BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, BIG DATA MANAGEMENT, DATA SCIENCE

ACA Group Acquires Data Specialist Ethos ESG to Offer First Data Analytics Product

ACA Group | September 26, 2022 | Read time : 02:50 min

ACA Group
ACA Group (ACA), the leading governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) advisor in financial services, today announced that it has acquired Ethos ESG (Ethos), a provider of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ratings data and software for financial advisors, asset managers, institutions, and investors.

This acquisition marks ACA’s first analytics offering, which will be paired with ACA’s ESG experts to form an integrated tech and advisory offering under the ESG Advisory practice. ACA’s existing ESG Advisory practice supports with a range of programmatic needs for firms that integrate ESG into their business or investment activities. This currently includes advice and implementation support around strategy, policies/procedures, regulations and frameworks, training, and external reporting, among other areas. With Ethos, ACA’s clients will now also be able to easily analyze investments and automate several elements of ESG reporting.

Founded in 2019, Ethos offers an interactive platform that allows for the evaluation of over 350,000 impact ratings including companies, stocks, and funds through a prism of 45 ESG causes such as climate change, racial justice, mental health and more. Providing full transparency into how each impact score is calculated and the ability to upload portfolios and create models, Ethos allows for GRC professionals to understand the ESG characteristics of their investments and make responsible decisions that align with their firm's values and ESG commitments.

Ethos uses a proprietary set of approximately 100 underlying databases to generate its ratings. These databases provide a unique impact view of ratings, as well as provide insight into key metrics where available. The databases are fully transparent, so clients can see which underlying database source for each data point. Ethos also has capabilities developed to quickly scrape the public domain for material publicly available information to include in the ratings. These state-of-the-art capabilities allow Ethos to quickly add company coverage to help clients achieve full coverage of their investment portfolio.

Ethos has invested in innovation through the recent launch of its Impact Calculator, an embeddable widget that takes a dollar amount and immediately calculates the real-world equivalent impact of investing that amount in a specific fund or other product, compared to a benchmark.

Additionally, Ethos recently introduced its Carbon Neutral Certification program for mutual funds and ETFs, developed in conjunction with Change Finance. Through the certification, Ethos performs an independent analysis of a funds carbon footprint (covering Scope 1 and Scope 2 emission) and carbon credits (offsets) to verify whether the fund is carbon neutral during a specified period.

“This is an exciting step in helping to grow our presence in the ESG space and is ACA Group’s first foray into analytics as a service,” said Shvetank Shah, CEO of ACA Group. “We are invigorated to be building out and launching our data capabilities, starting with Ethos ESG. Combining data with our scalable solutions will continue to empower our clients to reimagine GRC and protect and grow their business.”

“We are thrilled to partner with ACA Group, as their brand and reach in the GRC space is well-known. “Not only is taking into consideration the ESG impact of your decisions right on its merits, but greater transparency into ESG issues helps firms mitigate risk and make informed choices while growing sustainably.”

Luke Wilcox, Founder and CEO of Ethos ESG

“This pairing will help us to leverage data in a new way to help firms of all sizes develop and monitor their ESG programs to mitigate risk, make informed choices, combat greenwashing, and grow profitably and sustainably in the process. Access to high-quality, transparent ESG data is an essential part of any ESG endeavor, and our partnership with Ethos will allow us to build and protect our clients’ ESG strategies in ways few others can,” said Dan Mistler, Head of ESG Advisory at ACA Group.

About ACA Group
ACA Group (ACA) is the leading governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) advisor in financial services. We empower our clients to reimagine GRC and protect and grow their business. Our innovative approach integrates advisory, managed services, distribution solutions, and analytics with our ComplianceAlpha® technology platform with the specialized expertise of former regulators and practitioners and our deep understanding of the global regulatory landscape.

About Ethos ESG
Founded in 2019, Ethos ESG provides data and analytics for financial advisors, asset managers, institutions, and investors. With over 350,000 impact ratings of stocks and funds across 45 causes, Ethos ESG helps firms offer robust impact reporting, monitor and address sustainability risks, and enhance quantitative research and modelling with transparent ESG data.

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BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, BIG DATA MANAGEMENT

ActionIQ Launches HybridCompute, Empowering IT Leaders to Build Composable Customer Data Stacks

ActionIQ | September 14, 2022

ActionIQ, the leader in customer experience (CX) solutions that deliver actionable insight from customer data, today announced the launch of HybridCompute, a new feature of the AIQ InfiniteCompute technology that removes the requirement to replicate and move data, allowing enterprise IT teams to unbundle their customer data stack and take full control over where data is stored and queried. The AIQ CX Hub with HybridCompute now seamlessly integrates directly on top of cloud data lakes, helping enterprise IT teams maximize the value of existing technology investments, while empowering business users with drag and drop simplicity. . InfiniteCompute is the data infrastructure technology that delivers unlimited computational power, making it possible for AIQ to manage and process more data than any other solution available. And with the addition of HybridCompute, InfiniteCompute can query data stored across multiple systems, enabling analytics anywhere data lives and post-processing that provides a consistent view of data across the entire AIQ CX Hub. "AIQ's mission has always been to empower IT and business leaders to orchestrate personalized customer experiences at scale, and we've approached innovations in infrastructure as a key enabler to that. "However, a lot has changed in data infrastructure space over the last 8 years since we started on that mission. Many companies have made investments to consolidate their customer data into a cloud data lake, and the gap to leveraging that data is less on data unification and more on simplified business access." Justin DeBrabant, Senior Vice President of Product at AIQ "We want to meet our customers wherever they are on their data infrastructure journey, and help them generate greater value on those investments by providing them scalable storage and compute infrastructure when they need it, or the ability to query the data where it is with HybridCompute if they've already done the work of data unification. And importantly, they won't need to choose all of one or the other, as InfiniteCompute will span seamlessly across any of these systems," he continued. The AIQ CX Hub with HybridCompute gives enterprise IT teams the ability to unbundle their customer data stack, significantly streamlining resources, increasing flexibility, generating greater value on IT investments and driving accelerated CX transformation. "By 2024, 80% of CIOs surveyed will list modular business redesign through composability, as a top-five reason for accelerated business performance," cites "Predicts 2022: Composable Applications Accelerate Digital Business" a Gartner® report published Dec. 1, 2021. The report goes on to say, "Composable digital business will use digital resources to cope with the rapid pace of business change, unfamiliar risks, diversifying customer expectations, and business, economic, societal and other uncertainties." See also related announcements today and this week on partnerships with Databricks, Snowflake and Teradata to integrate HybridCompute and maximize value of existing investments. Enterprise brands such as Autodesk, M&T Bank, The New York Times, Neiman Marcus, Hertz and many more use the AIQ CX Hub to drive growth through extraordinary customer experiences. About ActionIQ AIQ brings order to CX chaos. Our Customer Experience Hub empowers everyone to be a CX champion by giving business teams the freedom to explore and action on customer data while helping technical teams extend and enhance existing technology investments to manage data governance, costs and performance. Enterprise brands such as Autodesk, M&T Bank, The New York Times, Neiman Marcus, Hertz and many more use our CX Hub to drive growth through extraordinary customer experiences.

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BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, BIG DATA MANAGEMENT

Privacera Expands Data Governance Capabilities for Cloud Data Lakes with Native Aws Lake Formation Integration

Privacera | September 12, 2022

Privacera, the unified data access governance leader founded by the creators of Apache Ranger™, today announced the availability of its AWS Lake Formation integration in private preview, which offers complete data governance automation and fine-grained data access for AWS services including Amazon S3, Amazon Redshift and Amazon RDS. Privacera helps enterprise data teams protect sensitive data and enable privacy across all on-premise, hybrid and multi-cloud data sources while reducing time to insights by automating outdated, manual governance processes. Privacera is expanding its support and native integration for diverse AWS environments with the new AWS Lake Formation integration to simplify data access governance for complex and heterogeneous data lake and data mesh environments by extending Lake Formation enforcement to third-party services like Databricks, enabling additional governance use-cases. With this new integration, organizations will be able to accelerate their migration to the cloud by leveraging Privacera to securely manage data access policies within a single governance platform across diverse on-premise and cloud data sources. This will significantly reduce the efforts around data migrations to the cloud through increased automation and consistent policy management, and the ability to ensure compliance through an open, consistent and proven standard. "Organizations operate in diverse data ecosystems, and it's becoming increasingly challenging to not only manage the data from a governance perspective, but ensure that organizations are gleaning timely insights securely through appropriate access controls and automation, and that's why Privacera exists," said Privacera CEO Balaji Ganesan. "As an AWS partner, expanding our capabilities with this new integration allows us to deliver a solution that leverages the strengths of both Privacera and AWS Lake Formation, helping organizations with a secure and simple approach to data access while delivering business value." The latest integration will give users: A unified data governance strategy including your lake formation data assets AWS Lake Formation policy enforcement extended to popular data analytics systems like Databricks An intuitive and easy-to-use interface to build data access policies on top of AWS Lake Formation Financial services company Sun Life uses Privacera to accelerate AWS migration and unify data access governance and compliance. "Because Apache Ranger is critical to the success of our entire analytics platform, so is Privacera as it allows us to capitalize on existing technology and deliver critical data to our analytic teams quicker," said a Director of Cloud Infrastructure & Operations at Sun Life. "Our goal was to get our data into a data lake as quickly as possible and then apply access rules so approved Sun Life professionals can actually use the data to generate important insights. Requests that used to take three to four weeks to program can now be reacted to in less than two days." About Privacera Founded in 2016 by the creators of Apache Ranger™, Privacera's SaaS-based data security and governance platform enables analytics teams to simplify data access, security, and privacy for data applications and analytical workloads. The Privacera platform supports compliance with regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, LGPD, and HIPAA. Privacera provides a unified view and control for securing sensitive data across multiple cloud services such as AWS, Azure, Databricks, GCP, Snowflake, and Starburst. The Privacera platform is utilized by Fortune 500 customers across finance, insurance, life sciences, retail, media, and consumer industries, as well as government agencies to automate sensitive data discovery, mask sensitive data, and manage high-fidelity policies at petabyte scale on-premises and in the cloud.

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BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, BIG DATA MANAGEMENT, DATA SCIENCE

OceanBase Cloud now available in AWS Marketplace, expanding its distributed database services to customers globally

OceanBase | October 14, 2022

OceanBase, a distributed relational database solution provider, today announced that its cloud service OceanBase Cloud is now available in Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace, a digital catalog with thousands of software listings from independent software vendors that make it easy to find, test, buy and deploy software that runs on AWS. The launch allows AWS customers globally to quickly and easily access OceanBase’s database services, which are designed to deliver ultra-fast performance, elastic scalability and cost-effectiveness for transactional and operational analytics workloads. OceanBase is the only distributed database that has refreshed both TPC-C and TPC-H records. Its innovative city-level disaster recovery standard of "Five IDCs across Three Cities" enables zero Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and less than 30 seconds of Recovery Time Objective (RTO), and the service’s high compression technology saves 70-90% storage cost without compromising performance. Additionally, OceanBase’s multi-tenancy flexibility ensures better resource utilization, which helps reduce costs. The listing in AWS Marketplace provides more customers worldwide with one-stop access to OceanBase Cloud services, including database monitoring, diagnostics, development, migration, backup, and restoration. “We are delighted to collaborate with AWS Marketplace to bring OceanBase to more customers globally, at a time when enterprises are increasingly looking for consistent, scalable, resilient, and cost-effective database solutions amid their growing needs for efficient data analytics capabilities. “OceanBase, which is cloud-neutral, will continue to work with cloud vendors to broaden access to our time-tested capabilities in managing data-intensive transactions and multiple real-time analytical workloads.” Yin Boxue, General Manager of Public Cloud Services Division, OceanBase OceanBase has a ten-plus year track record of successfully managing large-scale and complex database needs, including supporting Alipay in processing peak transaction volumes for Alibaba Group’s annual 11.11 Global Shopping Festival -- one of the world’s largest online-shopping events. To date, OceanBase has served over 400 customers worldwide, including some of the largest financial institutions in China, including the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which have selected OceanBase as their preferred technology provider to upgrade their core IT systems. In Southeast Asia, OceanBase provides database solutions to GCash, one of the leading mobile payment providers and the largest e-wallet in the Philippines, and Dana, one of the leading digital wallet providers in Indonesia. OceanBase has helped reduce GCash’s database resource cost by more than 40% on average after adoption. OceanBase 4.0, which supports both vertical and horizontal scalability capabilities, was released in August 2022. With its distributed monolithic architecture, OceanBase 4.0 can be deployed on any stand-alone machine while performing the full functions as a distributed deployment. This lowers the technology and cost barriers for various types of customers, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to adapt to using enterprise databases. About OceanBase: Launched in 2010, OceanBase is a distributed relational database. OceanBase’s strengths over alternative solutions include strong data consistency, high availability, high performance, cost effectiveness, elastic scalability, and high compatibility with mainstream relational databases. It enables transactions and analytical queries with just one set of engines, empowering real-time business intelligence. In May 2020, OceanBase set the world record for online transaction processing performance, with 707 million transactions per minute in a TPC-C benchmark test. OceanBase was acknowledged as a notable vendor by Forrester in its report “The Translytical Data Platforms Landscape, Q3 2022,” published in July, 2022.

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BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE, BIG DATA MANAGEMENT

Comet Introduces Kangas, An Open Source Smart Data Exploration, Analysis and Model Debugging Tool for Machine Learning

Comet | November 17, 2022

Comet, provider of the leading MLOps platform for machine learning (ML) teams from startup to enterprise, today announced a bold new product: Kangas. Open sourced to democratize large scale visual dataset exploration and analysis for the computer vision and machine learning community, Kangas helps users understand and debug their data in a new and highly intuitive way. With Kangas, visualizations are generated in real time; enabling ML practitioners to group, sort, filter, query and interpret their structured and unstructured data to derive meaningful information and accelerate model development. Data scientists often need to analyze large scale datasets both during the data preparation stage and model training, which can be overwhelming and time-consuming, especially when working on large scale datasets. Kangas makes it possible to intuitively explore, debug and analyze data in real time to quickly gain insights, leading to better, faster decisions. With Kangas, users are able to transform datasets of any scale into clear visualizations. “A key component of data-centric Machine Learning is being able to understand how your training data impacts model results and where your model predictions are wrong. “Kangas accomplishes both of these goals and dramatically improves the experience for ML practitioners.” Gideon Mendels, CEO and co-founder of Comet Putting Large Scale Machine Learning Dataset Analysis at Your Fingertips Developed with the unique needs of ML practitioners in mind, Kangas is a scalable, dynamic and interoperable tool that allows for the discovery of patterns buried deep within oceans of datasets. With Kangas, data scientists can query their large-scale datasets in a manner that is natural to their problem, allowing them to interact and engage with their data in novel ways. Noteworthy benefits of Kangas include: Unparalleled Scalability: Kangas was developed to handle large datasets with high performance. Purpose Built: Computer Vision/ML concepts like scoring, bounding boxes and more are supported out-of-the-box, and statistics/charts are generated automatically. Support for Different Forms of Media: Kangas is not limited to traditional text queries. It also supports images, videos and more. Interoperability: Kangas can run in a notebook, as a standalone local app or even deployed as a web app. It ingests data in a simple format that makes it easy to work with whatever tooling data scientists already use. Open Source: Kangas is 100% open source and is built by and for the ML community. Kangas was designed for the entire community, to be embraced by students, researchers and the enterprise. As individuals and teams work to further their ML initiatives, they will be able to leverage the full benefits of Kangas. Being open source, all are able to contribute and further enhance it as well. “Interoperability and flexibility are inherent in Comet’s value proposition, and Comet aims to expand on that value through open source contributions,” added Mendels. “Kangas is a continuation of all of our efforts, and we couldn’t wait to get its capabilities into the hands of as many data scientists, data engineers and ML engineers as possible. We believe by open sourcing it, Comet can help teams get the most out of their ML projects in ways that have not been possible previously.” Kangas is available as an open source package for any type of use case. It will be available under Apache License 2 and is open to contributions from community members. About Comet Comet provides an MLOps platform that data scientists and machine learning teams use to manage, optimize, and accelerate the development process across the entire ML lifecycle, from training runs to monitoring models in production. Comet’s platform is trusted by over 150 enterprise customers including Affirm, Cepsa, Etsy, Uber and Zappos. Individuals and academic teams use Comet’s platform to advance research in their fields of study. Founded in 2017, Comet is headquartered in New York, NY with a remote workforce in nine countries on four continents. Comet is free to individuals and academic teams. Startup, team, and enterprise licensing is also available.

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