Jun
13
2018
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Tableau gets AI shot in the arm with Empirical Systems acquisition

When Tableau was founded back in 2003, not many people were thinking about artificial intelligence to drive analytics and visualization, but over the years the world has changed and the company recognized that it needed talent to keep up with new trends. Today, it announced it was acquiring Empirical Systems, an early stage startup with AI roots.

Tableau did not share the terms of the deal.

The startup was born just two years ago from research on automated statistics at the MIT Probabilistic Computing Project. According to the company website, “Empirical is an analytics engine that automatically models structured, tabular data (such as spreadsheets, tables, or csv files) and allows those models to be queried to uncover statistical insights in data.”

The product was still in private Beta when Tableau bought the company. It is delivered currently as an engine embedded inside other applications. That sounds like something that could slip in nicely into the Tableau analytics platform. What’s more, it will be bringing the engineering team on board for some AI knowledge, while taking advantage of this underlying advanced technology.

Francois Ajenstat, Tableau’s chief product officer says this ability to automate findings could put analytics and trend analysis into the hands of more people inside a business. “Automatic insight generation will enable people without specialized data science skills to easily spot trends in their data, identify areas for further exploration, test different assumptions, and simulate hypothetical situations,” he said in a statement.

Richard Tibbetts, Empirical Systems CEO, says the two companies share this vision of democratizing data analysis. “We developed Empirical to make complex data modeling and sophisticated statistical analysis more accessible, so anyone trying to understand their data can make thoughtful, data-driven decisions based on sound analysis, regardless of their technical expertise,” Tibbets said in a statement.

Instead of moving the team to Seattle where Tableau has its headquarters, it intends to leave the Empirical Systems team in place and establish an office in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Empirical was founded in 2016 and has raised $2.5 million.

Feb
22
2018
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Feature Labs launches out of MIT to accelerate the development of machine learning algorithms

 Feature Labs, a startup with roots in research begun at MIT, officially launched today with a set of tools to help data scientists build machine learning algorithms more quickly. Co-founder and CEO Max Kanter says the company has developed a way to automate “feature engineering,” which is often a time consuming and manual process for data scientists. “Feature Labs helps… Read More

Sep
06
2017
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IBM and MIT pen 10-year, $240M AI research partnership

 IBM and MIT came together today to sign a 10-year, $240 million partnership agreement that establishes the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab at the prestigious Cambridge, MA academic institution. The lab will be co-chaired by Dario Gil, IBM Research VP of AI and Anantha P. Chandrakasan, dean of MIT’s School of Engineering. Big Blue intends to invest $240 million into the lab where IBM researchers… Read More

May
23
2015
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The Enterprise Transformation Conundrum

Man in middle of digital world. The problem is it’s not an easy undertaking to change the way a large organization operates. Real initiative gets bogged down in politics, hierarchical thinking and institutional inertia. Change requires more than inspiration. It takes hard work — and often the skill of a used car salesman to sell your idea to a reluctant C suite.
Some companies have forward-looking leaders who… Read More

Apr
22
2015
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Assured Labor Raises $6.75M, Has Connected Workers With 100K Jobs In Latin America’s Informal Sector

assured-labor Long before LinkedIn went public or before a plethora of on-demand startups began washing the Bay Area and other U.S. cities with services at the click of a button, there was this startup from an MIT grad called Assured Labor. David Reich started the company in 2008 to make informal labor markets in Latin America faster and more transparent for low-skilled workers. It was a social enterprise… Read More

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