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Big Data News, Events, and Expert Opinion


Data Science Veteran Hilary Mason Comments on Big Data

4587324460_5e6ea0d47a_zHilary Mason is something of a pioneer among data scientists and Big Data enthusiasts. And when she talks about Big Data one would do good to listen. Mason spoke to Wall Street Journal earlier this week, making her doubts clear regarding Big Data. “What predictive algorithms are actually really good for is still an open question,” she said. “It was sold for a long time as they are going to know everything about you and everything you are going to do, but of course they don’t. They’re actually fairly terrible.” Fast Forward Labs is her all-in-one tech consultancy startup launched earlier this year in July, with a very unique agenda; it publishes ‘quarterly R&D reports, prototypes, innovation events and dialogues on the topics of innovation and near future technologies’. Mason and...
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LinkedIn Mines In-House Data Pool to Discover Which Internships Will Lead to Jobs

6014438906_0c893e1d44_bIn a move which could have students across the world weeping with joy, LinkedIn have mined their data pool to offer unprecedented insights into the world of internships. In a recent post on their blog, the LinkedIn team published research detailing which industries were more likely to provide internship opportunities, and which of them would turn into job offers. Research consultant for LinkedIn, Sohan Murthy writes for the blog, “Given how difficult it’s been for recent grads to get full-time jobs in this economy, we wanted to provide some insights into the trends around internships by mining the data in over 300 million LinkedIn member profiles to answer two questions: Which industries offer the most internship opportunities? How often do those internships lead to a full-time jobs at those companies?”...
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DERP’s No Joke: Reddit, Imgur and Twitch form Partnership for Social Data Research

8268018568_7403874015_kAmongst the memes, trolling, and procrastination aids in every form imaginable, community platforms such as Reddit offer a fascinating insight into the behaviour of online communities- if the data gets put in the right hands. This is the thinking behind a new partnership between Reddit, Imgur and Twitch, who are giving academic researchers access to internal data from their platforms, allowing researchers to glean insights into the dynamics of their respective communities. The name of the initiative? DERP. No, seriously- the project is known as the Digital Ecologies Research Partnership. According to Tim Hwang, Imgur’s Head of Special Initiatives, “Derp is an alliance of platforms that all believe strongly in this. In working with academic researchers, we support projects that meet institutional review at their home institution, and all research...
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Are Data and the Defensive Shift Ruining Baseball?

6979878140_a9a9d260d3_zDefensive shifting, in baseball, started as a trend several years ago and is rapidly becoming core strategy with major league baseball teams with the advent of complex predictive technology. The player positions in baseball has always been such that first-baseman stands at first base, the left-fielder positions himself in left field. Now teams are aided with player profiles of rival teams and placing their infielders and outfielders in spots where they are most likely to catch that player’s hits, based on data about past performance. Baseball Info Solutions (BIS), is the modern data analysis firm, housed in a former movie theatre on a residential street in Coplay, Pennsylvania, which provides the requisite player background and profile that makes the defensive shift away from locked positions possible. “Shifts make a ton...
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Desire2Learn Raises $85 Million to Take Personalised Learning to the Cloud

Desire2LearnOnline learning management system Desire2Learn Inc. recently scored $85 million in its second round of funding. With the new funding, Desire2Learn intends to expand international outreach and invest in the development of its cloud-based learning software. “Unlike advertising and e-commerce, education is an industry that has just begun to use big data analytics,” notes Jon Sakoda, partner at New Enterprise Associates which took part in the new financing round. “Ultimately, Desire2Learn is helping educators deliver personalized learning the way that delivered a personalized shopping experience.” Brightspace is D2L’s main platform that enables teachers deliver content to students in the classroom and at home via the Web and mobile devices, while tracking their learning progress regularly instead of just once a semester, at the time of a final exam or...
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StrataCloud Announces New CEO and Grabs $2 Million in Funding

2246816724_b2a71a8924_zCloud management startup StrataCloud, a company that helps manage VMware-based data center environments, raised $2 million in seed funding to enhance its marketing strategies, also announcing the appointment of ex-HP alum Brian Cohen as its chief executive officer. The round was led by Hallett Capital, with participation from BLH Venture Partners also. Brian Cohen, who was previously president and CEO at SPI Dynamics, which he sold to HP in 2007, explains,  “We track the data, collect the data ourselves, and we use our own compression algorithms that allow us to store more data efficiently.” StrataCloud can then predict the resources that applications would require in the future, based in historical data, thus providing better computing services to their client applications. “The virtual environment changes dynamically, once every five minutes, ten...
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Bringing Big Data to Non-Profits: Bayes Impact Launches New Programme in Partnership with Five Universities

6011122244_53d2a60d21_zBayes Impact, a non-profit organisation that helps students use big data for social good, is launching Bayes Impact University Programme at five universities this fall. As VentureBeat report, the programme is aimed at master’s students wanting to use their skills in computer science, statistics and data science to solve “real world problems using big data.” The University of San Francisco, University of California, Berkeley; New York University; Northwestern University; and Duke University are all expected to offer the programme this year. Andrew Jiang, Bayes Impact’s executive director, says that the programme is   designed for students who want to apply their final year project to the non-profit sector, rather than the more traditional route of doing a project for larger profit-driven companies. “Generally what happens with most master programs is, in...
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