Predictive analytics

On big data, the Boston Marathon and civil liberties

The FBI has amassed terabytes of data from sources near the terrorist attack that occured during the Boston Marathon. This raises a question about the role crowdsourcing could play in solving some crimes while protecting citizens’ privacy.

Why better traffic data means more than just a faster commute

Companies such as Inrix are making their money helping commuters and commercial drivers find the fastest routes through traffic, but their reach could go much further. Creative organizations can apply the data in entirely new areas, and crowdsourcing means seeing how the world moves.

MIT researcher says he can predict Twitter trends

An MIT researcher says he has created an algorithm that can identify Twitter trends hours before the service can itself. If the algorithm works as he says, it could help Twitter — and many more companies — make a lot of money.

How Entelo uses data to make your résumé passé

A startup called Entelo is trying to make résumés a thing of the past by aggregating profiles of tech workers from their public data, and then feeding those results to recruiters. The secret sauce is an algorithm for spotting when someone might be looking for work.

5 sites that crunch data to help you predict the president

Big data and data science have already proven their worth in the worlds of online advertising and marketing, and now they’re being turned to elections. Here are five sites to follow if you want to impress your peers with data-driven insights on who’ll win in November.

Kaggle is now crowdsourcing big data creativity

In a move to expand its utility beyond simply finding better answers to known statistical problems, hot data-science startup Kaggle is now letting its stable of expert data scientists compete to tell companies how they can improve their businesses using machine learning.

5 companies turning your data into dollars

Big data and the marketing world go together like peanut butter and jelly. Marketers want to present their brands in the most-effective manner possible and always put the right ad in front of the right person. Big data makes that possible at a whole new level.

Opera buys Commendo to create predictive analytics powerhouse

If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if the top two teams in the Netflix Prize competition united and put their predictive analytics skills to work together, you’ll soon find out. On Tuesday, big data service provider Opera Solutions acquired Austrian predictive analytics specialist Commendo.

9 more companies putting a cloud spin on big data

In September, I profiled six companies doing big data in the cloud, and here are nine more. One of the themes of Structure:Data is “putting big data to work,” and there’s no easier way to get started doing so than with a cloud service.

Skytree intros machine learning for the masses

Big data startup Skytree emerged from stealth mode on Thursday with a product that is designed to democratize the science of machine learning while improving significantly on the speed and scale of existing options. Skytree has raised $1.5 million from Javelin Venture Partners.

Mu Sigma offers $108M reasons to believe in big data

Mu Sigma has closed a $108 million investment round to expand its analytics-outsourcing business. Mu Sigma takes customers’ data and it turns it into business insights, meaning customers don’t have to built their own in-house big data expertise. It’s an already-profitable business that’s only getting bigger.

Big data: Making even call centers intelligent

Calling a company’s customer service department can be a frustrating experience. If only there was a way to make it a more rewarding experience for everyone involved and perhaps even save everyone some time. That might be coming, and big data might be leading the charge.

The story behind Opera’s $84M big data funding

Predictive analytics provider Opera Solutions has raised $84 million from equity investors in its first-ever funding round, but that amount shouldn’t be surprising for anyone familiar with the company. I’ve called Opera the big data expert you’ve never heard of, but that’s about to change.

Greenplum protégé brings predictive muscle to Exadata

Alpine Data Labs, a predictive analytics startup that incubated within Greenplum (now part of EMC), is expanding its support beyond the Greenplum Database and into Oracle’s Exadata appliance and the open-source Postgres database. Alpine tries to distinguish itself by running entirely within companies’ analytic databases.

Check Out the Big Data Expert You’ve Never Heard Of

Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of Opera Solutions. However, the analytics-as-a-service provider has been quietly building up its $100 million company since 2004 and, with big data on the tip of the IT world’s collective tongue, Opera is ready to start spreading the word.