Data scientists are experts at analysing and interpreting data to provide insight and competitive advantage for businesses (meet one of our Data Scientists Ricardo Antunes). They require an arsenal of analytical tools that enable them to deliver solutions in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Microsoft provides a range of different services that aim to make the life of a data scientist much easier.

Broadly fitting into three core areas, Azure’s Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Cognitive services easily bring AI into your business and applications. Azure’s cloud computing services are also very useful for data scientist’s work with Big Data.  Although not specific to data science, it is a major resource.

Azure AI

Azure offers pre-built applications to develop out-of-the-box ML and Deep Learning services and tools. These tools also integrate seamlessly with programming languages such as Python and R which are typically used by data scientists for customised analysis.

Development of AI solutions can easily be implemented, making it possible to use your preferred approach, adapted to the scenario you are targeting, with maximum productivity and reliability.

Build, connect, deploy and manage intelligent bots to naturally interact with your users on a website, app, Cortana, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Slack, Facebook Messenger and more.

Azure ML

Azure Machine Learning helps to easily prepare data, build and train models to guarantee the best results, and run them wherever they are needed. Prototyping can quickly be done on a desktop environment using a variety of pre-packaged modelling tools and easily scaled up on virtual machines or scale out using Spark clusters. The scale and accessibility of Azure to provide computing power when needed is an extremely useful resource and one our own team of Data Scientists use. Model performance can be proactively managed and assessed using a number pre-packaged tools

The components that Azure ML provides are the following:

  • Machine Learning Studio – a simple visual editor using a drag-and-drop interface where you don’t need to be able to code. This makes it very easy to use and quick to get ideas into deployment. Go from idea to deployment in a matter of clicks. Using this tool, you can apply data pre-processing modules to raw data, run experiments on the prepared data using a machine learning algorithm, and test the resulting model. Once an effective model is found, ML Studio also helps its users deploy the model on Microsoft Azure.
  • A set of data pre-processing modules.
  • A set of machine learning algorithms.
  • An Azure ML API that lets applications access the chosen model once it’s deployed on Azure.

Azure Cognitive

Help your applications, websites and bots understand the world around them. Using the intelligent out-of-the-box services, you can infuse your tools with algorithms allowing applications to see, hear, speak and understand users in a natural way.

There are about 30 Cognitive Services and more are coming. Here are some examples:

  • Emotion API – analyses faces in photos and videos to detect emotions like happiness, sadness, disgust and so on
  • Language Understanding Intelligent Service (or LUIS) – understands context in more than 12 languages. You can use this to create a smart bot that actually understands what you are trying to say to it
  • Speaker Recognition API – identifies speakers based on speech. You can use this to authenticate using voice or to identify people based on their voice
  • Computer Vision API – can detect information about visual content found in images, like that the background is water and sky or the jacket that the person is wearing is black

You can make these services smarter and more accurate by training them with your own data to enhance performance. Doing this, the Face API could, for instance, return the names and job titles of your co-workers. Additionally, the Cognitive Services learn on the fly, using the data you feed them.

Azure’s range of services across these three areas help Data Scientists and their organisations to capture, process and understand data more effectively. Azure makes your data more accessible and valuable than ever before which will in turn benefit your users, applications and ultimately your customers.

To discuss all things data science and Azure with our consultants contact us today!