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“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 7/29/2020

Above the Trend Line: your industry rumor central is a recurring feature of insideBIGDATA. In this column, we present a variety of short time-critical news items grouped by category such as M&A activity, people movements, funding news, industry partnerships, customer wins, 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 you a one-stop source of late-breaking news to help you keep 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.

Well, another habit I’ve gotten into this summer is doing some hard-core coding late at night. My office light is the only one burning in my whole neighborhood. Lately, my tools of choice are: Python, Jupyter notebooks, and TensorFlow. I love summertime, a time for cool projects! For now, let’s take a look at some new funding news … Explorium announced that it has secured an additional $31M in funding for its data science platform powered by automated data discovery. The Series B funding round was led by existing investor Zeev Ventures and joined by ex-Twitter leadership’s 01 Advisors and Sir Ronald Cohen’s Dynamic Loop, with the participation of seed investors Emerge and F2 Capital. It brings Explorium’s total funding to $50 million … Qumulo, a leading file data platform that helps organizations easily create and manage their file data at scale with unrivaled freedom, control and real-time visibility, announced $125 million in Series E funding, at a valuation of more than $1.2B. With the close of this round, led by BlackRock, the company’s total funding will grow to $351 million. The financing includes strong participation from Highland Capital Partners, Madrona Venture Group, Kleiner Perkins, and new investors including Amity Ventures. The new funding will be used to accelerate innovation and scale across the globe … WhizAI, the purpose-built cognitive insights platform for the life sciences, announces $4 million in seed funding led by Healthy Ventures, with participation from Bling Capital, Firebolt Ventures and existing investors. This investment brings the total raised by the company to over $6.5 million. The world’s leading global pharmaceutical companies rely on WhizAI to empower their commercial teams and leadership with 100x faster access to insights when compared to traditional business intelligence applications. With WhizAI, users can simply ask questions in their own language. This is achieved with AI that is pre-trained on life sciences vernacular and data. The product combines AI for natural language processing, data modeling, data visualization and anomaly detection into a single platform for cognitive insights … Just as wildfire season begins, this startup’s AI and Machine Vision technology platform quickly analyzes millions of images of power lines to detect dangerous flaws in the infrastructure, helping utilities to identify problem areas and repair them before a fire starts. Buzz Solutions, a StartX accelerator startup, announced it has raised $1.2 million to perform image analysis and provide actionable reports in a matter of hours or days, compared to the six to eight months it takes utilities now when the work is performed by engineers. In the process, the platform saves utilities 50- to 70-percent in costs. The seed round was led by Blackhorn Ventures with participation from a syndicate comprising Ulu Ventures, Vodia Ventures, and Advisors.fund. The company’s technology is already being used in pilot projects at a large southern California utility, a large Midwest utility, and two large New York utilities.

We also learned of a number of new partnerships, alignments and collaborations … The Cloudera Foundation has selected its newest Data4Change grantee and project: the Urban Institute, in support of its Education Data Portal. The Education Data Portal provides access to billions of data points from more than 30 datasets covering a wide range of education policy. More important, the hub makes data from different sources comparable by harmonizing formats and definitions of indicators, allowing researchers, principals and other users to look at trends and combine data across sets … Pluralsight, Inc. (NASDAQ: PS), the technology skills and engineering management platform, announced a collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) that will help technologists enhance their machine learning (ML) skills with AWS DeepRacer, a fully autonomous 1/18th scale race car driven by reinforcement learning (RL). The collaboration features an AWS DeepRacer hub on the Pluralsight platform that includes a customized channel, curated by Pluralsight and AWS experts, for AWS DeepRacer content. Users will have access to a variety of offerings, including a series of workshops, webinars, and racing events … Teradata (NYSE: TDC), the cloud data and analytics company, announced that it will be a partner of the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud. The Industrial Cloud – which is being developed by Volkswagen together with Amazon Web Services (AWS) – is an open IoT platform combining the data of all machines, plants and systems from all facilities of the Volkswagen Group. Teradata will support Volkswagen by providing cloud-based data analytics to optimize production processes and drive productivity increases in the plants … Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR), a leading global provider of carrier- and cloud-neutral data center, colocation and interconnection solutions, announced the next milestone in its collaboration with NVIDIA. Together with Core Scientific, Digital Realty has deployed the industry’s first Data Hub powered by the NVIDIA DGXTM A100 at its Interxion Digital Docklands Campus near the heart of London’s financial center. With today’s announcement, Digital Realty is accelerating digital transformation by introducing a new AI-ready infrastructure solution that enables customers to rapidly deploy AI models in close proximity to their data sets … To help marketers more accurately connect people to data and devices, and drive personalized marketing based on real individuals, Throtle, a leader in identity resolution and data on-boarding, and Narrative, the enterprise data streaming company, announced their partnership providing Narrative’s clients access to Throtle’s Identity Graph. Throtle, recently validated by Truth{Set}, an independent data quality scoring firm for its consumer data accuracy of person-level data, enables Narrative’s clients to activate and optimize client’s first-party data and reap the benefits of 1-to-1 marketing … Predictive analytics innovator and marketing data creator, AnalyticsIQ, and Nitrogen.ai, the AI data science feature marketplace, have partnered to make AnalyticsIQ’s predictive geographic-level data assets available on the Nitrogren.ai platform. This partnership furthers the effort of making data science accessible, impactful, and compliant for users everywhere by connecting them with external data sources they may not have otherwise had the opportunity to analyze … leAD Sports and Health Tech Partners have announced a partnership with Stradigi AI, a leading North American Artificial Intelligence software company, to provide startups in the leAD Lake Nona program access to cutting edge AI technology. Through this partnership, selected early-stage sports and health tech companies that are part of the program in Lake Nona, Orlando, FL will be able to use Kepler, Stradigi AI’s newly launched self-service version of its Machine Learning platform. Kepler enables users with no previous Machine Learning and Deep Learning experience to reap the benefits of business-driving AI in hundreds of real-world applications, saving research and development costs and empowering non-technical founders and business users … Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and its AI research institute Borealis AI have partnered with Red Hat and NVIDIA to develop a new AI computing platform designed to transform the customer banking experience and help keep pace with rapid technology changes and evolving customer expectations. As AI models become more efficient and accurate, so do the computational complexities associated with them. RBC and Borealis AI set out to build an in-house AI infrastructure that would allow transformative intelligent applications to be brought to market faster and deliver an enhanced experience for clients. Red Hat OpenShift and NVIDIA’s DGX AI computing systems power this private cloud system that delivers intelligent software applications and boosts operational efficiency for RBC and its customers … VoiceBase, a leading AI-Powered Voice Analytics company, announced a strategic partnership with ThoughtSpot, the leading Search & AI-Driven Analytics platform, to revolutionize how enterprises gain faster insights from their voice data through innovative search capabilities … Global chemical company BASF and IntelliSense.io, a leading industrial artificial intelligence (AI) company, announced an exclusive partnership which will combine their expertise in mineral processing, ore beneficiation chemistry and industrial AI technology. The joint offering is called the ‘BASF Intelligent Mine powered by IntelliSense.io’ and delivers AI solutions embedded with BASF’s mineral processing and chemical expertise. This solution will enable mine operations to become more efficient, sustainable and safe … Hybrid cloud data warehouse company Yellowbrick Data announced their partnership with Nexla. Both Yellowbrick and Nexla have customers with huge data needs across a variety of enterprise applications. Together, they provide a cutting-edge platform for inter-company data collaboration between or among a company’s customers, suppliers, or other third-party data providers such as market intelligence firms or macroeconomic data vendors. As part of their partnership, the companies are working on technical certifications and performance tuning as well as joint go-to-market opportunities.

In new people movement news we heard … Ahana, the SQL analytics company for Presto, announced the appointment of David E. Simmen as Chief Technology Officer. Simmen will oversee the company’s technology strategy while driving product innovation. His extensive database experience will further accelerate Ahana’s vision of simplifying ad hoc analytics for organizations of all shapes and sizes. Simmen joined Ahana most recently from Apple where he engineered iCloud database services. Prior to Apple, he was Chief Architect with Splunk and named the first Fellow in the company’s history. There, he built Splunk’s multi-year technical roadmap and architecture in support of enterprise customers. Prior to Splunk, Simmen was Engineering Fellow and CTO of Teradata Aster where he set the technical direction and led the architecture team that built advanced analytics engines and storage capabilities in support of big data discovery applications.

In the customer wins category, we have … Teradata (NYSE: TDC), the cloud data and analytics company, announced that after an evaluation of other cloud analytics offerings on the market, Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE: EAT) has reinvested with Teradata, leveraging the Teradata Vantage platform – delivered as-a-service, on Amazon Web Services (AWS) – as the core of its data foundation to facilitate advanced analytics, machine learning and data science across the organization. Brinker is one of the world’s leading casual dining restaurant companies and has been a Teradata customer for more than two decades. Founded in 1975 and based in Dallas, Texas, Brinker owns, operates, or franchises more than 1,600 restaurants under the names Chili’s® Grill & Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy®. Over the past year, Brinker has been working to further increase its capabilities in advanced analytics and data science … SQream, provider of a data analytics acceleration platform that enables enterprises to gain critical business insights from their massive data, announced that it has signed a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract with a tier-1 mobile operator. SQream enables operators to provide better quality of service with lower downtime and reduced network costs, and improved personalized service offerings. This agreement further cements SQream’s growing market share in the telecom industry, which includes Orange, LG UPlus, AIS, Cellcom and others. With an estimated 30 million mobile subscribers and a growing base of 5G subscribers, the operator’s data is increasing at an exponential pace. The company faces big challenges due to excessive time required to prepare and execute queries, as well as not being able to analyze larger volumes of data from their Hadoop system, to increase the richness and accuracy of their business intelligence … GoodData®, a leader in end-to-end analytics solutions, announced that Zalando, Europe’s leading online platform for fashion and lifestyle, is using GoodData technology to provide brands with detailed access to data to help them better target their customers and grow their businesses.Founded in Berlin in 2008, Zalando brings head-to-toe fashion to 32 million customers via 300 million monthly visits to the Zalando website and app, and provides a platform for more than 2,500 top fashion and lifestyle brands.Zalando recently deployed the GoodData analytics platform to launch “ZMS Insights” to help its brand partners gain a holistic understanding of their consumers, what products they want and when they want them. This enables brands to optimize strategy, product, market and merchandising decision-making, and enables Zalando to be more collaborative with brands via data sharing … Matillion, a leading provider of data transformation for cloud data warehouses (CDWs), announced that Cisco Cloud Security has deployed Matillion ETL for Snowflake. By switching from legacy provider Informatica to Matillion, Cisco reduced its ETL application spend by 84% and established a scalable, flexible, and cost-effective solution that met its increasing data storage and reporting requirements.

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