“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 3/27/2017

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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 conference season is almost upon us, so the news is starting to roll fast and furious. Let’s start with some new customer wins news … Media monitoring leader Mention is using Webhose.io’s data feeds as an integral part of its new Mention Enterprise offering. Webhose.io’s service allows Mention to efficiently scale its comprehensive coverage of news, blogs, and online discussions while delivering highly granular and up-to-the-minute results on-demand. Integrating Webhose.io’s highly granular data lets Mention aggregate reports and analyze conversations around any keyword. This empowers Mention customers to understand which countries and media sources are dominating the conversation as their stories break and go viral. Mention’s new Insights dashboard ensures comprehensive coverage, up-to-the-minute latency, and highly granular filtering capabilities including source, social signals, activity levels, and much more – all powered by Webhose.io’s web data feeds. Mention enables enterprise customers to tap into historical data dating 30 days back using Boolean search parameters. The two companies collaborated on a recent study that shows the United States is the top country leading the discussion of the term “big data,” with more than 65% share followed by India with 8.2% and the UK with 5.6%. Most media coverage of “big data” comes from news media sources (42%) and followed by blogs (14.3%) … Sisense, disrupting the BI market by simplifying business analytics for complex data, announced that eTT Aviation has signed a long-term agreement to embed Sisense’s market leading BI in its technology platform, replacing archaic processes within the airline industry with modern and intuitive interfaces and real-time reporting for its customers. eTT Aviation specializes in airline crew and flight schedule management with two proprietary and revolutionary products: “Crew Companion” and “SkedFlex” – reinventing how airlines achieve schedule flexibility, compliance and control. Sisense’s embedded analytics and visualization will allow eTT’s airline customers to run reports in near-real-time to determine how many planes are in the air at the moment, crew member location and flight status, as well as if they are able to swap out a plane, part or crew member. The tracking and reporting system also becomes a critical asset for regular and irregular operations, enabling airlines to know where all assets are in a timely and visual manner. With real-time visibility and reporting capabilities, airlines will be able to improve customer satisfaction and profitability by minimizing flight cancellations and delays – a top business concern for the industry.

In the special recognitions category, we learned that Trifacta, a leader in data wrangling, announced its position as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Data Preparation Tools, Q1 2017 report. The Forrester Research Wave report covering data preparation included the top data preparation vendors and evaluated them against 21 criteria, grouped by current offering, strategy and market presence. After vigorous evaluation, Trifacta came out as a leader, receiving among the highest scores in the Strategy category, comprised of product, partner and market strategy criteria. In the Current Offering category, Trifacta received the highest possible score in the Discover and Blend criterion (which includes Data Discovery and Machine Learning Capabilities subcriteria), the Standardize and Enrich criterion, the Transform criterion (which includes Cleansing, Transformation Assistance, and Transformation Execution subcriteria), the Security and Governance subcriterion, the Sharing criterion, and the Deployment criterion. To view the complete report, visit Trifacta’s website. Demand for self-service data preparation tools is at an all-time high. Data-driven organizations recognize the “urgency of speeding up their ability to use data for actionable insights” …

Source: Forrester Research, Inc.

A New Jersey-based startup, Clearview, wants to change the way the world screens and diagnoses cancer. They just received the first-ever patent in this space (beating major AI players like Google and IBM as well as a crowded field of innovative health-tech companies) for their platform of proprietary AI/deep learning algorithms that assist radiologists, MAs and nurses in identifying whether palpable breast masses are benign or suspicious. Their AI platform makes cancer screening more widely available and accessible in regions even without established healthcare infrastructure. To date, $1T out of the $3.2T spent on healthcare in the U.S. is due to medical errors – including the cost of unnecessary biopsies. This technology is a game-changer in the US, where Clearview’s AI assistant has been shown to reduce unnecessary breast biopsies by 50%– something no other tool has yet to report. In places like Mexico, where it could take up to 18 months for a woman to get an appointment for typical breast cancer screening, this technology could be life-saving … Gartner has given Teradata the highest product scores in all four data management use case categories (Traditional, Operational, Logical and Context-Independent) in its report, “Critical Capabilities for Data Management Solutions for Analytics” issued March 16, 2017. Teradata, a leading analytics solutions company, is one of 20 database vendors evaluated in the new report, which is a companion note to the Magic Quadrant for Data Management Solutions for Analytics, published February 20, 2017, where Teradata was a leader and positioned the furthest for Completeness of Vision.

We also heard about some exciting funding news starting with Infoworks.io, Inc., a leader in enterprise data warehousing on Hadoop, announced that it has closed $15 million in a Series B financing. The company will use the financing to scale go-to-market and customer success programs to meet customer demand. Centerview Capital Technology led the round with participation by existing investor Nexus Venture Partners. Ned Hooper of Centerview Capital Technology joins Buno Pati, Naren Gupta and Amar Arsikere on the Infoworks board of directors … Leader in Automated Machine Learning, DataRobot, announced the first close in its Series C financing. This secures an additional $54 million, bringing total funding to $111 million. A significant but undisclosed amount of additional funding is expected in an imminent second close of the round. Jeremy Achin, CEO and Co-Founder of DataRobot, sets out the company’s value proposition and the opportunity the funding provides:

The number of AI and machine learning (ML) solutions being generated by all the data scientists in the the world is not even making a dent in the massive demand for these solutions, and this deficit is growing rapidly as executives across the globe–in all verticals–realize that an AI-driven organization is now a necessity.”

There were a number of new partnerships, collaborations, and alignments uncovered starting with Looker announcing it has become one of the first partners to support Google’s recently announced Cloud Spanner, Google’s globally distributed database. Looker now connects directly to Spanner, enabling users to query data in Spanner in real time and derive powerful insights. Looker also announced support for PostgreSQL on Google Cloud SQL, providing a direct connection for many of Looker’s customers who are running PostgreSQL today. Cloud Spanner combines high scalability, availability and performance while removing the manual work of creating replica transactional databases so tools can analyze the data. Looker is perfectly built to take advantage Spanner by querying the database directly and delivering real-time dashboards with up-to-the-minute data. Now, with Looker and projects built with spanner users can ask complex questions of data in a massive transactional store  with greater speed and efficiency and timeliness … Alation Inc., the collaborative data company, and Trifacta, the global leader in data wrangling, announced the extension of their partnership to include the joint delivery of an integrated solution for self-service data discovery and preparation — required elements of modern analytics platforms. The unified solution leverages deep integration between the two products to drive a seamless experience for the data analyst, no matter which application they start from. Analysts can start to work with data from either the Alation Data Catalog or Trifacta Wrangler Enterprise. No matter where they begin their experience, whether it starts with data discovery or with data preparation, users can access data catalog and data wrangling features within a single interface. The integration tames self-service analytic chaos by providing analysts with a choice of where to start the often iterative process of preparing data for self-service analysis … MedyMatch Technology announced a collaboration with IBM (NYSE:IBM) Watson Health to bring MedyMatch’s A.I.-based clinical decision support application to imaging experts working in hospital emergency rooms and other acute care settings to help doctors identify instances of intracranial bleeding as a result of head trauma and stroke. Initially, IBM Watson Health’s Imaging group will distribute the MedyMatch brain bleed detection application globally through its vendor neutral sales channels. Moving forward, IBM Watson Health and MedyMatch will develop interoperability between MedyMatch’s application and IBM Watson Health Imaging’s offerings … IBM announced with the Dublin City University (DCU) Water Institute a collaborative research pilot to leverage Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for environmental monitoring and management. The deployment of DCU sensors with IBM’s machine learning and cognitive IoT technologies will aim to help protect and conserve natural resources and address environmental management issues such as water quality for both freshwater and marine environments. IBM’s cognitive IoT technologies are able to provide deep learning capabilities for sensor platforms, which ensure quality and reliable data capture under a range of environmental conditions. Advanced analytics embedded in IoT-based sensor platforms, or the sensors themselves, can help detect subtle trends or early detection of environmental changes that may be crucial to public health and safety or remediation efforts.

New financial results keep rolling in from the big data vendor ecosystem starting with Anodot, the real time business incident detection and analytics company, releasing important indicators regarding its 2016 performance, far outpacing typical business-to-business startups in their first year of sales and suggesting significant market need and acceptance of Anodot’s product. Since entering the market slightly more than a year ago, Anodot has added new marquee customers to its roster, significantly increased bookings, and expanded operations and personnel. Anodot’s key measurements and milestones include:

  • Multi-million-dollar bookings since launch
  • 40% of Anodot customers are publicly traded companies
  • More than doubled the data analyzed by the company’s proprietary machine learning algorithms in less than six months to 5.2 billion data points per day
  • Expanded global presence with new offices in Silicon Valley and Europe
  • Tripled headcount and appointed two key management members
  • Named a Cool Vendor in Analytics in the 2016 Gartner report

We also learned of some new M&A activity … Genpact (NYSE: G), a global professional services firm focused on delivering digital transformation for clients, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Rage Frameworks, a leader in knowledge-based automation technology and services providing Artificial Intelligence (AI) for the Enterprise. Terms of the deal are not disclosed. As part of its strategy to drive both digital-led innovation and digital-enabled intelligent operations for its clients, Genpact is investing in leading technologies, such as AI, that are transforming the way companies in many industries compete. The acquisition of Rage Frameworks advances this strategy, extending the frontier of AI for the enterprise. Genpact will embed Rage’s AI in business operations and apply it to complex enterprise issues to allow clients to generate insights and drive decisions and action, at a scale and speed that humans alone could not achieve … Intel just paid $15.3 billion for Mobileye. According to Max Versace (yes – he’s related to Donatella), the AI expert that NASA relies on, they paid too much:

AI in our analysis is a software-centric endeavor. Hardware is only one necessary, but not sufficient component to succeed in delivering functionality to end customers. That’s why Ford’s acquisition of Argo for a billion dollars was a smart, strategic decision: powerful hardware without equally exceptionally algorithms is a half-baked solution. But many of the acquiring companies are hardware guys who only understand similar companies. Intel is the best example: they not only bought Mobileye, but also Movidius and Nervana. But Intel is not alone. Qualcomm acquisition of NXP for $47B is another example, although with the chip technology, Qualcomm has also acquired a consolidated channel. However, the whole industry is overlooking software as the key to deliver AI to millions of customers.”

We received some thoughts about Intel’s new AI group from industry analyst Patrick Moorhead:

Intel sees the huge potential in AI and are moving mountains to take full advantage of it. They have acquired Altera, Nervana Systems and other IP, need to connect to their home-grown IP and now it’s time to accelerate the delivery of it. That’s where today’s organization comes in play, a centralized organization, reporting directly to CEO Brian Krzanich, to make that happen. This is classic organizational strategy, accelerating delivery by organizing a cross-product group directly reporting to the CEO.”

Dell Boomi™ (Boomi) announced it has completed a transaction to acquire ManyWho™, a unified cloud and low-code development platform. ManyWho simplifies workflow automation and allows businesses and developers to turn business processes into rich software applications to connect employees, customers and core systems. Workflow automation is a critical need for modern businesses and organizations pursuing digital transformation and IT modernization. Adding the ManyWho low-code capabilities to Boomi’s market-leading integration platform accelerates the company’s ability to deliver workflow automation to customers on a unified platform, something no other company can match.

There was a late-breaking announcement of a new product … 1010data, Inc., offering the only integrated platform that combines self-service data management and analytics at scale with ready-to-use data, announced that it is continuing to evolve and improve its Consumer Insights Platform (CIP). The new CIP version 3.03 features reporting capabilities that enable retailers and suppliers to leverage existing loyalty program data to conduct a range of analytics on their business, from tracking new item performance to understanding source of volume at the item level and driving strategic decisions based on shopper-specific insights.

In people movement news, we learned that Cambridge Semantics, the leading provider of graph-based Smart Data management and exploratory analytics solutions, announced the addition of Carl Reed, an expert on financial big data discovery and analytics, as an industry advisor. Reed brings more than 20 years of FinTech experience to the Cambridge Semantics team working as a developer, engineer, strategist and enterprise architect. In recent years, Reed focused on data, ontology and graph semantics, making him an ideal advisor for Cambridge Semantics. Reed is formerly a technology managing director of Credit Suisse, serving as the head of data architecture and semantic technology. Prior to joining Credit Suisse, Reed worked at Goldman Sachs for 21 years where he served in a number of senior divisional CTO and technology strategy roles, implementing multiple, innovative technology solutions across the firm. These included large ontology, big data and semantic graph projects that served as foundations for next-generation technology provisioning, operations, billing and surveillance analytics architecture capabilities across the firm.

And finally, in IPO news, Alteryx, Inc. (NYSE: AYX), a leading provider of self-service data analytics software, announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 9,000,000 shares of its Class A common stock at a price of $14.00 per share. All of the shares are being offered by Alteryx. The shares are expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “AYX” on March 24, 2017. In addition, Alteryx has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,350,000 shares of Class A common stock at the initial public offering price. Goldman, Sachs & Co. and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering. Pacific Crest Securities, a division of KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., William Blair & Company, L.L.C., JMP Securities LLC, Raymond James & Associates, Inc. and Cowen and Company, LLC are acting as co-managers.

We received a commentary from Adam Wilson, CEO of data wrangling pioneer Trifacta, regarding the Alteryx IPO:

Data preparation is proving to be an absolute necessity for all those who work with data – whether data scientists or business users. The Alteryx IPO further validates data preparation as an expanding, stand-alone market. While Alteryx focuses on one channel – data prep for Tableau – other data-centric companies are jumping on the fast-growing opportunity. Cloudera is planning to IPO, and behemoths like Google and AWS are recognizing the need for data preparation in their cloud offering. As the market develops, it’ll continue gaining traction from leading global organizations, across a broad range of industries.

Alteryx’s IPO is further proof of the growing demand for self-service data preparation technologies. As more organizations deploy data analytics programs, they’re recognizing the value of empowering nontechnical users to work more productively with data. Rather than having analysts spend 80 percent of their time wrangling data, enterprises are bypassing the biggest bottleneck in the data lifecycle by leveraging emerging technologies that expedite the analysis process. Alteryx’s IPO and recent reports by leading analyst firms are echoing what we are seeing around the globe where adoption rates have increased over the last year – more than tripling the number of Trifacta’s enterprise customers to date.”


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