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Wolfram Alpha Pro: Data Science for Everyone?

Wolfram|Alpha Pro lets users take raw data (in many formats) and throw it into the system which will automatically do a whole bunch of analysis, and then return a well-organized report about the data.

One exciting feature of Wolfram Alpha Pro is the ability to automate (some?) data understanding. I plan to try it and report on KDnuggets. Here are excerpts from Stephen Wolfram blog post where he explains it. Gregory PS, Editor

Launching a Democratization of Data Science

Worlfram Alpha Worlfram Alpha Blog, by Stephen Wolfram, Feb 9, 2012

It's a sad but true fact that most data that's generated or collected-even with considerable effort-never gets any kind of serious analysis. But in a sense that's not surprising. Because doing data science has always been hard. And even expert data scientists usually have to spend lots of time wrangling code and data to do any particular analysis.

I myself have been using computers to work with data for more than a third of a century. And over that time my tools and methods have gradually evolved. But this week-with the release of Wolfram|Alpha Pro-something dramatic has happened, that will forever change the way I approach data.

The key idea is automation. The concept in Wolfram|Alpha Pro is that I should just be able to take my data in whatever raw form it arrives, and throw it into Wolfram|Alpha Pro. And then Wolfram|Alpha Pro should automatically do a whole bunch of analysis, and then give me a well-organized report about my data. And if my data isn't too large, this should all happen in a few seconds.

And what's amazing to me is that it actually works. I've got all kinds of data lying around: measurements, business reports, personal analytics, whatever. And I've been feeding it into Wolfram|Alpha Pro. And Wolfram|Alpha Pro has been showing me visualizations and coming up with analyses that tell me all kinds of useful things about the data.

Wolfram Alpha Pro Example of Data Understanding

So let's say that Wolfram|Alpha Pro knows what all the elements in a table of data are-what their "values" are. Then it has to start figuring out what they "mean". Does that sequence of numbers represent some kind of labels or coordinates? Or is it just samples from a random distribution? Does that sequence of currency values represent an asset price with random-walk-like variations? Or is it just a sequence of unrelated currency amounts? Are both those columns actually primary data, or is one of them just the rankings for the other? Etc. etc.

Wolfram|Alpha Pro has a large number of algorithms and heuristics for trying to deduce what the data it's given represents. And this immediately puts it on track to see what kind of visualizations and analyses it should do.

Read more.

Data Mining Software

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