Category Archives: Booz Allen

Gartner Data Summit: Collaboration and Communication are Key

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At Booz Allen, we’re committed to making the power of analytics tangible and accessible for a new generation of citizen data scientists. In support of that mission, our Sailfish team headed to Grapevine, Texas, from March 6-9 to attend the Gartner Data & Analytics Summit.

In the data science emerging technologies arena, few gatherings generate as much as excitement and attention as Gartner, which hosted 3,000 attendees with backgrounds in analytics, machine learning, data technologies, and data management. And while last year’s Gartner Data Analytics conference was themed on the citizen data scientist and the democratization of data, this year focused more on data science platforms, like Sailfish, that enable and empower those individuals.

As keynote speaker Margaret Heffernan noted, non-analytical factors—such as trust, open communication, and the ability to share insights—are critical for organizations to derive the most value from their data. Socializing data science models and results helps to build a data-driven culture of openness and collaboration across the enterprise. In another presentation, the leader of data analytics at Ford Motor Company validated the same point when he described how his internal analytics team acts in a consulting role to the different divisions of the corporation in order to build trust, value, cross-organization visibility, understanding of data science, and impactful analytic solutions.

At the Booz Allen exhibit booth, the Sailfish team demonstrated the platform’s similar ability to open up lines of communication among otherwise disparate groups. Through its unique social curation capabilities, Sailfish allows users to collect, organize, and catalog data, and then easily share data sets with a network of followers for feedback and refinement.

Data sharing and curation also complement Sailfish’s discovery capabilities, through which users can perform advanced analytics by querying the data sets in plain English. For example, visitors to the booth learned which stoplight in Washington, DC, generates the most traffic infraction tickets, which public universities deliver the best bargain and quality, and whether there’s correlation between SAT scores and retention at universities. (Hint: There is, and it’s strong.)

#Data4Good Twitter Chat

To amplify the conference conversation, on March 8, Sailfish Product Manager Seth Clark (@caradoxical) and Booz Allen Principal Data Scientist Kirk Borne (@KirkDBorne) also hosted a Twitter chat focused on the unique capability of data science platforms to enable #Data4Good activities, both internally and external to organizations.

Queried on how to spread the benefits of data science to as many people as possible, participants in the Twitter chat noted that data science competitions (such as the Data Science Bowl) enable data scientists to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems. They also discussed how easing access to data through platforms like Sailfish can empower exploration, discovery, and innovation.

On the question of how to broaden the dissemination of data science results, participant @Prashant_1722 suggested that public-private partnerships can be useful for vetting and using analytics results for societal good, while @knowlengr added that mobile-optimized access can help bridge the digital divide between those with and without computer access.

Among other topics, participants also discussed where data scientists can find resources to guide them in the ethical use and applications of artificial intelligence (see the Asilomar AI principles), as well as how leaders in an organization can ensure that data science benefits everyone equally (in the end, it is the responsibility of all of us who are involved). Search for #DataSciChat on Twitter to see the entire conversation.

And even if you didn’t attend the Gartner Summit, you can still learn how to tame your data and how to derive significant insights and value from it. Visit BoozAllen.com/Sailfish to get started today.

As the third Data Science Bowl focuses on early detection of lung cancer using patient scans, researchers at Stanford University recently developed an algorithm to detect skin cancer from photographs. This algorithm, which matches the performance of dermatologists when diagnosing skin lesions, could have a significant effect on remote diagnosis, especially given the team’s goal of adapting it for use on a smartphone. Read more at http://news.stanford.edu/2017/01/25/artificial-intelligence-used-identify-skin-cancer/

Data Science News: AI Detection of Skin Cancer

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As the third Data Science Bowl focuses on early detection of lung cancer using patient scans, researchers at Stanford University recently developed an algorithm to detect skin cancer from photographs. This algorithm, which matches the performance of dermatologists when diagnosing skin lesions, could have a significant effect on remote diagnosis, especially given the team’s goal of adapting it for use on a smartphone. Read more at http://news.stanford.edu/2017/01/25/artificial-intelligence-used-identify-skin-cancer/

I Know and Understand Cancer, All Too Well: Help Join the Fight

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My life has been surround by this disease for the past 20 years. In 1997, my brother was diagnosed with rare type of cancer called renal medullary carcinoma. He passed away at 35 years old, leaving behind a wife and two sons ages 3 and 5. They will never know how wonderful their father was. To this day, there is no cure for this cancer.  Read More

2017 #DataSciChat: Tips, Techniques, and that “Ah-Ha!” Moment

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Graphic by Marc Smith, Director, Social Media Research Foundation

The Data Science Bowl is dedicated to using the power of data to solve the world’s most difficult challenges. But we know that uncovering breakthroughs is impossible alone.

In that spirit, on Thursday, January 26, the Data Science Bowl hosted a Twitter chat for the community of problem-solvers dedicated to thinking bigger, asking the right questions, and this year, ending lung cancer as we know it. Read More

Data Analysis on Aviation Accidents

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Hey there! My name is Katherine Larson and I joined on as a Data Scientist in July 2016, though I had been interning with the firm since 2014. Since my first internship with Booz Allen, it’s been embedded in my head that data is the key to everything. All the trends in the data hold meaning, but it’s up to us to discover what that meaning is through data science techniques. Read More

To Some It’s a Competition; To Me It’s Personal

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Vegetarians don’t understand what I am about to tell you.  I know they like to tell you that veggie-burgers can be just as good; but anyone with a true addiction to the great North American bovine knows it is simply false.  So here it goes: my father has not had a cheeseburger in 18 months.  On the law of averages in this country that would make him a carnivorous outlier.  But Bernie is no ordinary carnivore.  Dad is a man who enjoys his burgers so much that a table of raucous companions would come to silence on the rare occasion he would order any another dish at a restaurant.  But he has not had a burger in 18 months.  The sad fact is that cancer not only takes the people we love, it can also take a way of life.   Read More

Turning Machine Intelligence Against Cancer

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In the U.S., cancer will strike two in every five people in their lifetimes. But it affects all of us.

That’s why, in 2015, the office of the Vice President announced the Cancer Moonshot. It’s an audacious effort to make a decade’s worth of progress in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in just five years.

Beginning today, the 2017 Data Science Bowl will pursue one of the Cancer Moonshot’s key goals: unleashing the power of data against this deadly disease. Presented by Booz Allen and Kaggle, the competition will convene the data science and medical communities to develop cancer detection algorithms, and help end the disease as we know it. Read More

How Data Science Can Help Cure Cancer

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I will never forget that call.image001

“Kelly has cancer,” my dad said softly.

Knees weak, I sat down on the bed. I didn’t know if my sister was going to live. And, despite us having spent decades doing everything together, she’d have to fight this battle on her own. I’m not the only one who’s heard that kind of call. The moment I experienced was not singular to me, it is one that is repeated over 12.7 million times each year – with over half of those ultimately not surviving. Read More

Winning the 2nd Annual Data Science Bowl: Hedge Funds to Heart Disease

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Tencia Lee, a Math graduate and hedge fund trader, partnered with Qi Liu, a PhD in Physics also with a hedge fund background, to devise the winning algorithm in this year’s Data Science Bowl. They spent more than 100 hours each in evenings and on weekends building and testing algorithms. Working in parallel, Lee and Liu built and trialled hundreds of algorithms to read the heart scans. Their efforts paid off, with the largest prize in the competition, among 993 data scientist contestants in the Data Science Bowl. In this blog, Tencia Lee reveals the work behind the win. Read More