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Northstar puts data analytics at your fingertips

15 July 2019 by Michael Giffney 0 Comments

Northstar puts data analytics at your fingertips.

The very talented and very inspiring people at MIT and Brown University have put their heads together and developed an interactive data analytics system that runs on touchscreens. It gives us, the everyday data enthusiasts, an opportunity to use machine-learning models to explore and mine data.

So, put down those programming textbooks, stop studying those statistics and machine learning courses, because this system doesn’t need them. Well, maybe not that far, but it does make it very easy to build, analyse and evaluate machine learning pipelines.




So what is it?

Northstar is a cloud-based interactive data-science system that is supported by any touchscreen surface, including your smartphone, but preferably used on something like an interactive whiteboard.

Starting with a blank canvas, you input the datasets you wish to use and then manipulate, combine, and extract features on a user-friendly interface, using only your fingertips, to uncover the trends and patterns of the data.

There is also a piece of genius called a ‘virtual data scientist’ VDS that can instantly and automatically generate machine-learning models to run prediction tasks on the data you have just uploaded. Using an AI technique called automated machine-learning (AutoML), this allows those without an advanced degree in data science train AI models to make predictions.  

Giving access to all.

The beauty of Northstar is that it allows the little guy a chance to use data science to get ahead. No longer will it only be for major corporations and deep-pocketed businesses. The local coffee shop owner can just as efficiently utilise Northstar to predict coffee sales, as a team of medical researchers who want to examine co-occurrences of certain diseases in certain age groups can. And no doubt as research and progress continues on Northstar; we will see this democratisation of data science spread further into the world around us.

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