Big Data Democratization By Wolfram Alpha

English: Publicity photo of en:Stephen Wolfram.Image via WikipediaThe Verge: Wolfram Alpha Pro democratizes data analysis: an in-depth look at the $4.99 a month service
... the ability to use images, files, and even your own data as inputs instead of simple text entry. The "reports" that Wolfram Alpha kicks out as a result of these (or any) query are also beefed up for Pro users, some will actually become interactive charts and all of them can be more easily exported in a variety of formats...... Wolfram Alpha presents a different way of interacting with knowledge and data than anything else out there on the web ..... Wolfram Alpha is excellent at returning answers to mathematical queries and scientific queries, but it also can provide results based on its structured data. Most people know it now as one of the sources for Apple's Siri feature on the iPhone 4S. ..... in many cases the service can provide better results from Siri than from text queries because there is "more structure to what they're saying" than what most people have trained themselves to type into search fields. ..... provide "reports" instead of just "answers." ..... The first and most obvious feature is that users will get an account at Wolfram Alpha with a complete history of their queries, uploads, and downloads. ...... any number of export options — including a basic Excel spreadsheet, vector graphics, and JSON data if you'd like to integrate the data into your own web app. ...... the Computable Document Format (CDF). CDF is a browser plug-in that enables interactivity with charts, graphs, and other data. ..... an "extended keyboard" which is similar to the larger keyboard available on its mobile apps. This makes it easier to enter mathematical symbols without having to remember obscure keyboard combinations ...... Users will also be able to use images as inputs ...... if you uploaded a set of dates and prices, Wolfram Alpha will actually try to determine exactly what those prices represent. ...... put yourself in the mindset of a small business owner. Instead of trying to hassle with interpreting a spreadsheet of website traffic and sales data, he or she could upload it to Wolfram Alpha Pro ...... not just for the realm of academics and research. Regular users may not have had much reason to dig into the service before now, but the ability to bring the entire brunt of Wolfram Alpha's computational engine on any arbitrary piece of data democratizes the idea of statistical analysis.
I did not have to invent email to be able to use Gmail. There will be Big Data versions of Gmail. I as a user should be able to do Big Data stuff without launching a Big Data company. We will see much more of that happen. If anything Big Data will show up as a hugely democratizing force. We will realize every single human being literally sits atop an oil field. There is money to be made.

New York Times: Wolfram, a Search Engine, Finds Answers Within Itself
He put in a table of campaign contributions to politicians over several years, and Wolfram Alpha generated a chart and brief summary, saying that House members received less on average than senators. ..... Dr. Wolfram dragged in a 3-D image and after a few seconds it rendered the image — a guitar — and reported the number of polygons (2,253), among other characteristics. ..... “We’re starting to have the ability to understand data and images in the way we understand text queries.” ..... Siri accounts for about a quarter of the queries fielded by Wolfram Alpha, whose staff has grown to 200. ..... Several large companies in health care, financial services and oil and gas recently hired Dr. Wolfram’s private company, Wolfram Research, to do tailored corporate versions of Wolfram Alpha for them. Microsoft also licenses Wolfram Alpha technology.
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