Stunning Visuals Show How Datasets Connect

January 25, 2013

Data analysis can be tricky business, especially when you have been staring at a computer screen and all the information blurs together. What if there was a way to make the data more visually stimulating, not to mention could take out the guesswork in correlations? Gigaom may have found the answer, “Has Ayasdi Turned Machine Learning Into A Magic Bullet?” Ayasdi is a startup company that has created software for visually mapping hidden connections in massive datasets. The company just opened its doors with $10.25 million in funding, but what is really impressive is their software offering:

“At its core, Ayasdi’s product, a cloud-based service called the Insight Discovery Platform, is a mix of distributed computing, machine learning and user experience technologies. It processes data, discovers the correlations between data points, and then displays the results in a stunning visualization that’s essentially a map of the dataset and the connections between every point within it. In fact, Ayasdi is based on research into the field of topological data analysis, which Co-founder and President Gunnar Carlsson describes a quest to present data as intuitively as possible based solely on the similarity of (or distance between, in a topological sense) the data points.”

The way the software works is similar to social networking. Social networking software maps connections between users and their content, but the algorithms do not understand what the connections mean. Ayasdi makes it easier for its users to attach meaning to the correlations. The article also points out that Ayasdi’s software is hardly a new concept, but for some working in BI it takes out a lot of the discovery work. The software may be really smart, but humans are still needed to interpret the data.

Whitney Grace, January 25, 2013

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