This Week in Data Preparation (October 12, 2020)

Original article was published by Nikolaos Konstantinou on Artificial Intelligence on Medium

This Week in Data Preparation (October 12, 2020)

This weekly post with news items from the data preparation market is brought to you by The Data Value Factory, the company offering Data Preparer.

This week’s post includes 16 links:

  • 6 opinion articles (on data analytics pipelines, data-driven selling, data accessibility, data preparation, natural language processing, and artificial intelligence, by Baffle, Gartner, Chartio, Data Ladder, West Monroe Partners, Booz Allen Hamilton, EY, Deloitte, and Arria NLG) and
  • 10 company updates (by Zaloni, Innodata, Cloudera, Fivetran, Altair, M-Base Engineering, Io-Tahoe, Tableau, Einstein Analytics, Aprio, Relevant Data Technologies, Siren, DataExpert, and Alation).
The Data Value Factory — This Week in Data Preparation. October 2020 Image by Tumisu from Pixabay.

Opinion articles

An Unprotected Analytics Pipeline Undermines The Value Of Data. “Some estimate that 90% of the world’s data has been produced in the past two years alone. This proverbial tidal wave of information positions businesses to inform decisions that optimize operations, attract and retain customers, and create significant market differentiation. The challenge is how to make sense of data in multiple formats that emanate from disparate sources.” said Ameesh Divatia, co-Founder & CEO of Baffle, Inc.

60% of B2B Sales Organizations Will Adopt Data-driven Selling by 2025, Gartner Says. “The rise in interactivity between suppliers and buyers will lead to more interdependence of people, processes and technology that will render the traditional sales models less reliable over time — something for which most sales organizations are unprepared,” said Tad Travis, VP analyst at Gartner.

Making Data Accessible — A Company Perspective. In this special guest feature, Matt David, Editor of the Data School at Chartio, discusses how companies can make data accessible and useful by overcoming the number of important challenges, which opens the door for business users to think and decide like analysts.

Data Analysts Aren’t Janitors. “If you’re a data scientist or analyst, you’re very lucky. You’ve landed a career that’s been touted as the “sexiest job of the 21st century.” Behind the scenes, though, working with data probably doesn’t feel all that sexy. In fact, you might be spending as much as 80 percent of your time just doing data preparation: cleaning and organizing hundreds of thousands of rows of data. You were hired to analyze this information and help the company get powerful insights; instead, you’ve been reduced to a glorified data washing machine.” says Farah Kim, Product marketing manager at Data Ladder.

Enterprise analytics benefits of natural language processing. Natural language processing benefits also include extracting meaning from structured data when the underlying structure is a mess. For example, with the new European and California privacy laws, companies have to be able to quickly find all the information they’ve collected about a particular individual, said Jeremy Wortz, senior manager of AI and machine learning at West Monroe Partners. “Microsoft Power BI has a natural language query to create visualizations,” said Alison Thaung Smith, chief scientist and data scientist senior manager at Booz Allen Hamilton. “You can use it for basic queries, like, ‘What is the total sales revenue for 2018?’” But natural language processing isn’t perfect. Computers are still far from being able to fully decipher what humans are trying to say — though, humans struggle to understand each other as well. “It takes time for that type of algorithm and processing capability to improve,” said Josh Axelrod, partner/principal in advisory risk cybersecurity practice at EY. Outside of customer-facing use cases, there’s not much adoption of natural language processing to analyze data in enterprises, said Dave Kuder, principal of cognitive insights and engagement in the U.S. at Deloitte.

Can Artificial Intelligence Outsmart COVID-19? Sharon Daniels, CEO of Arria NLG, discusses how artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies foster Smart City adoption, as well as help municipalities navigate their way through the pandemic.

Company updates

Zaloni Pivots to DataOps. Zaloni once was focused on helping customers to manage data in Hadoop. But under new CEO Susan Cook, the company has broadened its scope and is now aiming to help customers manage the entire supply chain of data, or what some are now calling DataOps.

Innodata Announces Appointment of Mark Spelker as CFO. Jack Abuhoff, CEO, said, “I am pleased to welcome Mark to our leadership team. Mark’s extensive experience working with a broad range of public companies and his in-depth knowledge of our business makes him distinctively qualified to help us position Innodata for the future.”

Cloudera Introduces Analytic Experiences for Cloudera Data Platform to Simplify the Data Lifecycle. Arun Murthy, chief product officer, Cloudera, said, “Our customers understand the importance of the data lifecycle to infuse data-driven decision making throughout their business, traditionally integrating data clusters for NiFi, Kafka, Spark, Impala, Hive, HBase and more.” “The role of data engineering in preparation for data science is instrumental for operationalization,” said Stewart Bond, Research Director of IDC’s Data Integration and Intelligence Software service.

Fivetran Hosts Inaugural Modern Data Stack Conference on October 21–22, 2020. Keynote speakers include: Fivetran CEO George Fraser and COO Taylor Brown; Martin Casado, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz; Tristan Handy, CEO and founder of Fishtown Analytics (the company maintaining dbt); Michelle Ufford, CEO of; and Bob Muglia, Fivetran board member and former Snowflake CEO.

Altair Acquires M-Base Engineering + Software GmbH, Leader in Plastics Material Data and Technology. “The integration of M-Base into the Altair ecosystem brings deep knowledge and experience in material database projects, as well as the high-quality data our customers require to improve the design of their products,” said James R. Scapa, founder and chief executive officer of Altair. “As a steering committee member of CAMPUS, we have built a beneficial relationship with M-Base who helped us to broaden the impact of the CAMPUS database,” said Dr. Peter Höck, head of technical product and quality management polycarbonates at Covestro. “Integrating our technology and Material Data Center with Altair will provide excellent functionality for engineers and designers during material selection and product development processes,” said Dr. Erwin Baur, co-founder of M-Base.

Io-Tahoe Launches New “SmartData” Partner Program Enabling Data-as-a-Service to Deliver 10 Outcomes with a Single Enterprise Data Automation Platform. “We’re excited to be expanding our network to enable our partners and their customers to automate data governance and gain visibility across data dependent business workflows and applications from a single pane of glass,” said Yusef Khan, Io-Tahoe’s Head of Partners & Alliances. “Reliable Software’s partnership with Io-Tahoe amplifies its leadership position by combining our collective capabilities in data streaming, data engineering, data science and AI with an Enterprise Data Automation Platform enabling our clients to become data driven companies, adding new value to their business ROI,” said Ravi Vallem, CEO, Reliable Software. “We’ve scaled to meet the growing business demand for our data automation technology,” said Ajay Vohora, Io-Tahoe’s Chief Executive Officer.

Tableau and Einstein Analytics Come Together to Drive Analytics Ubiquity. “The events of 2020 accelerated the need for companies to adapt to an all-digital, work from anywhere world and empower everyone to make better decisions faster,“ said Adam Selipsky, President and CEO of Tableau. “Organizations are eager to add forward-looking, predictive capabilities to their BI and analytics environments, but enthusiasm diminishes when they’re told it will require a squad of data scientists,” said Doug Henschen, vice president, and principal analyst at Constellation Research. “We’re always focused on making analytics easy and accessible to more people and organizations. Integrating Einstein Discovery’s powerful predictions platform adds to the range of options for augmented analysis and helps people get more value from their data,” said Francois Ajenstat, Chief Product Officer at Tableau.

Aprio Announces Acquisition of Relevant Data Technologies. The Relevant Data Technologies team will join Aprio as part of the Litigation Support and Forensic Accounting practice, led by Chris Grippa. RDT augments the team’s capabilities with innovative technology solutions, and RDT founder and President Robert Draper brings more than 20 years of experience leading some of the most sensitive and complex e-discovery matters. “We are committed to providing our legal clients with the most comprehensive and innovative litigation support and forensic accounting services, so they can focus on case strategy,” said Richard Kopelman, Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Aprio.

Siren partners with DataExpert to help customers transform big data into usable intelligence. John Randles, CEO of Siren, explained: “A key strategic objective for us is to expand our presence across the globe through partnerships. DataExpert is a very credible partner with domain experience and relationships with users of investigative intelligence technologies.” Robbert Bakker, CEO of DataExpert: “The variety and unique features offered by the Siren platform perfectly match challenges our customers face every day.

Alation revamps UX, adds analytics to its data catalog platform. Alation’s CEO and co-founder, Satyen Sangani, briefed ZDNet last week on the new 2020.3 release. Sangani sees it as Alation’s biggest in years, and maybe ever.

A week’s worth of manual data preparation in minutes.

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