Data Science News - June 2017
Airbnb's data science and machine learning efforts, EnterpriseInnovation.net, June 5, 2017.
Hosts on AirBnB can maximize their rentals and visitors can find their most preferred accommodation- all thanks to active usage of data science and machine learning at AirBnB to create better user experience.AirBnB’s pricing algorithm based on open source machine learning tool Aerosolve predicts the probability of a lodging listing getting booked on a particular day at a specific price based on the location of the listing, type of the listing, quality and demand. This machine learning model helps AirBnB recommend hosts on much they should charge visitors for their listings on the website. There is another machine learning model to understand the host preferences and predict the probability of a host accepting a visitor’s accommodation inquiry based on the host’s prior decline and acceptance decisions powered by factors like check-in and check-out dates, number of night the visitor plans to stay , number of visitors, lead days for check-in, etc. AirBnB trains its data scientists to learn data science programming languages like R, SQL and also how to use the dashboard for data analytics.
(Source : https://www.enterpriseinnovation.net/article/airbnbs-data-science-and-machine-learning-efforts-2001856422)
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Russian data scientist unable to claim £12,000 prize in Brit competition. Theregister.co.uk, June 6, 2017.
Vladimir Iglovikov entered the data science challenge earlier this year that focussed on detecting and classifying vehicles in satellite imagery. However, UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory diddled him out of the competition prize worth £12,000 as he was a Russian despite being assured that he would be able to claim the prize money. According to the clause 2.3b of the competition rules, the authorities excluded him from claiming the prize as he was a Russian and Russia had a score less 37 on the transparency international Corruption Perceptions Index for 2014.
(Source : https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/06/05/russian_denied_dstl_data_sci_challenge_prize/ )
DataScience.com Partners With RStudio to Bring Collaborative Data Science to Enterprise Customers Working With R. MarketWired.com, June 6, 2017.
According to a survey by O’Reilly Media, 55% of data scientists today prefer to use R programming language for data analysis. RStudio makes it easier to work with open source tools and as well enterprise tools through integrated development environment RStudio Server Pro and web application framework Shiny. Enterprise data science platform provide DataScience.com has partnered with RStudio to bring the collective features of the platform to data science teams that work with R programming language.This integration will allow DataScience.com customers to write and run code in RStudio whilst making the best use of other additional features of the platform like - pre-configured environments, secret management and on-demand infrastructure.
(Source : http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/datasciencecom-partners-with-rstudio-bring-collaborative-data-science-enterprise-customers-2220303.htm )
Alteryx Acquires Yhat For Self-Service Data Science Analytics. Businesswire.com, June 6, 2017.
Alteryx , a data science software company headquartered in Brooklyn, New York acquired Yhat that provides data analysts and data scientists with self service data science tools for developing, managing and deploying machine learning models to mobile and web applications faster with less number of resources. This acquisition will further enhance the data analytics platforms of Alteryx and build on its strategy to help companies empower trained and citizen data scientists to quickly deploy and manage advanced analytic models.
(Source : http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170606005749/en/Alteryx-Acquires-Yhat-Accelerate-Data-Science-Model )
Bereaved father, Microsoft data scientists crunch numbers to combat infant deaths.Seattletimes.com, June 11, 2017
Moved by a colleague’s family tragedy , a Microsoft team was deployed for data analysis and visualizations to identify trends in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The technology behind generating Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s daily performance metrics dashboard or the one that tells the windows team on how to serve its customers in best possible manner has helped the team discover multiple correlations like ensuring early prenatal care with lower rate of death. The analysis also helped the team discover more information on known SIDS risk factors like maternal tobacco use. Data Scientists from Microsoft have been crunching numbers on infant deaths in US and with the use of data analysis are trying to discover novel ways on how to reduce the number of infant deaths lost to SIDS every year.Till date , data scientists have put 500 hours of their own time with Microsoft contributing to various software tools and free cloud hosting for their work.
(Source : http://www.seattletimes.com/business/bereaved-father-microsoft-data-scientists-crunch-numbers-to-combat-infant-deaths/)
Why Data Science Argues against a Muslim Ban.ScientificAmerican.com, June 14, 2017.
Does the White House’s travel ban maneuvers towards US supreme court actually make sense scientifically that disallowing Muslims from specific countries will decrease the risk of terrorism ? This question is being addressed with the help of data science.Data Science is extensively being used for security screening for e-commerce and government that include detecting fraudulent transactions, predictive policing and assessing convicts for parole decisions. Data science applies very well for screening terrorists, so if Muslims ever posed a probability of security threat that required their prohibition then data science should be able to bear that out. However, according to data science, a Muslim ban in particular countries will only weaken security and not strengthen it. Majority of data scientists are opposing this ban based on the quantitative analysis of data.
(Source : https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/why-data-science-argues-against-a-muslim-ban/ )
Salesforce Einstein Analytics Wants to Make Everyone a Data Scientist. CMSWire.com , June 15, 2017.
Salesforce executive vice president Stephanie Buscemi and her team announced the release of Salesforce’s latest Einstein infused cloud solution that will help marketing, sales and service professionals make better decisions 38% faster by leveraging AI. This would be achieved through contextually relevant, self-service analytics applications that can give users information on what is happening, why it is happening , what might happen in future and what is the course of action to be followed. With the new Salesforce Einstein Analytics guidance system, it claims that everyone can be a data scientist if not atleast a “citizen” data scientist.
(Source : http://www.cmswire.com/digital-marketing/salesforce-einstein-analytics-wants-to-make-everyone-a-data-scientist/ )
The Data Science Revolution Transforming Aviation. Forbes.com, June 16, 2017.
The novel generation of jets collect exponentially increasing amount of data from thousands of sensors and digitized systems. Every flight generates 30 times more data than the older version of wide-bodied jets produced.However, only 1/10th of global fleets today are made up of these technologically advanced aircraft but it is anticipated that more than of half of them will be technologically advanced in a decade. By end of 2026, the annual data generation is expected to reach 98 million terabytes or 98 billion gigabytes.By the the technologically advanced aircrafts will generate 5 to 6 TB of data per flight which is 80 times more of what planes generate today. This big data will be leveraged in the Aviation industry to optimize operations, identify various obstacles to its progress and help build a better future through predictive maintenance that will help airlines predict when parts will fail so they can make their replacement more efficient.
(Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/oliverwyman/2017/06/16/the-data-science-revolution-transforming-aviation/#121792217f6c )
Microsoft says it's AI took a data scientist’s job. VentureBeat.com, June 22,2017.
There has been great hype around machine learning taking human jobs but Microsoft has already claimed that its cloud based service has already taken the place of a human's position.Microsoft’s customer decision service introduced at its build conference worked so much better than a data scientist for one of its customers. This shows a rapid shift in the data science landscape in the era of cloud services which can provide quick insights without much manual intervention. IBM, Microsoft, Amazon and Google are offering their own suite of services to provide machine learning functionalities through API’s. The main goal of these companies to help businesses enjoy the benefit of machine learning without a data science team. However, considering the demand for data science skills, there is still a surging demand for data scientists in spite of so many automated tools for machine learning.
(Source : https://venturebeat.com/2017/06/22/microsoft-says-its-ai-took-a-data-scientists-job/ )
The Kaggle data science community is competing to improve airport security with AI.TechCrunch.com, June 22, 2017.
Going through the airport security is a painful experience and Kaggle data science community is trying to enhance the airport security process through a data science challenge.Department of Homeland Security is hosting an online data science competition where data scientists will have to build machine learning powered tools to make the entire airport security system accurate and efficient. With a price money of $500,000 and total of $1.5 million at stake, data scientists participating in the competition will have to accurately predict the location of threat objects on the body.TSA will provide a dataset of available images to competitors that will help them train on images of people carrying weapons. These will be presented images created by TSA and not real-world examples to ensure privacy.
(Source : https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/22/the-kaggle-data-science-community-is-competing-to-improve-airport-security-with-ai/ )
Hottest jobs are in data science.DemocratandChronicle.com, June 23, 2017.
A recent survey in US finds that data related jobs are the most highest paying jobs in the country.US Bureau of Labor Statistics found that data analyst and statistician are among the fastest growing jobs with the number of open jobs expected to grow by 30% by 2024. To the contrary , finding skilled personnel to fill these open jobs is not a cakewalk. A survey by MIT found that 40% of the companies were struggling hard to find people with analytics talent. Data science is not just a business trend but a revolution with companies looking to hire youngsters who can use their common sense and intelligence to discover novel patterns in data.
(Source : http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/money/2017/06/23/data-science-western-ny-colleges-big-data/397015001/ )
Go-Jek’s Singapore office to focus on data science for now. Marketing-interactive.com, June 23, 2017.
Indonesian ride-hailing firm Go-Jek will use Singapore office located at AXA tower in Shenton Way to emphasize on data science for the moment.Singapore city has been chosen for Go-Jek’s data science operations because of its huge talent pool and technological infrastructure. With a team of 16 data scientists and more to be hired in the future, Go-Jek’s motive is to use the huge amounts of data and build intelligent systems that can oversee issues like surge pricing and provide accurate allocation of riders to commuters and vice-versa.
(Source : http://www.marketing-interactive.com/go-jeks-singapore-office-to-focus-on-data-science-for-now/ )
The Amazon-Whole Foods deal is less about stores and more about data, says data scientist. CNBC.com, June 25, 2017.
The real value of Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is all about collecting customer data.Amazon’s goal is to combine the data it already collects from its online platforms Alexa and Echo with Whole Foods customer transaction data.Amazon can predict customers need and automatically send them a personalized auto grocery list based on their experience. Amazon will know what is in your refrigerator and will be able to deliver extra chillies when you need it. Amazon will leverage data science technologies to customize customer shopping experience without customer ever having to leave the house.
(Source : http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/25/amazon-whole-foods-will-use-data-to-make-ambient-ecommerce.html )
The numbers don’t lie: Why women must fill the data scientist demand. VentureBeat.com, June 27, 2017.
Women have been daunted from the jobs of STEM fields for so long and the same trend is being seen in data science industry as well. There are very few women in this field compared to the male counterparts. But, remarkably to achieve success in the data science industry, some of the cliché personae of females are required. As it has been wrongly believed that a person who is good in math, can only excel, well this is not true in case of data science. Data science is applicable in various industries, and the only thing required to excel is the passion for a specific industry and business domain. The number of female data scientists is disproportionate to men but there is an increasing demand will break down the stereotypes which have prevented women from entering the STEM field. The universities and other academia are providing various courses in data science to show a positive sign to cater the demand for data scientists.
How Foursquare Quietly Became A Data-Science Powerhouse.Benzinga.com, June 28, 2017.
Foursquare is building a technology platform since it’s inception, what they call as “Pilgrim”, which records the footsteps of its users passively without the users having to do anything on their phone. You stop by one of the 93 million locations and spend some amount of time.They know that you are actually there and derive meaningful insights from there. These insights are very helpful in analyzing the impact on the market whether sales would increase or decrease. Recently they have launched a SDK for developers to integrate the services provided by Foursquare into their products. This has generated enormous amount of data which has further given birth to a new line businesses wherein the company now sells the data and analytics to hedge funds. Foursquare has become the data science powerhouse for many consumers by allowing them to understand what’s going on when they use its products.
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Data Science and Analytics a course for all, irrespective of the discipline you choose.Diverseeducation.com, June 29, 2017.
According to majority of the reports, it is quite clear that there would be more jobs for data science than the number of skilled data scientists. By 2012, candidates who have data science and analytics skills are more than twice likely to be hired compared to candidates who don’t. However, there are very few who have DSA skills and the situation is worse in the underrepresented minority students as majority of them prefer to choose STEM courses over DSA courses. Dr. Brandeis Marshall, an associate professor has foreseen this situation to worsen and charted out a plan to solve this. She is spearheading a project to make DSA a more prominent feature in their courses by training faculties and also spreading the awareness in the students primarily who are underrepresented in undergraduate levels.
This is how Airbnb is tackling the data science skills gap.SiliconRepublic.com, June 30, 2017.
The demand for data scientists is growing every day and educational institutions try to cater catch up with the growing demand but the supply will not come fast enough as the demand. To tackle this situation, Airbnb has come up with a unique solution to train its data scientist. It is creating an in house pool for data scientist a.k.a. Data University. The need of insights from data for businesses like Airbnb is very high.AirBnb emphasize on training every employee of its company to think in a data oriented manner. They have various distant learning courses, online training materials, and live classes so that every employee can make decisions in a more informed manner. The approach taken by Airbnb to upskill its employees can be followed by other companies as well to fill the data science skills gap. (Source: https://www.siliconrepublic.com/careers/airbnb-data-science-skills-gap)
(Source : https://www.siliconrepublic.com/careers/airbnb-data-science-skills-gap )
Alibaba: Building a retail ecosystem on data science, machine learning, and cloud. Zdnet.com, June 30, 2017.
Whenever we talk about e-commerce, the first name that reckons in the retail space is Amazon. With a 27% y-o-y revenue growth rate in 2016, Amazon sits at the top in retail space. Apart from the e-retail services amazon also provides a host of other services like AWS. The Chinese counterpart of Amazon, Alibaba is inspired by Amazon’s success. Alibaba recently launched its “Brain” platform that offers domain specific solutions to healthcare, transportation and manufacturing industries in glaring contrast to AWS. Out of 37,000 employees, 20,000 are technical professionals at Alibaba which clearly justifies the ecosystem offering and its capabilities provided by Alibaba. The cross-functional team at Alibaba has 300 members which include 200 data engineers, 50 business experts and 50 data scientists. However, still there is shortage of data science skills in China and Alibaba is trying to recruit data scientists from US, Europe and Japan. At this point it may be too early to say that Alibaba, is going to change how the cloud works, its offering and its impact on other industry players but certainly, things are going to change.