IBM on Skin Care

January 19, 2015

Watson has been going to town in different industries, putting to use its massive artificial brain. It has been working in the medical field interpreting electronic medical record data. According to Open Health News, IBM has used its technology in other medical ways: “IBM Research Scientists Investigate Use Of Cognitive Computing-Based Visual Analytics For Skin Cancer Image Analysis.”

IBM partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering to use cognitive computing to analyze dermatological images to help doctors identify cancerous states. The goal is to help doctors detect cancer earlier. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, but diagnostics expertise varies. It takes experience to be able to detect cancer, but cognitive computing might take out some of the guess work.

Using cognitive visual capabilities being developed at IBM, computers can be trained to identify specific patterns in images by gaining experience and knowledge through analysis of large collections of educational research data, and performing finely detailed measurements that would otherwise be too large and laborious for a doctor to perform. Such examples of finely detailed measurements include the objective quantification of visual features, such as color distributions, texture patterns, shape, and edge information.”

IBM is already a leader in visual analytics and the new skin cancer project has a 97% sensitivity and 95% specificity rate in preliminary tests. It translates to cognitive computing being accurate.

Could the cognitive computing be applied to identifying other cancer types?

Whitney Grace, January 19, 2015
Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

NGIA Palantir Worth Almost As Much As Uber and Xiaomi

January 18, 2015

Short honk: Value is in the eye of the beholder. I am reminded of this each time I see an odd ball automobile sell for six figures on the Barrett Jackson auction.

Navigate to “Palantir Raising More Money After Tagged With $15 Billion Valuation.” Keep in mind that you may have to pay to view the article, or you can check out the apparently free link to source data at

The key point is that Palantir is an NGIA system. Obviously it appears on the surface to have more “value” than Hewlett Packard’s Autonomy or the other content processing companies in the hunt for staggering revenues.

Stephen E Arnold, January 18, 2015

Startup SpaceCurve Promises Speedy Geospatial Data Analysis

January 15, 2015

The big-data field has recently seen a boom in technology that collects location-related information. The ability to quickly make good use of that data, though, has lagged behind our capacity to collect it. That gap is now being addressed, according to IT World’s piece, “Startup Rethinks Databases for the Real-Time Geospatial Era.” SpaceCurve, launched in 2009 and based in Seattle, recently released their new database system (also named “SpaceCurve”) intended to analyze geospatial data as it comes in. Writer Joab Jackson summarizes some explanatory tidbits from SpaceCurve CEO Dane Coyer:

“Traditional databases and even newer big data processing systems aren’t really optimized to quickly analyze such data, even though most all systems have some geospatial support. And although there are no shortage of geographic information systems, they aren’t equipped to handle the immense volumes of sensor data that could be produced by Internet-of-things-style sensor networks, Coyer said.

“The SpaceCurve development team developed a set of geometric computational algorithms that simplifies the parsing of geographic data. They also built the core database engine from scratch, and designed it to run across multiple servers in parallel.

“As a result, SpaceCurve, unlike big data systems such as Hadoop, can perform queries on real-time streams of data, and do so at a fraction of the cost of in-memory analysis systems such as Oracle’s TimesTen, Coyer said.”

Jackson gives a brief rundown of ways this data can be used. Whether these examples illustrate mostly positive or negative impacts on society I leave for you, dear readers, to judge for yourselves. The piece notes that SpaceCurve can work with data that has been packaged with REST, JSON, or ArcGIS formats. The platform does require Linux, and can be run on cloud services like Amazon Web Services.

Naturally, SpaceCurve is not the only company who has noticed the niche spring up around geospatial data. IBM, for example, markets their InfoSphere Streams as able to handily analyze large chunks of such information.

Cynthia Murrell, January 15, 2015

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Security, Data Analytics Make List of Predicted Trends in 2015

January 9, 2015

The article on ZyLab titled Looking Ahead to 2015 sums up the latest areas of focus at the end of one year and the beginning of the next. Obviously security is at the top of the list. According to the article, incidents of breaches in security grew 43% in 2014. We assume Sony would be the first to agree that security is of the utmost importance to most companies. The article goes on to predict audio data being increasingly important as evidence,

“Audio evidence brings many challenges. For example, the review of audio evidence can be more labor intensive than other types of electronically stored information because of the need to listen not only to the words but also take into consideration tone, expression and other subtle nuances of speech and intonation…As a result, the cost of reviewing audio evidence can quickly become prohibitive and with only a proportional of the data relevant in most cases.”

The article also briefly discusses various data sources, data analytics and information governance in their prediction of the trends for 2015. The article makes a point of focusing on the growth of data and types of data sources, which will hopefully coincide with an improved ability to discover the sort of insights that companies desire.

Chelsea Kerwin, January 09, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Centrifuge Analytics v3 Promises Better Understanding of Big Data Through Visualization

December 23, 2014

The article on WMC Action News 5 titled Centrifuge Analytics v3 is Now Available- Large Scale Data Discovery Never Looked Better promotes the availability of Centrifuge Analytics v3, a product that enables users to see the results of their data analysis like never before. This intuitive, efficient tool helps users dig deeper into the meaning of their data. Centrifuge Systems has gained a reputation in data discovery software, particularly in the fields of cyber security, counter-terrorism, homeland defense, and financial crimes analysis among others. Chief Executive Officer Simita Bose is quoted in the article,

“Centrifuge exists to help customers with critical missions, from detecting cyber threats to uncovering healthcare fraud…Centrifuge Analytics v3 is an incredibly innovative product that represents a breakthrough for big data discovery.” “Big data is here to stay and is quickly becoming the raw material of business,” says Stan Dushko, Chief Product Officer at Centrifuge Systems. “Centrifuge Analytics v3 allows users to answer the root cause and effect questions to help them take the right actions.”

The article also lists several of the perks of Centrifuge Analytics v3, including that it is easy to deploy in multiple settings from a laptop to the cloud. It also offers powerful visuals in a fully integrated background that is easy for users to explore, and even add to if source data is complete. This may be an answer for companies who have all the big data they need, but don’t know what it means.

Chelsea Kerwin, December 23, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Data Analysis by Algorithm

December 22, 2014

The folks at Google may have the answer for the dearth of skilled data analysts out there. Unfortunately for our continuing job crisis, that answer does not lie in (human) training programs. Google Research Blog discusses “Automatically Making Sense of Data.” Writers Keven Murphy and David Harper ask:

“What if one could automatically discover human-interpretable trends in data in an unsupervised way, and then summarize these trends in textual and/or visual form? To help make progress in this area, Professor Zoubin Ghahramani and his group at the University of Cambridge received a Google Focused Research Award in support of The Automatic Statistician project, which aims to build an ‘artificial intelligence for data science’.”

Trends in time-series data have thus far provided much fodder for the team’s research. The article details an example involving solar-irradiance levels over time, and discusses modeling the data using Gaussian-based statistical models. Murphy and Harper report on the Cambridge team’s progress:

“Prof Ghahramani’s group has developed an algorithm that can automatically discover a good kernel, by searching through an open-ended space of sums and products of kernels as well as other compositional operations. After model selection and fitting, the Automatic Statistician translates each kernel into a text description describing the main trends in the data in an easy-to-understand form.”

Naturally, the team is going on to work with other kinds of data. We wonder—have they tried it on Google Glass market projections?

There’s a simplified version available for demo at the project’s website, and an expanded version should be available early next year. See the write-up for the technical details.

Cynthia Murrell, December 22, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Narrative Science Gets Money to Crunch Numbers

December 18, 2014

A smaller big data sector that specializes in text analysis to generate content and reports is burgeoning with startups. Venture Beat takes a look out how one of these startups, Narrative Science, is gaining more attention in the enterprise software market: “Narrative Science Pulls In $10M To Analyze Corporate Data And Turn It Into Text-Based Reports.”

Narrative Science started out with software that created sport and basic earnings articles for newspaper filler. It has since grown into help businesses in different industries to take their data by the digital horns and leverage it.

Narrative Science recently received $10 million in funding to further develop its software. Stuart Frankel, chief executive, is driven to help all industries save time and resources by better understanding their data

“ ‘We really want to be a technology provider to those media organizations as opposed to a company that provides media content,’ Frankel said… ‘When humans do that work…it can take weeks. We can really get that down to a matter of seconds.’”

From making content to providing technology? It is quite a leap for Narrative Science. While they appear to have a good product, what is it they exactly do?

Whitney Grace, December 18, 2014
Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Watson in a Beta Phase

December 18, 2014

IBM has put Watson to work in different fields, including: intelligence, cooking, and medicine. The goal is to apply Watson’s advanced analytic software to improve the quality and workflow in these fields as well as discover new insights. Watson Analytics will launch its first public beta test this month, three months after its private beta tests, says ZDNet in “IBM’s Watson Analytics Enters Public Beta.”

Watson Analytics will be freemium software available for mobile and Web devices to run predictive analytics and use the information for visual storytelling.

How does it work?

“Users of Watson Analytics feed in their own raw data, say, in the form of a spreadsheet, which the service then crunches with its own statistical analysis to highlight associations between different variables. It saves execs from needing to know how to write their own scripts or understand statistics in order to derive meaning from their data.”

Watson Analytics is still being changed to meet users’ needs, such as allowing them to create dashboards and infographics and being compatible with other programs: Oracle, SalesForce, Google Docs, and more.

IBM is still programming all the Watson Analytics features, but more details will be revealed as the public tests it.

Is this another PR scheme for Watson and IBM? How much have they spent on public relations? How much will Watson Analytics generate for IBM?

Whitney Grace, December 18, 2014
Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Short Honk: Google and Fish

December 17, 2014

You may want to read “Google Helps to Use Big Data for Global Surveillance—And That’s Good.” I have no big thoughts about this write up. Googlers like sushi, so protecting fish from overzealous fisher people seems logical to me. I would raise one question you ponder after you have read the article:

What happens when humans are tracked and analyzed in this manner?


Is this function in place as you read this?

I have no answers, but I enjoy learning what other people think. We do not need to discuss the meaning of “good.”

Stephen E Arnold, December 17, 2014

Rocket Software Explores The UniDataVerse

December 16, 2014

Rocket Software is growing their product base and Business Wire reports that “Rocket Software’s CorVu NG Business Intelligence Product Now Works With Its UniData and UniVerse Databases.” The new CorVu NG is compatible with UniData and UniVerse-U2 products. All U2 users will be transferred over to the product will not be charged any extra fees and will have access to more features, including drill down path support and Aerotext text analytics.

“Peter Richardson, Vice President and General Manager of Rocket’s business intelligence and analytics business unit, says, ‘One of the biggest advantages that our valued customers gets making this change is getting access to a wider range of Rocket services and products to help them reach their business goals. CorVu NG has the ability to work with the full suite of CorVu performance management modules, including CorStrategy, CorPlanning, CorRisk, and CorProject. This is a major enhancement for U2 customers who are interested in elevating their BI solution to one that includes not only tactical performance visualizations, but also strategic, high-level KPI tracking.’ “

It was also noted that not only is Rocket Software expanding its product base to attract more clients, but the CoVu NG software will allow their current clients to have more opportunities as well. This is in compliance with Rocket Software’s philosophy to offer a broader range of solutions to complement and supplement clients’ solutions.

Whitney Grace, December 16, 2014
Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

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