July 12, 2013

Big Data Big Five

Isaac Lopez

In this week’s Big Data Big Five, we look at new services launched by Actian, fighting Alzheimer’s with big data, a new educational institute dedicated to bringing big data education to K-16, preventing suicide in US veterans, and more…

Actian Launches New Cloud & Analytics Services

Actian announced this week that they are leveraging their recent acquisitions ParAccel, Pervasive, and Versant to launch two new platforms – the Actian DataCloud and ParAccel Big Data Analytics platforms. The new services are said to provide “end-to-end capabilities” from data connection through preparation and analytics and automated action.

The company already has customers on the platforms, including Opera Solutions, and Autometrics. Speaking for the big data analytics platform, Laks Srinivasan, Co-Chief Operating Officer with Opera Solutions says that their organization is using it as part of their delivery platform for their SignalHub technologies.

“We leverage Actian’s ParAccel Big Data Analytics to continually and rapidly extract predictive information and patterns from large and very diverse data flows, in high-performance environments ranging from the analytic SMP database to parallelized execution on both Hadoop and non-Hadoop clusters,” explained Srinivasan. “With the full spectrum of scale-up and scale-out ParAccel Platform, we enhance our ability to detect hard-to-find predictive patterns with our SignalHub technologies.”

While the company has not revealed their pricing model, a company representative tells Datanami that Actian has created a pricing model aimed at enabling companies of all sizes to participate.

NEXT — Predictive Analytics Company Aims To Prevent Suicide in Vets — >

Predictive Analytics Company Aims To Prevent Suicide in Vets

Predictive analytics company, Patterns and Predictions, has announced a new initiative called “The Durkheim Project” which aims at using machine learning and other underlying technologies (including Hadoop) to help predict (and thus prevent) suicide in US troops.

The program has opt-in participation from over 100,000 U.S. veterans, building a database that will be used to build mental health algorithms to help identify and treat cases where there may be a suicide risk. According to a 2012 TIME Magazine story (“One A Day”), suicide rates among veterans are roughly double of those in the general US population.

Patterns and Predictions is leveraging partnerships with BI & data warehousing company, Attivio, and Hadoop distro vendor, Cloudera to accomplish their research – as well as with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The company says having successfully completed an investigation into the validity of their algorithms, they are ready to begin phase two of the project, aimed at scaling the project.

“The promise of Durkheim lies in its ability to collect and monitor a diverse repository of complex data, with the hope of eventually providing a real-time triage of interventional actions upon detection of a critical event,” said Chris Poulin, founder of Patterns and Predictions.

NEXT — Big Data Initiative Aimed at Alzheimer’s — >

Big Data Initiative Aimed at Eradicating Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association and the Brin Wojcicki Foundation announced on Friday that it will be freely releasing whole genome sequences to researcher worldwide as part of the first big data project aimed at Alzheimer’s disease.

The research comes from more than 800 people enrolled in the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), and is said to be the largest collection of genome data related to a single disease. Estimated at 200 terabytes, the genome sequencing data is being housed and made available through the Global Alzheimer’s Association Interactive Network (GAAIN), an organization which was created through a $5 million dollar initial investment by the Alzheimer’s Association.

“By fostering a higher level of global data sharing, GAAIN will accelerate investigation and discovery in Alzheimer’s through a system comparable to a search engine like Google or Bing for relevant data,” said Maria Carrillo, Ph.D., Alzheimer’s Association vice president of Medical and Scientific Relations.

“With the addition of more than 800 whole genomes on ADNI subjects that can be linked to the current rich dataset, ADNI data will be even more useful to scientists who are seeking new approaches to treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Robert C. Green, M.D., M.P.H., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, who led the ADNI sequencing project.

NEXT — Big Data Goes to School — >

Big Data Goes to School

With one of the challenges of data science being that there never seem to be enough data scientists, one organization has gotten to work on altering the education curriculum. Nonprofit organization, Education Development Center, Inc., says that they are launching a new organization called the Oceans of Data Institute, aimed at infusing teaching and learning about big data into K-16 courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Based in Waltham, Massachusetts, the new institute will work on developing and testing digital tools and curriculum materials, and conducting research, aimed at up-leveling the capabilities and knowledge of American students in the field of big data. The organization has already released one report, named “Visualizing Oceans of Data: Educational Interface Design.”

Using large sets of data, including such things as oceanic data, the project aims at giving students the necessary tools and knowledge for understanding large data sets, including how to analyze and interpret the data and develop use models. To accomplish this, the institute says that it will produce new materials for teachers, as well as digital tools and curricula for the students.

The institute says their first product is already completed – a new earth science curriculum that will be used in schools this fall.

NEXT — Study Reveals Mid-Market Investment Level in Big Data — >

Study Reveals Mid-Market Investment Level in Big Data

A study conducted by Techaisle reveals that 18 percent of mid-market businesses are currently investing in big data solutions, the company revealed this week. The study, centered on worldwide big data adoption & trends, says that the global SMB spend on big-data related deployments will cross the $3.6 billion (US) threshold by 2016.

The study says that nearly one-fourth of lower mid-market businesses consider big data to be over-hyped, however 29 percent believe that it will be an important part of their business decision-making process in the near future.

Sentiment monitoring, and generating new streams of revenue top the business drivers for big data adoption, according to the study, with improving predictive analytics as mobility, social media, and other services being a factor. 

According to Techaisle, there was no clear consensus where on-premise vs. cloud deployment models are concerned, however, Hadoop dominated as the preferred platform choice despite existing confusion in the mid-market around the framework.

Unsurprisingly, the survey revealed that general technology confusion coupled with lack of skilled resources among the leading roadblocks for big data project implementations.

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