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Google's Hadoop Offerings, Rutgers Analytics Program: Big Data Roundup

Google's managed Hadoop- and Spark-as-a-Service offerings have gone to general availability. Rutgers University is offering a big data and data analytics remote learning certificate program. Alteryx is expanding its predictive analytics offerings. We've got all this and more in our Big Data Roundup for the week ending Feb. 28, 2016.
9 Reasons To Crowdsource Data Science Projects
9 Reasons To Crowdsource Data Science Projects
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Another busy week has gone by in the world of big data. This time around we have news from Google, Alteryx, Tibco, and Rutgers University. Plus a look at how to predict the outcome of the Academy Awards using science.

Let's start with Google. This week, the master of Internet search went big with its cloud-based big data service. The company announced that Google Dataproc, its managed Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark service, is generally available.

The service has been in beta since September 2015. In that time, according to Google, customers have created clusters numbering from three to thousands of virtual CPUs using its Developers Console and Cloud SDK. The service also provides integrations to Google BigQuery, Google Cloud Bigtable, and Google Cloud Storage. Dataproc can also be used in conjunction with Google Cloud Dataflow for real-time batch and stream processing, the company said in a blog post.

[ Hadoop was only the beginning. Read Hadoop Ecosystem Evolves: 10 Cool Big Data Projects. ]

Google also recently moved its Cloud Vision API from limited release to open beta. The company said the tool will enable developers to create apps that can parse emotional content contained in a photo or image.

Alteryx Ups Predictive Analytics Play

Alteryx announced a new Predictive Analytics District in its Analytics Gallery. The company said that this enhancement will make predictive analytics more accessible to data analysts through new tools, samples, and analytics applications.

The Predictive Analytics District is open to Alteryx trial customers and licensed users. These users can leverage pre-built tools, analytics apps, and examples via download. Then they can use their own data to create predictive tools to generate business insights without the need to code.

Alteryx said there are five new usage samples, including model comparison and survival analysis. In addition, the company announced eight new predictive tools as part of the Predictive District. These tools are designed to assist in model diagnostics and comparison, and offer the ability to export models created in Alteryx to external scoring engines.

TIBCO Joins Cloud Foundry

TIBCO Software, an integration, analytics, and event-processing company, has joined the Cloud Foundry Foundation. In a statement announcing the membership, CTO Matt Quinn said that digital business transformation requires a cloud strategy.

Rutgers University

One of the ongoing, lamented issues in data science is the small pool of professionals in the marketplace with big data and data analytics skills. Rutgers University is making an effort to put a dent in that problem with a new program set to launch March 29.

That's when the Center for Innovation Education at Rutgers University will begin its 44-week skills-based technology career certificate program for professionals who want to gain skills in these disciplines.

The university has partnered with Experiential Teaching Online (XTOL) to offer a remote, collaboration-driven course focused on big data and data analytics. The course is open to recent graduates and professionals in New Jersey and throughout the US. The courses will include Data Analytics, Understanding Customers, Predicting Profitability and Customer Preferences, Big Data -- Advanced Skills, Web Mining, and Deep Analytics and Visualization.

Outsourcing Data Skills

And if you can't wait for your employees to skill up in data science and analytics, why not consider outsourcing your projects? Outsourcing can make sense for companies looking for quick, professional results. But before you dip your toe in that water, check out our best practices recommendations.

And The Award Goes To…

Finally, with the Academy Awards happening on Feb. 28, we wondered whether any data science could be used to predict the outcome. Lucky for us, the folks over at FiveThirtyEight were wondering the same thing. Here's their take on whether data can be used to predict the results. Plus, they have a roundup of all the predictions they could find about who is going to win.

Rising stars wanted. Are you an IT professional under age 30 who's making a major contribution to the field? Do you know someone who fits that description? Submit your entry now for InformationWeek's Pearl Award. Full details and a submission form can be found here.