Gartner & Challenges in Big Data

We all know about the Big Data “revolution” by now. There are vast benefits when using Big Data analytics tools for insight, but with all major technology breakthroughs there will always be challenges to overcome. The following points were found in a recent article by and the information is very helpful. Gartner, “the world’s leading information and technology research and advisory company”, goes over the challenges that companies and individuals are now facing in the world of knowledge discovery, aka Big Data. Information strategy, data analysis, and enterprise information management are all the topics covered that one must address to overcome such hurdles in I.T.

With more than half of the U.S. now using the Cloud, the number of users for a given Cloud platform and the opinions of the professionals ranking said institutions give great insight into the value of a given solution. Amazon Web Services (AWS), a Cloud services provider, meets 92% of the requirements for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) standards and 100% in other areas like security. AWS is the leader in cloud IaaS. As an AWS technology partner, ChalkLabs offers services for the Cloud including the GovCloud for the public sector. Between shifting data to the cloud and turning Big Data into knowledge, companies have their hands full. ChalkLabs specialized and professional team of knowledge discovery experts are here to help you through it all, every step of the way.


Visit the ChalkLabs website to view our solutions for knowledge discovery and Cloud as well as consultation.

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In the “Age of Big Data”, How is Education Improving?

The analytical use of data is creeping into everyday life. In the classroom we see new technology emerging not only in the form of computers, but also in the form of guided ciriculum. Teachers have many new resources popping up left and right with the click of a button. Tools to help track, gauge, and educate the next generation of pupils are now used to understand how each individual student is better able to learn and grow from specific assignments. Education program subscriptions like ThinkCERCA claim to be, “A school wide solution for critical thinking and literacy instruction across disciplines”, as described on the website. ( Teachers can easily use ThinkCERCA’s applications to assign lessons according to pre-determined levels assigned to each student. Students can then read and finish assignments online, leaving a chance for others to comment on and evaluate their work for continued editing opportunities all the while practicing speaking and listening skills as well. Teachers are able to view the

Whitworth College Pirates Flag

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assignments online through the whole learning process and can grade various assignments in need of inspection. Retaining logs through the site can also lead to future gains made by educators via analysis of past data kept from each student. Specific paths of learning can be formed through this process. College prep is important to help ensure the success of next fleet of tech savvy young. ThinkCERCA was created by nationally accredited researchers of 30 years to provide the framework needed to let students excel in todays high-tech world. Active learning engages students and helps keep attention fully on the lessons at hand, at the students own pace. Building a smart way for the next generation of pupils to succeed is truly being captured by ThinkCERCA. ( (

Big Computing to Cure Disease

People can soon donate their computer’s idle time to the advancement of science at no cost. In June, nonprofit organization Quantum Cures will begin utilizing the unused processing power of our idle devices to cure diseases. Most people carry around smart phones and tablets that represent great strides in the accessibility of machines capable of great computation.  But what is all of that computational capability really accomplishing?  The Ars Technica article “Crowdsourcing the Cloud to Find Cures for Rare and ‘Orphaned’ Diseases” addresses one outlet for all of this potential.  Where Big Data is taking advantage of the fact that we have so much storage space to store vast amounts of data, Quantum Cures is exploring a cloud computing initiative.

Quantum Cures will use the same method pioneered by Berkeley University, which utilizes “volunteer” computers to process information to search for extraterrestrial life.  Quantum Cures will use Inverse Design software designed by Duke University and Microsoft to help process vast amounts of information and identify possible treatments for diseases that have fallen by the wayside.

To engineer a drug, they are looking at proteins related to a disease and searching for drugs that can potentially interact with them by using a quantum mechanics / molecular mechanics modeling system.  Lawrence Husick, co-founder of Quantum Cures, explained part of the process to Ars Technica. “Each instance of the software takes the quantum mechanical molecular model of the target protein and a candidate molecule and calculates the potential bonding energy between the two,” Sean Gallagher reported. This process is repeated for millions of molecules for which only a few pass the tests.

Quantum Cure has focused on diseases most pharmaceutical companies consider to be bad investments, including AIDS and malaria. The computing power and time involved with the process is immense, but when nonprofit organizations ask for volunteers to donate their CPU time, this can all be accomplished for much less. “The software installs with user-level permissions and will allow individuals to set how much of their compute time is made available,” Hesik told Ars Technica.