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DATA ANALYTICS FOR THE ENTERPRISE PART 2: Machine Learning and Driving Business Outcomes


As discussed in Part 1 of this series, a major focus coming out of Hadoop World was the drive to bring data analytics to the enterprise. Effort is underway to simplify the analytics stack – particularly the Hadoop ecosystem – and to deliver it in a turn-key way that is expected by enterprise businesses. In addition, new analytics products and tools are popping up to simplify data processing and automate the complicated data science processes. Data analytics is advancing towards regular enterprise, and machine learning is leading the way.

There are many areas within the realm of data science which are discussed regularly but are still essentially marketing buzzwords. While there have been advancements in deep learning and artificial intelligence, these are still very far away from being a commercial reality. Machine learning, on the other hand, is an area of data science which has significant capability to impact business outcomes today. Machine learning involves studying data, looking for patterns, and building an algorithm or model which can be used to predict future outcomes. Companies are using data models to predict sales, effects of marketing campaigns, outcomes of health studies, and many other use cases.

A key point to remember with data modelling is that the data sources do not necessarily have to be "big" to make important business predictions. A sales pipeline, for example, may only have a few variables which describe the success, but determining which variables (and in which combination) will drive the highest sales success can often be a difficult mathematical problem. The scale of machine learning problems can allow some experimentation without heavy investments in "big data" (e.g. Hadoop) infrastructure, but they still require advanced capabilities in data science to deliver accurate and effective results.

RoundTower believes that machine learning and the development of predictive models is a key area of data science that can have significant impacts to the traditional enterprise. Almost every company has data – sales, manufacturing, customer information, etc. – which can be modelled. Data modelling can drive massive advancements in company success when used as a method to predict the best course of action for profitable future outcomes. As one keynote presenter said at Hadoop World, "data is the new oil."

In pursuit of our goal to bring machine learning to the enterprise, RoundTower has partnered with Nutonian to build an on-premise appliance: Fast Answers. The Fast Answers appliance combines the machine learning software that Nutonian has developed (“Eureqa,” which was initially developed in Cornell University's Artificial Intelligence Lab) with RoundTower's purpose-built hardware which was tuned and tested to run this specific workload.

Fast Answers aims to deliver a turn-key analytics solution, which as discussed in Part 1 of this series, is a major driver for success in the enterprise. The Eureqa software focuses on automating many of the data science tasks typically associated with building predictive models. This means that users of Fast Answers do not typically have to be highly-trained data scientists, but only need to bring strong domain expertise with the data they are modelling and an understanding of the questions they are attempting to answer. Rather than needing to utilize complicated mathematical formulas to predict future outcomes, Fast Answers will automatically generate models and allow the user to manipulate the data to see the effects that each variable has on the other.

To learn more about how turn-key data analytics solutions can be brought to the enterprise, contact RoundTower and spend time with the members of our Data Analytics practice. Be sure to ask about how Fast Answers could be used within your enterprise to deliver profitable business outcomes without having to sacrifice significant capital on "big data" experiments. Better yet, ask to see a demo of the appliance in action. Our customers have been amazed at how quickly we can show meaningful results with their own data.

In Part 3 of this series I will dive deeper into a specific market segment which is seeing rapid success in the world of data analytics: healthcare. All facets of healthcare—from improving patient services to advanced biotechnology—are utilizing data to drive faster and more accurate results than ever seen before. These advancements require new investments in IT infrastructure, and healthcare enterprises require them to be turn-key. I will discuss how the industry is acquiring data, storing it for research purposes, and unlocking the value with machine learning and advanced data analytics. 


Part 1: Data Analytics for the Enterprise
Providing Turn-Key Solutions

I recently attended the Strata+Hadoop World conference in New York City held from September 27-29. I have been to the conference in previous years, and in the past you could say that Hadoop World was a bit of a geek-fest. The conference focused on things like core Hadoop infrastructure, exciting new software like Spark, and new innovations in the open source world.

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RoundTower Technologies and Nutonian have partnered to deliver the industry’s leading data science solution, Fast Answers Powered by Eureqa.
This collaboration brings together Nutonian’s industry leading expertise in data science and machine learning with RoundTower’s capabilities in delivering data analytics platforms.

 Download Our Case Study

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