udu Data Insights Blog

It Started with the Singularity

[fa icon='calendar'] Dec 14, 2017 3:49:23 PM / by Frank Boosman posted in Insider, Core Technology

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The idea of the technological singularity—or just the singularity—can be traced back to the 1950s and mathematician and computer scientist John von Neumann. He wrote:

The accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, give the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue.

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More recently, computer scientist, science-fiction author, and all-around good guy Vernor Vinge wrote in 1993...

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A Holiday Break, of Sorts

[fa icon='calendar'] Dec 14, 2017 3:43:21 PM / by Frank Boosman posted in Miscellaneous

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The holiday season is upon us, and wherever you are, whatever you're doing, we hope it's a good one for you.

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Although we certainly do plan on spending time with our loved ones, and recharging in anticipation of a very busy 2018, nevertheless, most of us at udu are taking some time off...

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Limbo Lower Now: How Low Can Apps Go?

[fa icon='calendar'] Dec 3, 2017 12:00:43 AM / by Frank Boosman posted in Insider, Core Technology

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In a previous article, we promised to revisit the issue of apps and how small they can be. So how small can an app be? It's an interesting question.

A scene from the film Fantastic Voyage.

Generally speaking, the history of computing platforms demonstrates that application software (apps) tend to become more complex over the long term...

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Our Biological Inspiration (Part 2)

[fa icon='calendar'] Nov 24, 2017 8:47:10 AM / by Frank Boosman posted in Insider, Data Science, Core Technology

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In our previous entry, we discussed our interest in how the biological world amasses vast numbers of small entities to accomplish large tasks. How, specifically, does that work?

Black ants

A great place to start is Douglas Hofstadter's wonderful, Pulitzer-winning 1979 book Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, a brilliant work that appears at first to be about mathematics, art, and music, but—minor spoiler alert—ultimately turns out to be about the fundamental nature of intelligence...

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Our Biological Inspiration (Part 1)

[fa icon='calendar'] Nov 17, 2017 2:21:06 PM / by Frank Boosman posted in Insider, Data Science, Core Technology

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In our previous entry, we promised more details on the biological inspiration behind our core software technology. How is the udu system related to biological processes?

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First, let's recap the key points we made about how the system works...

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How Do We Do the Voodoo That We Do?

[fa icon='calendar'] Nov 10, 2017 11:51:44 AM / by Frank Boosman posted in Insider, Unstructured Data, Semi-structured Data, Data Science

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In the months that we've been writing this blog, we've explained the open, deep, and dark webs; semi-structured data and unstructured data; Data-as-a-Service; web scraping and web harvesting; predictive analytics; and much more. But we haven't explained how we do what we do. Seems about time.

A toy wizard as a metaphor for our magical software

Early on in our history, we discovered that talking too much about our underlying technology—as fun as it was for us, and as innovative as the software was—didn't really resonate with most people, except for the most technical out there. So we stopped doing it unless we were specifically asked. Even then, we often tell people it's a bit of a technological rabbit hole. But you, dear reader, can simply skip over this entry if it's not your cup of tea...

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Predictive Analytics for Fun and Profit (Part 2)

[fa icon='calendar'] Nov 5, 2017 10:46:25 AM / by Frank Boosman posted in Case Studies, Data Science, Predictive Analytics

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In the previous blog entry, we described predictive analytics and a slightly fictionalized case study—a client building software to run independent auto shops—that describes the solution we recently built for the client to help their auto shop customers better understand their end customers.

Financial information printed on sheets of paper

As we wrote before, it might be possible for the auto shops to perform sophisticated predictive analytics on their customers, using off-the-shelf tools, if they had highly robust databases of information about them—not just their name, address, phone number, and repair history (and even that might not always be available), but their social media accounts, all the cars they've ever owned, where they work, what they do, and so on. Since the shops don't have this information, it has to be constructed somehow...

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Predictive Analytics for Fun and Profit (Part 1)

[fa icon='calendar'] Nov 5, 2017 10:44:18 AM / by Frank Boosman posted in Case Studies, Data Science, Predictive Analytics

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We recently helped build a project for a customer that involved predictive analytics. What did we do for them, and what could it mean for you?

"Analytics" spelled out in children's letters

According to Wikipedia, predictive analytics "encompasses a variety of statistical techniques from predictive modelling, machine learning, and data mining that analyze current and historical facts to make predictions about future or otherwise unknown events". In other words, predictive analytics is nothing more than using statistical techniques to make predictions about the future.

What does this have to do with udu? ...

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Backing Into Data, or... Ice Cream!

[fa icon='calendar'] Oct 22, 2017 10:54:47 AM / by Frank Boosman posted in Data-as-a-Service, Case Studies, Web Harvesting

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What happens when we can't find the precise data a customer is looking for? What do we do then?

A soft ice cream cone.

Occasionally we receive customer requests for a data set that we can't obtain, either because it's private, doesn't exist, or the constituent data can't be gathered in a manner that leads to a unified dataset. Does that leave us (and our customer) stuck? No...

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The udu Engine and Geolocations

[fa icon='calendar'] Oct 20, 2017 4:42:48 PM / by Frank Boosman posted in Case Studies

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Many of the examples we give of customer applications for udu revolve around geography. It's useful to take a look at why this is so.

Image of a figurine on a map

For example, in our summaries of Day 1 and Day 2 of our udu Unstructured Data Dash at CED Tech Venture last month, out of nine customer challenges we described, eight revolved around geography in some way:

  • "...in a given metropolitan area..."
  • "...within a certain radius of a specified city..."
  • "...in a particular city..."
  • ...and so on.

Why is this?

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