an application talk to multiple instances of a database remains a challenge. Rather than waiting a few minutes or hours for recovery, Instapaper’s customers have been told full recovery will take a week. Online organizations need to increase scale much earlier to avoid these kinds of catastrophic outages.”

 

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