#MTLBDW: MTL Big Data Week

Last week, Nexalogy had the pleasure of helping bring Big Data Week to Montreal for the second time, in conjunction with MTL DATA, an organization for professionals of all domains who want to solve problems using data. The Montreal community came together in full force, and were blown away with the support in terms of partners, sponsors, and attendees.

#MTLBDW kicked off on Monday at Centre cloud.ca, with experts from Nexalogy, Ajah, Datacratic, Intel Security, KeaText, and McGill HPC.

View clip here

Pablo’s slides here

Tuesday was the first ever Open Data Book Club in Montreal, where attendees gathered to collaboratively explore an open dataset, in this case the STM metro turnstile data.

Wednesday was Papers We Love, where Peter Zion, Chief Architect at Fabric Engine presented two great papers on deep learning: Yann LeCun’s seminal 1998 paper, “Gradiant-Based Learning Applied to Document Recognition“, and Krizhevsky, Sutskever, and Hinton’s 2012 paper, “ImageNet Classification with Deep Convolutional Neural Nidetworks“.

On Thursday, McGill HPC gave an introductory workshop on GPU/CUDA, and come Saturday was the much anticipated hackathon, where the data and developer communities came together to build cool big data projects in 24 action-packed hours, at La Gare, a spanking new co-working space.

Highly skilled mentors were on-site to give lightning talks/workshops and lend a hand as needed.

La Gore closed up at midnight on Saturday, and opened up again at 8am on Sunday, where keen hackers came in bright and early to prepare for the hour of judgement to come.

1pm. Showtime. Meet the judging panel. From left to right,

- Nicolas Krutchen, Staff Software Engineer, Datacratic

- Alexis Smirnov, Chief Evangelist, Radialpoint

- Greg Gilbert, VP R&D, Analytics, Aviva Canada

- Michael Lenczner, CEO, Ajah

- Charles-Olivier Simard, VP & CTO, KeaText

MTLBDW 2015 Judges

Presentation #1: Select your own defining criteria for a perfect neighbourhood, and Dream Island will help you identify it. Git Repo | Demo

Presentation #2: Attitude Analysis used a corpus of 988,000 tweets retrieved from Twitter’s Search API from January to April 2015 containing the words “feminism”, “feminist” or “feminists”, trained a classifier to label them as pro-feminist, anti-feminist or neither (regardless of sentiment), and determined the most characteristic words used by each group with the log-likelihood keyness method. Git Repo | Slides – Congratualations on winning the Data Science Award and Data Visualization Award!

Presentation #3: Hackapun hacked an algorithm that discriminates between “homonymous puns” and non-pun sentences that contain homonyms Git Repo — Congratulations on winning the Big Data Award!

Presentation #4: Lingua Franca hacked a recommendation engine for #topic engagement, which creates and grows a receptive audience by finding common ground using Nexalogy’s API, and #idlenomore Twitter data. Git Repo | Demo | Slides – Congratulations on winning the Grand Prize!

“Lingua Franca” means a common third language used to communicate between two parties with differing backgrounds. How it works: user searches for a hashtag or topic. The Lingua Franca engine finds all topics related to that original hashtag or topic, and produces a ‘score’ for how closely related those topics are to the original topic.  Lingua Franca then runs the “common topics” again through Twitter, and identifies individuals a receptive audience for the original topic.  The cross-platform identity of those individuals are then presented and combined with “suggested topics” to engage them with. Here is a video of the hack in progress:

Lingua Franca from Gnito on Vimeo.

Presentation #5: One-man team Frederic Gingras’ initial idea was to gather insights on what makes successful open-source project thrive and work so well. Problem being that there is a huge gap between the mass of unknown good projects and the few widely used and maintained. Git Repo – Congratulations on winning the Solo Dev Award, a 1-year subscription to Safari!

Presentation #6: Great Explorer’s Footprint looked at street names along French Canadian explorer’s travels, used a simple n-gram frequency, and categorized the language of the streets. Git Repo | Demo

Presentation #7: EXPG Hockey calculated expected goals based on shot location using the SPORTLOGiQ datasets Git Repo

Presentation #8: Fedorer Streamer finds relationships in the fedora event stream Git Repo

For more hackathon photos, check out La Gare’s album on Facebook.

Thanks to all who joined us for MTLBDW! Nexalogy & MTL DATA will be joining forces again to champion a Data tent at the International Startup Festival, July 15-18 – contact us if you’d like to get involved, or click here to purchase a ticket at 10% off.

Changes to Facebook Data

As of April 30, 2015, Facebook will be turning off access that allows companies like ours to extract public posts to their network (Details here). With 1.39 billion monthly users, Facebook has become the world’s largest record of human thought, but, in reality, Facebook’s Privacy and Sharing model means that less than 5% of all posts published to Facebook are publicly available and accessible for analysis.

https://developers.facebook.com/docs/apps/upgrading > Graph API > Removed endpoints >Public post search is no longer available. (/search?type=post&q=foobar)

Now, the only way to access data from Facebook will be to go through DataSift’s new Pylon program, which will offer anonymized and aggregated Facebook data analysis. As this program is available through DataSift, a current data supplier to our platform, we are evaluating the value and costs associated with offering this to our customer base.
In the meanwhile, the option to create a Facebook search project will be removed from the dropdown menu on NexaMaster. In response, we will be adding access to comments and wall posts from Facebook Pages to our platform – stay tuned for more information. Nexalogy is committed to ensuring that our customers have reliable and uninterrupted access to social media data sources. Join as we move ahead into the next chapter of this fast paced industry!

Nexalogy’s Naomi Goldapple talks customer insights at MTL NewTech

This past Tuesday we were happy to have been invited to present at MTL NewTech – Montreal’s premier monthly event for the tech/startup community. A sold-out crowd of programmers, engineers, entrepreneurs, students etc listened as Blockstream, fuzzy.io, Mobeewave, and floop pitched their startups and demo-ed their product/service, before SupportKit and Nexalogy took the stage to share how simple integrations and big data can lead one from customer insights to foresights.

Naomi Goldapple at MTL New Tech April 2015    Naomi Goldapple at MTL New Tech April 2015

Nexalogy’s VP Business Development, Naomi Goldapple walked the crowd through two client case studies, SXSW and Vintage Live, and shared how everyone in the crowd can get their own insights, with our free app on Hootsuite, NexaSearch.

Nexalogy’s new Marketer, Nicole Fu then announced Montreal Big Data Week, a week-long event connecting data scientists, data technologists, data visualizers and businesses that Nexalogy, Thirdshelf and MTL DATA are hosting from April 20-26 this year.

Nicole Fu at MTL New Tech April 2015

Thank you to all who attended, and to MTL NewTech for a job well done! Our CEO (pictured below) is a happy man.

Claude Théoret, Daniel Haram, Evan Prodromou at MTL New Tech April 2015