Analytics Blog

Top 10 Hidden Features You Never Knew Existed

Often times we focus on the biggest and most innovative features of Alpine like our recent certification on Spark or our integration of Chorus; a first of its kind collaborative environment for conducting agile data science.  We also talk about how our customers are applying advanced analytics to novel use cases that range from marketing to finance to performance management among many others.  However, these are only some of the many features of Alpine Chorus that make us the first choice for innovative organizations that are taking full advantage of their data assets.  Without further ado, here are the top 10 lesser known features of Alpine Chorus you many never have known about until now!

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1. Alpine Chorus is available to try for free by heading over to http://start.alpinenow.com  We’ve preloaded five featured examples that take you through some simple workflows running on a Greenplum database or Hadoop.  Additionally, you can load up to 100 MB of data at a time to test for yourself and get started today.

2. Alpine Chorus takes full advantage of the parallel nature of Hadoop by intelligently running workflows in parallel (not one operator at a time).  If you’ve ever experienced the joy of watching a job fail to complete only after the last operation fails or having to queue your analysis with the rest of your team, then you’ll rejoice as you can debug or “step run” through your workflow to avoid these common pitfalls with Hadoop.

3. Copy / Paste and Keyboard shortcuts don’t seem like a huge feature, but boy can this save you a ton of time.  As we work with more and more unstructured or semi-structured data the ability to quickly copy and paste a parsing or file structure becomes invaluable.

4. SQL Editor in Alpine Chorus is better than many commercial products.  It runs directly on your data (without movement) in your sandbox to not disrupt your data operations.  Quickly create new views, datasets, by double-clicking on tables, views, or functions complete with syntax highlighting, versioning, and all of the great visuals that come standard out of the box.

5. Alpine Forest is best in class for Hadoop and really easy to use.  If you’re unfamiliar with a Random Forest, well, frankly, you’re missing out and you can read more about it and many of our operators here.  It’s quite possibly the best classification model in existence and we’ve made it supercharged on Hadoop.  Not only that, its super easy to use with our automatic configuration setting.

6. Move data to / from DB and Hadoop. With our simple to use UI, you no longer have to install more packages (Hive, Sqoop, Hue, etc) on HDFS or go to a Hadoop administrator or DBA to move datasets in and out of your analytical environment.

7. View and Run Workflows from your Tablet.  Yes, that’s right, one of the added benefits of a visual workflow interface and a web based application is the ability to view it easily without having to dive into code or download software.  Therefore, anyone can view and run a workflow from a tablet to take your analysis with you.

8. Set variables that can be used as settings in your workflow. For example, if you are working with a segmentation model like k-means clustering, you can vary the number of clusters in each run by setting “K” to be a workflow variable and running it in a loop through the Alpine API.

9. Sub-Flows used as building blocks. Is there a standard transformation you do for a particular dataset? Well, now you can simply highlight these operators and convert them to a sub-flow.  You can then pass different variables into the subflow (like datasets) and re-use your analysis instead of re-inventing the wheel each time.

10. Simply put, extensibility. Alpine makes it possible to extend your analytics practice in a number of ways.  Our in-cluster technology means the data stays in one place making it easy to layer on other BI or Analytical tools without having to continuously adjust your environment reducing complexity and the possibility of user error dramatically.  Additionally, with Alpine 4.0 we’ve introduced the ability to create custom operators, export to PMML, integrate using our REST API, and edit / run user defined functions (UDFs) as part of an end-to-end analytic workflow.

Alpine Chorus is leading the way in advanced analytics by providing the most comprehensive end-to-end solution for the data driven enterprise.  We understand that the business of data can be very messy and more challenging still is the ability to communicate your work effectively.  With Alpine Chorus, we’ve built in the best data science practices and introduced collaboration to bridge the gap between your quants and the rest of your organization.