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Why Pay for Analytics When Open Source Is ‘Free?’

Oct 23, 2014 |

The free analytics question comes up over and over again, especially as it pertains to open source analytic offerings. I don’t think a day goes by when someone at a company doesn’t ask, “Why should I pay for analytics when I can use (fill in the blank) open source statistics/analytics?”  You will find many lengthy discussions all over the Web on just this topic.  Often the discussion is much more impassioned than it needs to be. I will address the Read more…

Graph Analytics Startup Has Roots in IBM Watson

Oct 22, 2014 |

IBM Watson’s 2011 victory on Jeopordy! was a watershed moment for artificial intelligence and ushered in a new age of cognitive computing for big data. But as powerful as Watson is with natural language processing, it’s limited in the types of data and analytics it can perform. Today, a group of former IBMers led by the founder of Watson Labs formally unveiled Cognitive Scale, a big data startup that’s building upon Watson with the power of graph analytics. Cognitive Scale Read more…

What You May Have Missed at Strata + Hadoop World 2014

Oct 21, 2014 |

Talk about information overload. If you were one of the lucky 5,000 to attend the Strata + Hadoop World conference last week, then you were subject to a marathon session of big data keynotes delivered continually for the better part of two days. It’s understandable that you missed out on some of the big data news announced at the show, including Cray’s new Hadoop appliance, or the latest tools from Revolution Analytics and Tableau. Don’t worry: We’ll get you back Read more…

Five Traits of Data-Driven People

Oct 13, 2014 |

You don’t need to be a data analyst to be data-driven. Over the past year as our company has grown from 30 employees to 80-plus, we’ve seen this come to life. We’ve hired sales reps, account managers, and content marketers. Some of them are data analysts, but all of them are data-driven. We’ve found that they tend to share common ways of thinking and behaving. Here’s what I’ve learned about what makes data-driven people different: 1. They are always asking Read more…

Is Big Data the Next Big Civil Rights Issue?

Sep 19, 2014 |

There’s no doubt that the big data phenomenon is having a major impact on our lives. Algorithms are affecting what we buy, who we date, and how we work and play. But big data also takes a toll, including a loss of personal privacy and an increased risk of becoming victims of discrimination or unscrupulous vendors. Do these concerns make big data a civil rights issue? One group argues that it most definitely does. In a new report entitled “Civil Read more…

News In Brief

Machine Learning Gets a Boost from Google

Oct 23, 2014 |

Search giant Google announced a partnership with Oxford University researchers that will target artificial intelligence applications such as image recognition and natural language understanding. Google said U.K. researchers with its recently acquired DeepMind initiative would work with Oxford AI specialists who earlier this year cofounded Dark Blue Labs. The cofounders, Nando de Freitas, Phil Blunson, Edward Grefenstette and Karl Moritz Hermann, are considering leading experts in the use of “deep learning” for machine understanding of natural language. The researchers “will Read more…

NSF Awards $31M in Big Data Research Grants

Oct 6, 2014 |

Backing up Obama administration rhetoric about the economic impact of big data, the National Science Foundation will fund 17 data science research programs totaling $31 million as part of its Data Infrastructure Building Blocks (DIBBS) program. NSF said Oct. 1 the new university projects cover areas ranging from data analytics to management to security and specific scientific applications like biomedicine and life sciences. The agency, which focuses on funding university R&D, stressed in making the awards that many of the Read more…

Twitter Funds MIT ‘Social Machines’ Effort

Oct 3, 2014 |

Machines could become more social thanks to a new Twitter-funded initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s vaunted Media Lab that will seek to develop new technologies to make sense of social chatter ranging from tweets to data streams to digital content. MIT Media Lab announced Oct. 1 the creation of a Laboratory for Social Machines using $10 million in funding from Twitter over the next five years. Twitter said it also would provide the new MIT lab with full Read more…

Gauging Human Emotions at the Stroke of a Key

Aug 22, 2014 |

Indian researchers using text pattern analysis and “keystroke dynamics” claim they have designed a computer program that can accurately recognize a computer user’s emotions. “Depending on the emotion,” the researchers claimed, they accurately recognized and “emotional states” most of the time, indeed with great precision: 87 percent. Writing in the journal Behavior & Information Technology, a team of Indian researchers asked volunteer typists to note their emotional state after typing “fixed” text along with prescribed intervals of regular computer use. Read more…

Climate Researchers Crunch Data on Weather Extremes

Aug 5, 2014 |

Few data science problems can top weather forecasting and climate modeling for sheer complexity. Hence, big data is playing a key role in tracking changes in global climate and, with it, weather and climate extremes. The application of data analysis to decades of weather and climate data can provide insights that inform billion-dollar investments in agriculture, commodities, insurance and the financial sector, experts stress. More insights could be drawn from recent research at Northeastern University in Boston that used climate Read more…

This Just In

SAS and Capella University Collaborate to Offer Minor Degrees in Analytics

Oct 23, 2014 |

LAS VEGAS, Nev., Oct. 23 — With the demand for analytical talent projected to outpace supply by 60 percent in the next few years, and a persistent shortage of female analytic experts, new educational options are required to help address these needs. SAS and Capella University are helping adult learners jump-start careers in the hot field of analytics with two minor degrees. Capella University, a regionally accredited online university, is now offering a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology minor in data Read more…

NIH Invests $32M for BD2K Initiative

Oct 10, 2014 |

Oct. 10 — Wide-ranging National Institutes of Health grants announced today will develop new strategies to analyze and leverage the explosion of increasingly complex biomedical data sets, often referred to as Big Data. These NIH multi-institute awards constitute an initial investment of nearly $32 million in fiscal year 2014 by NIH’s Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative, which is projected to have a total investment of nearly $656 million through 2020, pending available funds. With the advent of transformative technologies Read more…

University of Illinois and Mayo Clinic Receive $9M to Create CoE for Big Data

Oct 10, 2014 |

Oct. 10 — Today’s researchers, working with the advantages of new, sophisticated laboratory technology, have unleashed a river of valuable biomedical data—much more, in fact, than many of them have the tools to properly analyze, or the capacity to store. In 2012, the National Institutes of Health created the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative to enable efforts to harness the potential of this flood of information. As part of the first wave of BD2K funding, the University of Illinois Read more…

TSRI and STSI Granted $4.4M for BD2K Initiative

Oct 10, 2014 |

LA JOLLA, Calif., Oct. 10 – San Diego researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI) will receive more than $4.4 million as part of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) initiative called “Big Data to Knowledge” (BD2K). The funding will be part of a new Center for Excellence for Big Data Computing at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), one of the 12 new centers nationwide announced today by the NIH. Over the course of Read more…

PSC to Provide HPC Resources for Pitt Big Data Project

Oct 9, 2014 |

Oct. 9 — The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of Pittsburgh an $11 million, four-year grant to lead a Big Data to Knowledge Center of Excellence, an initiative that will help scientists capitalize more fully on large amounts of available data and to make data science a more prominent component of biomedical research. The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center will provide HPC resources and expertise to support the effort. Much of science focuses on understanding the “why” or “how” Read more…