Category Archives: Learn Data Science

This is a category for all things related to learning data science.

Google Launches Dataset Search

Looking for datasets for your next project? You are in luck because Google just launched Dataset Search. The name is self-explanatory. Go try it out.

Azure Data Week Online Conference

Azure Data Week is a virtual conference for all things Microsoft Azure and data science. It takes place October 8-12, 2018. It is not free, but the cost is low and you do not have to travel.

Display a Resource Group in Your Azure Dashboard

Azure Functions for Data Science

Data Scientists do more than build fancy AI and machine learning models. They often times need to get involved with the data acquisition process. It is common for data to be pulled from other databases or even an API. Plus, the models need to be deployed. These tasks fall to the data scientist to solve (unless there is a data engineer willing to help). Recently, I have discovered Azure Functions to be an extremely useful tool for solving these types of tasks.

What are Azure Functions?

Simply stated, Azure Functions are pieces of code that run. More formally stated,

Azure Functions are serverless computing which allows code to run on-demand without the need to manage servers or hardware infrastructure.

This is exactly what a data scientist needs to solve the tasks mentioned above. I, for one, do not enjoy managing servers (hardware or virtual). I have done it before, but I find it time-consuming and tedious. It is just not my thing. Thus, I happily welcome the serverless capabilities of Azure Functions. I just focus on the code and get the task completed.

Because the code does not always need to be running, Azure Functions invoke the code based upon specified triggers. Once the trigger is activated, the code will begin to run. The following list provides some examples of the triggers available.

Triggers for Azure Functions:
  1. Timer – Set a timer to run the Azure Function as often as you like. Timing is specified with a cron expression.
  2. HTTP Rest call – Have some other code fire off an HTTP request to start the Azure Function.
  3. Blob storage – Run the Azure Function whenever a new file is added to a Blob storage account.
  4. Event Hubs – Event Hubs are often used for collecting real-time data, and this integration offers Azure Functions the ability to run when a real-time event occurs.
  5. Others – Cosmos DB, Service Bus, IoT Hub, GitHub are other events which can trigger an Azure Function.

What can Azure Functions Do?

Once you begin to understand the concept, you can quickly see some of the possibilities. Without having to configure servers or virtual machines, the following tasks become much simpler:

  • Reading and writing data from a database
  • Processing images
  • Interacting with an HTTP endpoint
  • Automating decisions in real-time
  • Computing descriptive statistics
  • Creating your own endpoint for other data scientists to call
  • Automatically analyzing code after commits
Programming Languages for Azure Functions

As of August 2018, full support is provided for C#, Javascript, and F#. Experimental support is provided for Batch, PowerShell, Python, and TypeScript. Python can be used to create an HTTP endpoint. This would allow someone to quickly create an endpoint for running machine learning models via scikit-learn or another python module. Unfortunately, R is not yet available, but Microsoft has a lot invested in R, so I am expecting this eventually.

Simplify Tasks for Data Science

Next time you have a data science task which requires a little coding, consider using an Azure Function to run the code. It will most likely save you some deployment and configuration time. Then you can quickly get back to optimizing those fancy AI models.

See the video below for a quick demonstration of how to create an Azure function via a web browser (no IDE needed).

Customer Service in the Age of AI

Definition of AI:

Everything a computer can’t do yet.

Microsoft Weekly Data Science News for May 25, 2018

Here are the latest articles from Microsoft regarding cloud data science products and updates.

MIT Statistics and Data Science MicroMasters

MIT has recently launched Statistics and Data Science MicroMasters program. The program is a series of online MIT graduate courses offered via EdX. It officially starts in the fall of 2018.

Microsoft Weekly Data Science News for May 18, 2018

Here are the latest articles from Microsoft regarding cloud data science products and updates.

  • Azure Content Spotlight – What’s New with Cognitive ServicesThis weeks content spotlight is all about Azure Cognitive Services. Seth Juarez’s AI Show on Channel 9 provides regular updates on all the new AI features on the Azure platform, including Cognitive Services. See below a collection of the latest video’s …[Read More]
  • A Scalable End-to-End Anomaly Detection System using Azure Batch AIThis post is authored by Said Bleik, Senior Data Scientist at Microsoft. In a previous post I showed how Batch AI can be used to train many anomaly detection models in parallel for IoT scenarios … several Azure cloud services and Python code that …[Read More]
  • Azure.Source – Volume 31In addition, Cognitive Services add pre-built, cloud-hosted APIs for developers to add AI capabilities, including new services announced at Build. This post also covers Cognitive Search and Azure Machine Learning (ML) advancements. The Microsoft data …[Read More]
  • Azure Stack: the last mile in Hybrid CloudThese include Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services, exceptionally large HDInsight environments, and Microsoft Azure Data Lake Store. Services which are best consumed in a Hyperscale Cloud will run on Azure, while services that best fit an enterprise …[Read More]
  • Using Azure for Machine LearningI’m interested in learning more about AI, Data Science, and Machine Learning to improve … other interesting and useful products such as Microsoft IoT Hub, SQL Database, and Cognitive Services which I use a lot for Pantrylogs. You can really play …[Read More]
  • Use AU Analyzer for faster, lower cost Data Lake AnalyticsDo you use Data Lake Analytics and wonder how many Analytics Units your jobs should have been assigned? Do you want to see if your job could consume a little less time or money? The recently-announced AU Analyzer tool can help you today! See our recent …[Read More]
  • Simple and robust way to operationalise Spark models on AzureIt gives you everything that Open Source Spark does and then some. I’ve been especially enjoying the effortless ways to move large datasets around and the ease of MLlib for my AI-projects. One of the questions with the simpler models like regressions and …[Read More]
  • New AI Services in Azure for students and academics announced at Build 20181.Object Detection update to custom vision (preview) http://aka.ms/cognitive 2.Video Indexer (Paid Preview) https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/build-2018-video-indexer-updates/ 1.Bot Builder SDK v4 (preview) Bot Builder homepage or the Bot Builder …[Read More]
  • How Azure IoT helped me buy a new house – Part 1shares a personal story on how he used Azure IoT to figure out a solution to a problem that many of us face – high electric bills. In the series, Steve shares the process and code that he used to implement this solution. Telemetry data is an important …[Read More]

Microsoft Weekly Data Science News for May 12, 2018

It was a big week for Microsoft due to the Microsoft Build Live conference. Tons of exciting announcements for developers. Videos here, Build 2018 on YouTube.

Microsoft Weekly Data Science News for May 04, 2018

Here are the latest articles from Microsoft regarding cloud data science products and updates.