It’s hard to believe how fast 2017 has already gone by here at BigML. It has been a banner year with many firsts thanks to the Machine Learning freight train running on all cylinders across the global economy. Gone are the days, when we often found ourselves describing what Machine Learning is and why it matters for businesses. Instead, here we are in the closing days of 2017 exchanging ideas on new use cases Machine Learning can be applied towards with business leaders. When things happen so fast, one can sometimes find it a challenge to stop and reflect on milestones and achievements. So below are the highlights of what made 2017 a special year for BigML.
First off, the BigML platform crossed the 50,000 registered customer mark in 2017 and is already past 60,000. We also took the opportunity to launch a milestones page to better summarize the progression of BigML since the early days in 2011. Our users are all over the world making a difference in their workplaces, government agencies as well as educational institutions. Some of them have gone on to share their positive experiences and the impact Machine Learning has made in their contexts by extending testimonials.
Notably, 2017 also saw BigML add an institutional investor to its board as SAIC Motor took a strategic stake in BigML. SAIC Motor Corporation Limited is the largest auto company on China’s A-share market, and its business covers the research, production, and sales of both passenger cars and commercial vehicles.
3 Major Releases + 15 Enhancements
In 2017, we brought BigML users many new sought-after features that made the platform as a whole more versatile than ever. Deepnets (Summer 2017 Release) and Boosted Trees (Winter 2017 Release) techniques were added to an already impressive array of supervised learning resources for tackling classification and regression problems, while Time Series (Spring 2017 Release) gave the platform a whole new dimension to help users gain insights from their time-based data for use cases such as demand forecasting.
Our most recent Deepnets Release deserves a special mention as it coupled this sophisticated algorithm with an unprecedented level of ease of use for even complete beginners to be able to train effective models matching or exceeding those from experts. This became possible thanks to the pioneering automatic network structure search options that have shown impressive benchmark performances that our VP or Machine Learning Algorithms, Dr. Charles Parker made public.
Aside from those, we also made 15 smaller but noteworthy improvements to the BigML platform including but not limited to: Reify Complex Workflows, Email Notifications for Scripts, Resources Configuration Information and Evaluation Curves for Classification Models. You can find a full list of enhancements on our What’s New page in case you’d like to try out the ones you may have missed.
Finally, we’ve also kept BigML Tools updated to make sure insights from BigML resources find their way to different platforms. One such example is the newest version of our Predict App for Zapier, which we announced back in August 2017.
684,896 Code Changes via 115 Deploys!
All our releases and the new features were made possible due to some serious heavy lifting by our product development group, which make up a large percentage of our 31 FTE strong BigML Team. Just to give a glimpse of the level of non-stop activity, our team updated our backend codebase 293,891 times, API codebase 83,552 times and our Web codebase 287,453 times. These improvements and additions were carried out through 115 production deployments dotting the entire year.
36 Events in 5 Continents
As great as it is having an online offering that can be experienced for free with a simple sign up process, nothing can match the excitement of connecting with BigMLers in real life events to hear their stories and receive their feedback.
This year we continued the tradition of organizing and delivering Machine Learning schools with VSSML17 and BSSML17 with record attendance.
Industry events in Europe, North America, Latin America led the way, but 2017 also took our team members to locations in Asia and Australia with Smartcon 2017, WSBI Innovation Workshop, and IJCAI 2017.
Specifically, BigML sponsored or co-organized 2ML, a series of three events about the importance of protecting Intellectual Property in Spain, PAPIs Boston and São Paulo, where a variety of topics on the applications of real-world Machine Learning were showcased. For a full list of events that we participated in feel free to visit our events page.
202 Ambassador Applications, 10 Certification Rounds
Our Education Program saw more growth in 2017, with the addition of 202 new applicants to help promote Machine Learning on their campuses. BigML ambassadors span the globe and include students as well as professors. Stay tuned for more ways to engage with fellow ambassadors in 2018 as we have plan to devote time to take the initiative to the next level. Adding to the list of BigML ambassadors contributing to the Machine Learning cause, 2017 proved to be a fruitful start for BigML’s Internship Program with our 5 first interns “graduating” with honors.We must also mention that in only its first year of existence, our team of instructors completed 10 rounds of BigML’s Certification Program passing on their deep expertise to newly minted BigML Engineers. Not bad, eh?
77 Blog Posts (so far)
We’re proud that BigML remains one of the “bloggiest” Machine Learning companies around. 2017 saw 77 new posts added to our blog, which is recognized as one of the Top 20 Machine Learning blogs on the Web. Below is a selection of posts that drew a healthy level of attention and shares social channels in case you’re interested in some utilitarian holiday reading.
- Machine Learning Automation: Beware of the Hype!
- Anomaly Detection, Benchmarks, and WhizzML
- Data Wrangling meets Machine Learning
- Machine Learning Challenges and Impact: an interview with Thomas Dietterich
- Embracing Machine Learning: How to get two steps ahead of everyone else.
- Using a Customized Cost Function to deal with Unbalanced Data
- New Features for the BigML Predict App for Zapier
- STATS4TRADE Unlocks the Power of Machine Learning for Investors
- A Stupidly Easy Speed Detector
- Predicting TED Talks Popularity
- 2017 Oscar Predictions Post-mortem
Looking Forward to 2018
Hope this post gave a good tour of what’s been happening around our neck of the woods. Given the acute need for positive ROI Machine Learning projects to justify data investments in companies, we expect that 2018 will be our busiest year in existence. As part of our commitment to democratize Machine Learning by making it simple and beautiful for everyone, we will be sharing more of our insights, customer success stories and all the new features we will bring you with each new release in 2018. Thanks for being part of BigML’s journey. As always, be sure to reach out to us with your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org no matter how crazy they seem!