Culture of inquiry

A business environment focused on asking better questions, getting better answers to those questions, and using the results to inform continual improvement. A culture of inquiry infuses the skills and capabilities of data scientists into business units and compels a collaborative effort to find answers to critical business questions. It also engages the workforce at large—whether or not the workforce is formally versed in data analysis methods—in enterprise discovery efforts.


A method of running entire databases in random access memory (RAM) without direct reliance on disk storage. In this scheme, large amounts of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) constitute the operational memory, and an indirect backup method called write-behind caching is the only disk function. Running databases or entire suites in memory speeds up queries by eliminating the need to perform disk writes and reads for immediate database operations.

Interactive visualization

The blending of a graphical user interface for data analysis with the presentation of the results, which makes possible more iterative analysis and broader use of the analytics tool.

Natural language processing (NLP)

Methods of modeling and enabling machines to extract meaning and context from human speech or writing, with the goal of improving overall text analytics results. The linguistics focus of NLP complements purely statistical methods of text analytics that can range from the very simple (such as pattern matching in word counting functions) to the more sophisticated (pattern recognition or “fuzzy” matching of various kinds).

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