Friday Roundup: Week of January 19, 2015

Posted on Jan 23, 2015

Data science: The next revolution in sustainable agriculture

Climate Corporation, Dairy Herd, 1/21/15

“It is the next revolution in sustainable agriculture”, said an employee of Climate Corporation. Agriculture?  Yes, data science is reaching more fields than you might have imagined. Scientists at Climate Corporation are using data and models to provide actionable insights they can use to make important crop management decisions throughout the season. Think of this: farmers get to know the amount of nitrogen available in a field and learn to read satellite imagery to identify problems in the field before they impact yield.  Farmers with predictive powers!  Data science is helping to feed the world. A Climate Corporation spokesperson says, “this is just the beginning”.

Goldman makes first foray into big data in Asia

Financial Times, Jeremy Grant, 1/22/15

Goldman Sachs is showing interest in new big data technologies in Asia as it recently announced the lion’s share of a $56m round of funding for Antuit, a data analytics start-up in Singapore. The big data market is dominated by Intel, Qualcomm and Google but smaller players are emerging. And Financial institutions are looking increasingly beyond traditional compliance systems to big data and new technologies to root out illicit behaviour.

Interana Raises $20 Million to Speed Big Data Insights

Wall Street Journal, Shira Ovide, 1/21/15

Hadoop seems to have gained popularity among banks and retailers for storing and analyzing information. However some think its slow-speed and complexity make it unfavorable. Enter Ann and Bobby Johnson, a Caltech couple who just got a new $20 million round of financing for their company Interana.  Interana is defining new speedy and user-friendly infrastructure technology for Hadoop.

Cracking the Data Conundrum: How Successful Companies Make Big Data Operational

CapGemini Consulting, 1/14/15

Last week CapGemini Consulting released its survey,Cracking the Data Conundrum: How Successful Companies Make Big Data Operational.  While perhaps not surprising, only 13% of companies reporting say they have achieved full-scale production for their Big Data implementation.  Only 27% of respondents described their Big Data initiatives as “successful” and only 8% describe them as “very successful”.  What is surprising, is that CapGemini found a pattern in what success looks like.  Companies with centralized business units and a clear business mandate are gleaning more insights from their big data and driving implementations that help them realize a return on their Big Data investments.  Lest businesses forget, data scientists are more valuable when they are brought under the tent than when they are scattered throughout the company with no unified business directive.

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