Data science news

Balancing the push and pull between change and data visualizations

Market researchers face the challenge of balancing the thrilling pace of DATA VISUALIZATION trends, with giving clients the tried and trusted reports that they know and love.

Showing relationships and patterns in data through visualization, is an important and powerful aspect of communication. It can simplify the complex, and give meaning where none may have been apparent before.

Now we want to show social media trends. We want to investigate patterns in huge swathes of data that has been collected from every corner of our lives. We are constantly looking for relationships, patterns and insights in everything we do.

As consumers of market research data, we want to visualize everything. We want static graphs in newspapers; online static reports, perhaps partially animated; we want interactive reporting and dashboards, and one-pager email…the list grows and morphs at an ever-increasing pace.

Data Analytics: Reaping the Data Dividend

The availability of new data types, such as online customer reviews, customer sentiment analysis, socio-political events, or macro-economic trends provides a compass of sorts, helping risk managers improve their oversight of risk positions and regulatory compliance, and giving CMOs a better understanding of customer preferences.

While processing, calculating and analyzing data is not new to an industry long steeped in margins, rates and yields, today’s financial institutions are seeing the use of data as a new form of currency. Combining current, more traditional data with less traditional, unstructured data streams, and feeding them into an analytics solution, can help CMOs interpret the life of the customer, how they use your product and where there’s an opportunity to meet an unmet need.

Over the next four years, the research showed that financial services institutions and related companies worldwide have the potential to gain more than $308 billion in value from data, or what we call the “data dividend.

How visualizing big data brings meaning to clinical analytics

Now that the healthcare informatics industry has figured out how to harvest Big Data, the next big challenge is figuring out how to display the information in ways that are useful.

Data visualization tools have made it somewhat easier to glean intelligence from volumes of information in the hopes of improving health programs, clinical healthcare delivery, and public health policy. But they have failed to incorporate the science of human visual perception into the technology, resulting in tools that deliver great “eye candy” but poor human comprehension of the data.

Helping people find outliers, expose hidden trends or clusters, and dive deep into fast changing data sets is where visualization provides real value. As healthcare meets the “Internet of things,” the ability to discover anomalies in real-time streaming data from thousands of medical devices, sensors and monitors will be of huge value. Or as EHR databases become ubiquitous, for example, effective visualization of the data could unveil previously unseen adverse treatment patterns.

Data Analytics to Drive Financial Services Market to New Heights

New data analytics tools are changing the way firms deliver information to users, and it is clear that older data delivery models aren’t making the cut.

Nimble companies in this space have clearly chosen 2014 as the year in which they will ditch decades-long processes in favor of more data-driven, automated, impactful methods of collecting, reviewing, and acting on information. These first movers are redefining expectations for financial data analytics, and their competitors would be wise to take heed.

For companies that continue to collect and review data the same way they did 20 years ago, this year will serve as a wakeup call. This shift has been a long time coming. Even after the market meltdown in 2008 and the passage of SEC regulations for using standardized financial data disclosures, apprehensive firms clung to slow or no evolution, while their more innovative counterparts were busy investigating technologies capable of shaking up the status quo to better serve clients.

Solving Humanity With Data Science

Part 01 – The beginning

a perfect world

In the book, A Song of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin says “Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well”. The quote has an impending truth to it, almost as if he is warning us of a dark end to humanity itself. Since the beginning of time, man has faced adversity in myriad forms, from the whimsical destructions of nature to the test of time itself. The most potent enemy that man has had, however, is himself. Civilization has helped us grow out of the wild hunters that we were, into a species who are capable of designing complex systems like money, transportation, politics and even send ourselves to outer space. We as a species have explored and exploited our world, created cities with remarkable architectures and invented concepts overtime that would have baffled our ancestors. Why is George R.R. Martin then, warning us of an imminent and dark danger? Why can’t we, humans, who are capable of anything, create a perfect world to live in, a utopia? The truth is, we can’t, because we’re a troubled species and a very profane enemy lurks in our system; as the proverb “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link” elegantly summarizes.

The society that we’ve evolved into today has some serious social flaws, including Gender bias, Poverty, Crime, Resource scarcity and I could go on. On December 16, 2012, a heinous act by a few individuals in abusing and causing a girl’s death saw a nation protest in unison. These crimes are the weak links that scar our society, tumours that terrify the innocent, and incidents that make humanity very far away from creating a perfect world. Barely two years since, on July 02, 2014, a six year old child was abused in a school, an innocent childhood that probably ended too soon. Society is ridden with such problems, problems that bring us down every time we showcase our achievements, problems that ridicule our very being. These problems though, aren’t new, they have a very human element to them – Anger, Greed, Lust, and the like. In some sense, religion has an answer to these weaknesses of mankind. At Gramener, Science is our religion, and we introspect today, if one of our greatest achievements (Science) can create a perfect world.

Science is a methodical system, it’s a study of nature’s behaviour and can be quantified by numbers. Science helps us create models with the help of numbers and equations to represent and answer some of the most complex questions that we have ever faced in our history. We have to use this, our greatest strength, to try and solve the issues that are inhibiting us from evolving into a higher, and more civilized species. The numbers that I talk about, the numbers which can quantify situations and systems, is nothing but data. There is data, hidden everywhere, in our world today. Data about people, data about weather, data about transactions, data about what people are thinking on online media, data everywhere. This burst of data has been a natural evolution of the Internet, one of mankind’s greatest achievements. Can these numbers that are everywhere, help us look at a story that is hidden from the naked eye? Can these numbers help us identify patterns of human failures? Can we scientifically provide a solution that can solve humanity?

Indian Elections 2014 – Big Data for Billion People!

Indiaspora a forum for Indian American leaders published  an article by Ramachandran (Ram) J., CEO Gramener about how Gramener took up the task of analyzing large volumes of data into meaningful information for the general public to consume easily. 

An excerpt:

What comes to our minds as Indian diaspora when we think about Indian Elections? Humungous rallies, colorful campaigning, myriad party symbols and boisterous victory laps.
The Indian General Elections also have another perspective which often does not figure in our most buoyant thoughts.

- 300 parties, 8000 candidates, 800 Million voters, 1 Million booths served/secured by ~20 Million officials. The heady mix is further embellished with variety of structured & unstructured information – candidate histories, crime records, declared assets and audacious election manifestos. Mixed with the above is the frenetic activity on the day of results. Live streaming of results: ~21000 votes to be counted per second, from all corner of the country spanning an area of ~1 million square miles.

Thus, elections in India is a classic BIG DATA problem and the 2014 general elections was the biggest of them all.While technology may be able to process this humongous data, how can all this information be consumed and understood by a billion people? That too, in real time as it happens?

With plans in place and trial runs completed, the visualization dashboard went live on the morning of 16th May – the counting day. – will Gramener technology stand the ultimate performance test on this D-Day?

Answer came in the first hour – the visualization dashboard had over a million hits in an hour. Grew to a total of 10 million hits in a span of 12 hours! Social media exploded with humongous response to these live visualizations! Common people started consuming and sharing deeper insights real time! The various mass media channels lapped up the insights and reported them across the county. A new era in Indian election reporting was born! (http://ibn.gramener.com/live).

Read full article at http://indiaspora.org/blog/indian-elections-2014-big-data-for-billion-people/