2019 has come to an end and it seems to have gone in warp speed with so much happening in the fast-paced world of Machine Learning. 2019 was no exception to the rule among recent years in that it has witnessed a continued rise in interest in Machine Learning from all industries. Furthermore, many more businesses have transitioned from talking about or only conducting mini-experiments with the technology into rolling out smart applications in production that have embedded predictive capabilities. The focus now is turning to a different set of affairs such as operationalization, automation, robustness, eliminating bias, and naturally better assessing Return on Investment. 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 2019 another special year for BigML.
Perhaps the most special milestone for us in 2019 was marked by our platform crossing the 100,000 registrations mark worldwide (as of this writing past 110,000 registered users) adding to our growing milestones since inception in 2011.
Our users keep making a difference in their workplaces, government agencies, as well as educational institutions all over the map putting the BigML platform to use in the most creative ways. If you’d like to dig deeper into some of those use cases, we’ve recently blogged about customer success stories on the BigML platform both from startups as well as large enterprises.
Continuous Product Updates via 166 Deploys
In 2019, we kept bringing new features and enhancements to our already comprehensive platform that is evolving based on feedback from customers that are solving a variety of real-life use cases. This includes the addition of the Linear Regressions resource. Linear Regression is the granddaddy of statistical techniques remaining popular among Machine Learning practitioners as a baseline model since it trains fast and can be easily interpreted.
Another addition came in the form of AutoML. This first version of AutoML helps automate the complete Machine Learning pipeline, not only the model selection. Give it training and validation datasets and it will give you a Fusion with the best possible models using the least possible number of features: ready to predict! The returned model is the result of three AutoML stages: Feature Generation, Feature Selection and Model Selection. AutoML also returns the evaluation of the model, in order to show the user its performance.
Aside from major releases, we’ve also made many more smaller but noteworthy improvements to the BigML platform that can be tracked on our What’s New page in case you’d like to try out the ones you may have missed. All this activity was made possible by 166 production deployments throughout the entire year as directed by our product team. Expect more release announcements from us in early 2020. HINT: Some goodies that will bring new data types to the platform!
We’ve also kept BigML Tools updated to make sure insights from BigML resources find their way to complementary platforms. A new addition to that list in 2019 was the BigML Node-RED bindings, which makes it easier to create and deploy ML-powered IoT devices using one of the most popular development environments for IoT: Node-RED.
Of course, anytime a new major release or enhancements are available those find their way to our multi-tenant environments hosted on BigML.com (or BigML.com.au) immediately. After a brief monitoring period, the same capabilities are seamlessly added to the instances of our private deployment customers FREE of charge so that they stay current with the latest and greatest BigML has to offer.
38 Events and Machine Learning Schools
In 2019, we continued the tradition of organizing and delivering Machine Learning schools with the first Machine Learning School in Seville, Spain followed by the first Machine Learning School in The Netherlands and gathered a great audience mixing business professionals along with academics. In 2020, the second editions of both these events will be held to pick up from where we left in Seville, Spain as well as in Breukelen near Amsterdam. You can already buy a ticket by following those links and secure your spot in advance!
On the other hand, BigML employees and advisors attended 36 business and academic conferences and events to inform the business community about their experiences in implementing real-life predictive applications or to share the latest product capabilities with fellow Machine Learning experts and enthusiasts.
234 new Ambassadors, 9 Certification Batches
Our Education Program saw continued growth in 2019, with the addition of 234 new applicants to help promote Machine Learning on their campuses. BigML Ambassadors span the globe and include students as well as educators. We intend to continue reaching out to universities and other educational institutions throughout 2020.
In addition, as part of BigML’s Internship Program, our interns made valuable contributions while gaining crucial work experience. We are thrilled to do our part in contributing to the careers of young guns in the Machine Learning world.
On the other hand, our team of expert Machine Learning instructors completed 9 new rounds of the BigML Certification Programs passing on their deep expertise to newly minted BigML Engineers. Furthermore, this year saw the inaugural BigML Architect Certification wave take flight. If you’re serious about delivering (to your clients) any sophisticated fully-automated smart applications that thrive on enterprise-grade data pipelines, certifications will help get you there.
In 2019, we had a number of new partners join our BigML Preferred Partner Program. Most recently, in September 2019, INFORM GmbH based in Aachen, Germany joined BigML’s partner program to further ingrain best practice machine-learned algorithms to the daily fight against financial crime with RiskShield. Under this agreement, INFORM will be developing and offering access to RiskShield ML, powered by BigML. which, combines INFORMS’s rule-based and fuzzy logic approach with BigML’s top-notch Machine Learning resources delivering a “Hybrid AI solution” to its customers.
Earlier in the year, Thirdware became a BigML partner in May 2019. Thirdware is a leader in enterprise applications that has supported a range of Fortune 500 organizations as an implementation partner for infrastructure technologies such as enterprise resource planning, enterprise performance management, cloud services, and robotic process automation. In tandem with this partnership, Thirdware has formalized a new group within the company called Thirdware Labs and has brought on former Ernst & Young, Fiat Chrysler Automotive, and Ford Motor Company Executive, Kristin Slanina, as its first Chief Transformation Officer. You may follow Kristin’s thoughts on the opportunities Machine Learning represents in the automotive industry in this guest post. Stay tuned for more partnership announcements in different industry verticals in 2020!
44 Blog Posts
As usual, we’ve kept our blog running on all cylinders throughout the year. 44 new posts were added to our blog, which has long been recognized as one of the Top 20 Machine Learning blogs. Below is a selection of posts that were popular on our social media channels in case you’re interested in catching up with some Machine Learning reading in the coming days.
- Accelerating Machine Learning Adoption in the Automotive Industry
- Bring Machine Learning to PostgreSQL with BigML
- Deep Learning, Part 1: Not as Deep as You Think
- Deep Learning, Part 2: Depth Charge
- Deep Learning, Part 3: Too Deep or Not Too Deep? That is the Question.
- Practical Recursive Feature Selection
- Simple Boruta Feature Selection Scripting
- Automated Best-First Feature Selection
- Comparing Feature Selection Scripts
- Machine Learning and RPA in Action: Email Management
- 2019 Oscars Predictions: Results Are In
Looking forward to the rest of 2020…
This concludes our brief tour of what’s been happening around our neck of the woods in the last year. In the new year, we will proudly continue to help our customers bring Machine Learning to everyone in a simple yet beautiful form. Stay tuned as we along with our network of partners share more insights, customer success stories, new capabilities, and business milestones. Thanks for being part of BigML’s journey!