Weekly Big Data Catch-Up


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Big Data News, Events, and Expert Opinion


Distributed NoSQL: MongoDB

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe have explored several interesting distributed key-value databases including HBase and Accumulo, Riak, and Cassandra. Although key-value pairs are very flexible, it is tedious to map them to objects in applications. In this post we will learn about a popular document-oriented database MongoDB. MongoDB uses JSON-like documents with dynamic schemas, making the integration of data in certain types of applications easier and faster. Beyond key search, MongoDB supports search by value, range queries, and text searches. Any field in a document can be indexed (by B-Trees, similar to those in RDBMS). Data Model Documents are addressed in the database via a unique key. The documents contain one or more fields, and each field contains a value of a specific data type (maybe object or array). Documents that tend to share a similar structure are organized as collections. Compared to relational databases,...
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Intel and Michael J Fox Turn to Technology To Aid Parkinson’s Research

8384110298_da510e0347_zParkinson’s is neurodegenerative brain disease that affects almost 5 million people worldwide, and is second only to Alzheimer’s in global prevalence. Researchers have studied the causes, analysed the symptoms and have refined advanced genomics and proteomics techniques to create increasingly sophisticated cellular profiles of Parkinson’s disease pathology — all to little avail. Part of the problem, some have argued, is that the methodologies used to study the disease have barely changed since it was first described by Dr. James Parkinson in 1817. However, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) and Intel Corporation announced earlier today a collaboration to detect patterns in the progression of the disease by analysing the data collected from wearable technologies — essentially, monitoring devices that can track a patient’s symptoms throughout the day....
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Data Scientists and Chief Data Officers – Fact or Fad?

3534516458_48e4e8595f_bWhen a new job title is created and introduced to an organization, the immediate response is typically a combination of apprehension, confusion and sometimes rejection. It’s not unusual for people to scrutinize the role, question the business need and worry about how it will affect them. Riding on the coat tails of the Big Data phenomenon, the roles of data scientist and Chief Data Officer (CDO) are two job titles that have started to crop up in businesses, both large and small. This may not come as a surprise, but let’s take a step back and explore exactly why these roles are being created, what they do and how they are affecting the way organizations run their businesses. Firstly, there’s a lack of choice – to remain competitive, organizations have...
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Choosing a NoSQL

11122773785_8603e017b0_zMany people ask my opinion on different NoSQL databases, and they also want to know the benchmark numbers. I guess that the readers of this post probably have similar questions. When you start building your next cool cloud application, there are dozens of NoSQL options to choose. It is natural to ask which one is the fastest? AP or CP? What’s the sharding and fault tolerance strategy? And so on. But you won’t find any comparison chart or benchmark numbers here. You may be yelling now: “We benchmarked Oracle, DB2, SQL Server, MySQL and PostgreSQL in old days. And it was very meaningful and helpful!” Please let me explain. Yes, it makes sense to benchmark relational databases because SQL-based relational database products are largely indistinguishable. You are doing an apples-to-apples comparison. The...
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New Google Chrome App Allows Data Scientists to CoLaborate

New Google Chrome app allows Data Scientists to CoLaborateGoogle has quietly come up with a service that some of its employees worked on called CoLaboratory. Once the Google Chrome app is downloaded, the user instantly gets the IPython open-source software for interactive computing, and multiple Python libraries; multiple people can access and process data in a browser tab in a way that’s integrated with Google Drive. “This provides a big improvement over ad-hoc workflows involving emailing documents back and forth,” wrote Corinna Cortes, Kayur Patel, Mark Sandler Kester Tong of Google Research in the Google Research blog post. Josh Bloom, co-founder and chief technology officer of machine learning startup Wise.io., said, “I believe the marriage of Jupyter notebooks, the real-time collaboration of Google Docs, and in-browser computation will be most impactful in a teaching and education setting. There,...
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5 Use Cases of Big Data Improving Customer Satisfaction

90725657_95292ac65a_zFor those businesses intent on seizing upon it, big data is proving to be an effective way to optimize operations, producing new and exciting results that before could only be theorized. Indeed, big data opens up vast new avenues wherein a company may maximize opportunity, particularly in improving the relationship with the customer. Make no mistake–behind all the latest social media trends, sensor-embedded devices, and cloud computing advances, business success often depends on the age old rule of keeping the customer happy. That’s why big data is proving to be such an effective tool. To emphasize this point, here are several examples of companies that are utilizing big data in a variety of ways to improve customer satisfaction. 1. Southwest Airlines Well-known company Southwest Airlines is no stranger to using...
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IBM Researchers Build Microchip the Size of a Postage Stamp that Mimics Human Brain

7254347346_acaedb3960_zInspired by the brain’s structure, Scientists collaborating with IBM’s Brain-Inspired Computing group, have developed an efficient, scalable, and flexible Non–von Neumann architecture that leverages contemporary silicon technology and as a result a million computational units could be packed into a tiny patch of area.  It is being touted as a supercomputer the size of a postage stamp. Putting things into perspective, Dr Dharmendra Modha, the publication’s senior author, notes, “The cumulative total is over 200 person-years of work. Our chip integrates computation, communication and memory very closely.” The scientists built a 5.4-billion-transistor chip with 4096 neurosynaptic cores interconnected via an intra-chip network that integrates 1 million programmable spiking neurons and 256 million configurable synapses. Chips can be tiled in two dimensions via an interchip communication interface, seamlessly scaling the architecture...
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Facebook Buys Secure Server Tech Firm PrivateCore – Looks to Bolster Encryption and Malware Prevention

8159383542_1fdef8b762_zFacebook has acquired cyber-security firm, PrivateCore, as a move towards reinforcing its bastions in order to ward off online data threats. It plans to implement PrivateCore technology into its server stack to fortify encryption and malware prevention. “I’ve seen how much people care about the security of data they entrust to services like Facebook,” Joe Sullivan, Facebook’s chief security officer, said in a statement on Thursday. “PrivateCore’s technology and expertise will help support Facebook’s mission to help make the world more open and connected, in a secure and trusted way.” PrivateCore enables enterprises to deploy servers in outsourced environments while maintaining data security. As a part of Facebook, it will essentially make sure that the information (photos and messages) that are available on the social media accounts of users, stays...
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