“Above the Trend Line” – Your Industry Rumor Central for 1/11/2021

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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.

Happy New Year to all our readers from around the globe! We’re looking forward to a strong year in the big data ecosystem. Let’s start with some new funding news … Dremio, the innovation leader in data lake transformation, announced it has raised $135 million in Series D funding, bringing the company’s valuation to $1 billion. This preemptive fundraising occurred just nine months after a $70 million round led by Insight Partners in March 2020. The new fundraising round is led by Sapphire Ventures with participation from existing Dremio investors: Insight Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, and Cisco Investments. The investment will help Dremio expand its engineering centers of excellence around the globe, grow its customer-facing organization, contribute to open-source initiatives, and invest heavily in educating and enabling a growing community of data lake practitioners … Einblick, a visual data computing platform provider, based on years of research at MIT and Brown University, announced it has secured $6 million in Seed funding from lead investor Amplify Partners with participation from top-tier investors Flybridge and Samsung Next. Einblick is launching a visual data computing platform that fundamentally changes how users interact with data by providing the fastest way to understand the past, predict the future and make the best data-driven decisions for their business …. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded University of Massachusetts Amherst biostatistician Raji Balasubramanian a four-year, $1.37 million grant to advance the analysis of data from metabolomics research. These studies examine at the molecular level the links between metabolic action and the risk of chronic health conditions, from heart disease and stroke to breast cancer and other complex disorders. Balasubramanian, associate professor of biostatistics and epidemiology in the School of Public Health and Health Sciences, will co-lead an interdisciplinary team in the development and application of new statistical models to more effectively mine the expanding base of metabolomics data sources. The other lead investigator is Denise Scholtens, chief of biostatistics and director of the Northwestern University Data Analysis and Coordinating Center. Metabolomics focuses on the study of the universe of small molecule metabolites involved in the body’s chemical reactions, as measured in blood, urine, saliva and other fluids.

In M&A news we learned … Khoros, a global leader in digital-first customer engagement software, announced that it has acquired enterprise customer experience (CX) analytics software maker Topbox and closed on an additional equity investment from existing Khoros investors, including leading global technology investment firm Vista Equity Partners, to help accelerate the Company’s momentum in the CX market. The acquisition of Topbox brings an innovative omnichannel CX analytics solution to Khoros’ award-winning digital customer engagement platform to create a powerful new standard for artificial intelligence (AI)-powered customer experience management. Khoros with Topbox, backed with additional funding from Vista and other existing investors, will deliver the CX industry’s most comprehensive solution that provides a unified, actionable view of the customer and enables enterprises to create and deliver next-level customer engagement and experiences … TIBCO Software Inc., a global leader in enterprise data, empowers its customers to connect, unify, and confidently predict business outcomes, solving the world’s most complex data-driven challenges. TIBCO announced it has successfully closed the acquisition of Information Builders, Inc. (ibi) following its announcement in October to acquire the business. The acquisition marks the addition of ibi’s data management and analytics capabilities to the advanced TIBCO Connected Intelligence platform … Red Hat, Inc., a leading provider of open source solutions, announced its intent to acquire StackRox, a leader and innovator in container and Kubernetes-native security. By bringing StackRox’s powerful Kubernetes-native security capabilities to Red Hat OpenShift, the industry’s leading enterprise Kubernetes platform, Red Hat will further its vision to deliver a single, holistic platform that enables users to build, deploy and securely run nearly any application across the entirety of the hybrid cloud … Cognizant (Nasdaq: CTSH) announced it has acquired Inawisdom, a UK-based, privately-held consultancy specializing in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics to help businesses make better, faster decisions that improve business outcomes. Inawisdom focuses on delivering cloud-native, full-stack solutions leveraging proven consulting methodologies and an analytics and machine learning platform built using Amazon Web Services (AWS). Financial details were not disclosed … Kenshoo, a global leader in marketing technology, announced its intent to acquire Signals Analytics, a pioneer in AI-powered analytics for market intelligence. The acquisition positions the company to solve the biggest challenge brands face in the post-COVID-19 era: How to catch up with accelerated e-commerce adoption and be best positioned to understand, engage and transact with consumers regardless of channel … Quest Software, a global systems management, data protection and security software provider, announced the acquisition of erwin, Inc. to enable organizations to realize the exceptional business benefits of data fully. Erwin’s solutions strengthen Quest’s market-leading data toolset, adding new capabilities to drive significant data initiatives and the deployment of modern applications while ensuring regulatory compliance. The deal further spotlights Quest as a leading software provider for critical enterprise IT challenges. 

In the new partnerships, alignments, and collaborations category, we heard … Veritone, Inc. (Nasdaq: VERI), the creator of the operating system for artificial intelligence, aiWARE™, announced a strategic relationship with Alteryx, Inc. (NYSE: AYX), a leader in analytic process automation (APA), to deliver AI-powered insights into unstructured data sources, including video, images, audio and text, to Alteryx customers. Veritone joins Alteryx’s Partner Alliances program, integrating aiWARE with the Alteryx platform to help Alteryx customers transform unstructured data into actionable intelligence and valuable insights. With over 80% of the world’s data unstructured and growing 30-60% per year according to Gartner, this integration adds a significant number of potential use cases and applications for Alteryx customers to unlock unstructured data insights … Narrative, the enterprise data streaming company, announced a collaboration with Experian. Now, brands that leverage Narrative’s data streaming platform can access insights from Experian’s ConsumerViewSM database. The collaborative effort will help marketers better understand their target audience and deliver relevant messages across channels, in a privacy-compliant manner.

In the new customer wins category we have … GrammaTech, a leading provider of software application security testing research and products, announced it has been awarded a contract under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) AIE program to research the use of AI to infer mathematical algorithms baked into binary applications of cyber physical systems. DARPA AIE sponsors research to prototype the development of new, game-changing AI technologies for U.S. National Security … Panalgo, a leading healthcare analytics company, announced that its Instant Health Data (IHD) platform will be used by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to facilitate the analysis of real-world data. EMA will use IHD to undertake rapid analyses of Electronic Healthcare Data (EHDs) accessible in-house (currently data from the UK, France, and Germany) to more quickly examine drug utilization, assess safety/efficacy, understand how treatments perform in real-world settings, and support public health efforts in the European Union (EU). EMA’s scientific committees will benefit from more rapid support for informed decision-making at the population level, including the benefit-risk of medicines, product life cycle analyses, and other clinical insights to better support public health goals.  To make the choice of analytics software, EMA conducted a rigorous evaluation of IHD as well as several other platforms, which included proof of concept testing, in-depth hands-on analyses and verification of results. IHD received the highest score in the evaluation.

In people movement news, we learned … Ataccama, a leading provider of self-driving data management and governance solutions, has named Martin Zahumenksy to the position of Chief Growth Officer. In this role, Zahumensky will introduce, coordinate, and execute various initiatives to drive company growth. The role is cross-functional, and bridges marketing, sales, partnership, and product areas. Zahumensky has worked with the Ataccama team since its inception and brings extensive experience from the field of data management. He spent his early career in large-name professional services and consulting organizations before founding his own company, Instarea, and serving as its CEO for nearly a decade … ThetaRay, a leading provider of AI-based Big Data analytics, announced the appointment of Richard Perry as Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). He will be responsible for leading global sales, portfolio development and market strategy. Richard brings over 20 years of commercial experience building and scaling cybersecurity and technology companies globally.

In finally, in new patent news … Exterro Inc., the preferred provider of Legal GRC software specifically designed for law enforcement and in-house legal, privacy, and IT teams at Global 2000 and AmLaw 200 organizations, and the Association of Corporate Counsel exclusive Alliance Partner for Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Compliance and E-Discovery, announced today that the company’s breakthrough Gateway Coordinator Technology has been granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Exterro’s now-patented Gateway Coordinator helps facilitate processing and filtering of collected data to significantly reduce the amount of data leaving an organization’s security firewalls during collection which helps reduce risk, reduce bandwidth usage, and lower storage requirements. Such transferred data can then be analyzed and/or reviewed in conjunction with the data collection across an ever-growing wide spectrum of legacy and cloud data sources through Exterro’s Integration Hub.

The Deep Learning Patent “Land Rush” – Still Growing

By: Nelson E. (Nick) Brestoff, J.D., M.S. Exec. Manager Y& Chief Inventor, Intraspexion LLC

For 2020, the year-end total of “deep learning” patents granted by the USPTO is 726. The arc of the history is remarkable, but it missed doubling the 2019 figure of 396. Still, 726 was about 92% of the way to a doubling. Maybe 2021 will be better. Note: My USPTO Search is always: ACLM/(“deep learning” OR “deep neural” OR “multi-layer neural”) AND ISD/(200x or 202x).

For this graph, where the word “zoom” also applies, I started the history of deep learning patents by going back in time, to January 1, 2001, so that we could see the early history. For a long time, there wasn’t much going on. From January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2016 (16 years), the USPTO granted only 62 “deep learning” patents (about 4 per year). But from January 1, 2017 to December 29, 2020 (the last 4 years), the USPTO has granted an additional 1,367 patents (about 342 per year).

Thus, it is fitting to close by recalling that the only U.S. president who received a patent from the USPTO was none other than Abraham Lincoln, for U.S. Pat. No. 6,469 (1849).

And perhaps he said it best—for all inventors—when he remarked, in 1859, that the patent system “… has secured to the inventor, for a limited time, the exclusive use of [an] invention; and thereby added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius….” (Italics added.)

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