Category: Big Data

ArchitectureBig DataBlockchaindatabase

Blockchain is not just for Cryptocurrency, but for Enterprises and the Future

The term “Blockchain” has been gaining a lot of buzz; especially in more recent time. It all started with Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, but has taken off as a pretty remarkable advancement in secure communication and database technology. Blockchain is not just for cryptocurrencies, and many Enterprises are seeing how it can be applied to the business world. With it’s link to cryptocurrency, it seems pretty obvious that it could be used for the Financial industry, but that’s really only the tip of the iceberg (so to say). There are MANY other potential uses for Blockchain within various IT solutions that transcend what you might think at first glance. This article describes what Blockchain is, where it came from, and how it can be utilized in some really innovative ways. Read More

Big DataCertification

70-475 Big Data Analytics Exam – Feb 2017 Update

The 70-475 Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions certification exam was first published Oct. 27, 2015. Many features and services in the Microsoft Azure platform have changed since the exams initial release. This is true of all the certification exams that cover Microsoft Azure services. For this reason, Microsoft published updates to these exams periodically. The latest update to this exam was published in February 2017. This article outlines the current state of this certification exam. Read More

Big DataCertificationData Sciencemachine learning

New MCSA: Machine Learning Certification from Microsoft

It seems there is constant news on the Microsoft certification front. Last fall, Microsoft shook up the entire MCP program with some amazing changes to how Azure certifications are integrated in the tracks, as well as the ability to renew MCSD and MCSE certifications annually with an elective exam. Now they are continuing to expand with new certification targeting the extremely popular realm of Machine Learning. The all new MCSA: Machine Learning certification is being added as an option to earn!

Update May 27, 2017: Microsoft announced that they’ve renamed the MCSA: Data Science certification to MCSA: Machine Learning.

Read More

Big DataDevelopmentTraining

Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) Expanding with More Tracks

The Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) is the most recent program from Microsoft to provide training and an educational platform in an effort to help fill the growing skills gap. According to Microsoft there are 1.5 million jobs going unfilled as a result. The program was initially launched with a Data Science track and has been a big success.

In the Data Science track of the Microsoft Professional Program (MPP) there have been nearly 4,000 learners enrolled in the program since July 2016. There has also been over 700 graduates of the program develop their skills and earn the Data Science certification.

There has also been over 700 graduates of the program develop their skills and earn the Data Science certification.

As was announced in October 2016, Microsoft is following through with a planned expansion of the Microsoft Professional Program. This expansion is brining with it the addition of 2 new tracks to the program. The 2 new tracks are:

  • Big Data – The track will teach the skills required to design systems for capturing, processing and analyzing big data.
  • Front-End Web Development – The track will focus on developing skills with programming languages, standards, libraries, and frameworks ranging from HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to frameworks such as Angular, Bootstrap, and jQuery.

New Big Data and Front-end Web Development tracks are being added to the program.

Enrollees in the Microsoft Professional Program are getting a new benefit added to the program. The new benefit is the addition of a free 12 month Pro membership to Gooroo.io. Gooroo is a resource for learners interested in careers in technology that will give them access to employment opportunities from some of the world’s leading tech startups and corporations.

The overall price for the completion certificates for each of the courses in the Microsoft Professional Program is also increasing. Previously, the majority of the courses for the program would cost $49 to receive a certificate of completion for each course. While enrollees are also able to audit each course for free. The free course auditing is remaining, but the fee for the certificate of completion of each course will be increasing to $99. This will result in an increase of the full program from costing approximately $500 USD for the Data Science track to the new cost of nearly $1,000 USD. This is somewhat of a significant cost increase but still far cheaper than a technical college or university degree. Additionally, the reason for the cost increase is to help pay for the cost that Microsoft has been putting into the development of the program tracks and courses.

In addition to the above, there are a few other smaller changes and updates being made to the program. Overall it’s been a fairly good success so far, and will undoubtedly keep growing with the expansion of the 2 new tracks in Big Data and Front-end Web Development.

Big DataCertification

70-773 Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R Certification Exam

In the effort of expanding out the breadth of certification offerings, Microsoft has added the Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R (70-773) exam. This exam focuses on using Microsoft R Server and SQL R Services for analyzing Big Data.

Certification Target Audience

The focus on the Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R (70-773) exam is centered around Microsoft R Server and SQL R Services. The exam is designed to target candidates who are Data Scientists or Analysts who are processing and analyzing large data sets using R. This exam will test your familiarity with data structures, as well as basic programming concepts (such as control flow and scope), and your ability to write and debug R code functions.

Skills Measured

Here is a high level list of the skills and objectives measured on this exam:

  • Read and Explore Big Data
    • Read data with R Server
    • Summarize data
    • Visualize data
  • Process Big Data
    • Process data with rxDataStep
    • Perform complex transforms that use transform functions
    • Manage data sets
    • Process text using RML packages
  • Build Predictive Models with ScaleR
    • Estimate linear models
    • Build and use partitioning models
    • Generate predictions and residuals
    • Evaluate models and tuning parameters
    • Create additional models using RML packages
  • Use R Server in different environments
    • Use different compute contexts to run R Server effectively
    • Optimize tasks by using local compute contexts
    • Perform in-database analytics by using SQL Server
    • Implement analysis workflows in the Hadoop ecosystem and Spark
    • Deploy predictive models to SQL Server and Azure Machine Learning

When studying for this exam, you’ll certainly want to look at the official exam page from Microsoft for the full list of exam objectives. You’ll need to be sure to study every one of them that will be measured on the exam.

Training Materials

At the time of writing this summary of the 70-773 Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R, the exam is still in Beta as it was just recently published. This means there aren’t any exam guide books, or practice exams available yet. To study for this exam, you’ll need to rely mostly on the Microsoft documentation for the different technologies covered on this exam.

Happy studying!

Big DataCertification

70-775 Perform Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure HDInsight Certification Exam

On of the hottest topics and technology areas in the industry is Big Data. Azure HDInsight is one of the services within the Microsoft Azure platform that services the ability to build scalable, Big Data solutions in the cloud. In an effort to expand out the breadth of certifications and exams offered around Microsoft Azure, the cloud, and Big Data, Microsoft has added the Perform Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure HDInsight (70-775) exam.

Certification Target Audience

The focus on the Perform Data Engineering on Microsoft Azure HDInsight (70-775) exam is around Microsoft Azure HDInsight. The exam is designed to target candidates who are Data Engineers, Data Architects, Data Scientists, and Data Developers who implement Big Data engineering workflows on HDInsight. This exam tests your experience and familiarity with the features and capabilities of Batch data processing, Real-time processing, and Interactive processing.

Skills Measured

Here is a high level list of the skills and objectives measured on this exam:

  • Administer and Provision HDInsight Clusters
    • Deploy HDInsight clusters
    • Deploy and secure multi-user HDInsight clusters
    • Ingest data for batch and interactive processing
    • Configure HDInsight clusters
    • Manage and debug HDInsight jobs
  • Implement Big Data Batch Processing Solutions
    • Implement batch solutions with Hive and Apache Pig
    • Design batch ETL solutions for big data with Spark
    • Operationalize Hadoop and Spark
  • Implement Big Data Interactive Processing Solutions
    • Implement interactive queries for big data with Spark SQL
    • Perform exploratory data analysis by using Spark SQL
    • Implement interactive queries for big data with Interactive Hive
    • Perform exploratory data analysis by using Hive
    • Perform interactive processing by using Apache Phoenix on HBase
  • Implement Big Data Real-Time Processing Solutions
    • Create Spark streaming applications using DStream API
    • Create Spark structured streaming applications
    • Develop big data real-time processing solutions with Apache Storm
    • Build solutions that use Kafka
    • Build solutions that use HBase

When studying for this exam, you’ll definitely want to look at the official exam page from Microsoft for the full list of exam objectives. You’ll need to be sure to study every one of them that will be measured on the exam.

Training Materials

At the time of writing this summary of the 70-775 Perform data Engineering on Microsoft Azure HDInsight exam, it is still in Beta as it was just recently published. This means there aren’t any exam guide books, or practice exams available yet. To study for this exam, you’ll need to rely mostly on the Azure HDInsight documentation, as well as the documentation for any other services and technologies listed in the exam objectives.

Not specific to just this exam, there are some additional resources available from various sources that do cover the technologies and skills measured on this exam. Here’s a short list of a few of these additional resources that may help in studying for this exam:

Happy studying!

Big DataCertificationmachine learning

70-774 Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning Certification Exam

Machine Learning is one of the hottest topics and technologies in the industry right now. Machine Learning is being used to combine with Big Data to automate the processes of gaining insights and predicting future behavior of systems, devices, and people. In an effort to expand out the breadth of certifications and exams offered around Microsoft Azure and the cloud, Microsoft has added the Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning (70-774) exam.

Certification Target Audience

The focus on the Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning (70-774) exam is centered around Azure Machine Learning, Bot Framework, and Cognitive Services. The exam is designed to target candidates who are Data Scientists or Analysts using the Microsoft Azure cloud services to build and deploy intelligent solutions. This exam will test your understanding and familiarity with common data science processes such as filtering and transforming data sets, model estimation, and model evaluation.

Skills Measured

Here is a high level list of the skills and objectives measured on this exam:

  • Prepare Data and Analytics in Azure Machine Learning and Export from Azure Machine Learning
    • Import and export data to and from Azure Machine Learning
    • Explore and summarize data
    • Cleanse data for Azure Machine Learning
    • Perform feature engineering
  • Develop Machine Learning Models
    • Select an appropriate algorithm or method
    • Initialize and train appropriate models
    • Validate models
  • Operationalize and Manage Azure Machine Learning services
    • Deploy models using Azure Machine Learning
    • Manage Azure Machine Learning projects and workspaces
    • Consume Azure Machine Learning models
    • Consume exemplar Cognitive Services APIs
  • Use Other Services for Machine Learning
    • Build and use neural networks with the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit
    • Streamline development by using existing resources
    • Perform data sciences at scale by using HDInsights
    • Perform database analytics by using SQL Server R Services on Azure

When studying for this exam, you’ll definitely want to look at the official exam page from Microsoft for the full list of exam objectives. You’ll need to be sure to study every one of them that will be measured on the exam.

Training Materials

At the time of writing this summary of the 70-774 Perform Cloud Data Science with Azure Machine Learning, the exam is still in Beta as it was just recently published. This means there aren’t any exam guide books, or practice exams available yet. To study for this exam, you’ll need to rely mostly on the Azure Machine Learning documentation, as well as the documentation for the other Azure services and technologies listed in the exam objectives.

Not specific to just this exam, there are some additional resources available from various sources that do cover the technologies and skills measured on this exam. Here’s a short list of a few of these additional resources that may help in studying for this exam:

Happy studying!

Big DataCertificationTraining

Microsoft Professional Degree in Data Science

data_science_illustrationThis week at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2016, Microsoft announced the release of the Microsoft Professional Degree (MPD) program. This is an online degree program from Microsoft, and the first degree being offered (in Beta) is a degree in Data Science. It seems apparent the goals of the MPD program are to help close the skills gap. According to Microsoft there’s 1.5 million jobs awaiting qualified candidates.

Update September 26, 2016: Microsoft has renamed the “Microsoft Professional Degree” (MPD) program to be the “Microsoft Professional Program” (MPP), and they are going to be added 2 more tracks for MPP in 2017.  Read More

Big DataDevOpsInfrastructureMarketplaceOpen Source

Super Human: Learn Azure Get a Free Drone

AzureSuperHuman_DroneWho doesn’t want a free drone / quadcopter? “Let’s face it, you’re SUPER HUMAN” The tryazuremarketplace.com website currently has a bunch of FREE Azure Marketplace Labs you can do virtually (online from anywhere). Once you complete a lab, you just submit proof you did the lab and Microsoft will send you a free mini-quadcopter! Alternatively, you can also get a 3-month Azure Pass instead. But, who doesn’t want a free drone!?

The drone is the Crazyflie 2.0 quadcopter.

There are tons of labs to choose from! You can go to the site to see a full list, but they are broken out into the following categories: Dev Ops, Security, Big Data, Open Source, and Management.

AzureSuperHuman_DockerLabCardHere’s a list of the labs currently you can do for Free!

  • Dev Ops
    • CHEF – Automate an Infrastructure
    • Docker – Containerize an Application
  • Security
    • KEMP – Intelligently Design Traffic
    • Barracuda – Secure Distributed Networks
  • Big Data
    • Hortonworks – Modernize an Architecture
  • Open Source
    • Bitnami – Virtualize a Server
  • Management
    • Cloud Cruiser – Activate Profitable Insights

Learn Azure, Get a FREE Drone!

Attribution: The header image of this post as well as the photo of the drone were taken as screenshots of the Azure Super Human Lab website.