The burgeoning analytics ecosystem witnessed another round of consolidation last week after Microsoft Corp. acquired a startup called VoloMetrix Inc. for its productivity tracking software. The deal aims to bolster the workforce monitoring capabilities that it’s been developing internally for Office 365 and intends to launch within the next few weeks.VoloMetrix brings pre-implemented performance dashboards to the table that provide detailed breakdowns of how an employee allocates their work hours, including time spent collaborating with peers and, for salespeople, customer interactions. That data is overlaid against personal productivity goals each user can set individually to illuminate areas for improvement, such as meeting durations or the amount of attention given to high-value accounts.
The individual metrics that make up the summaries presented to each user are collected from a combination of internal systems and public sources like social media, in particular LinkedIn, which separately entered the analytics limelight last week after open-sourcing another internally-developed data tool. The focus this time around is on machine learning.
Feature Fu attempts to help data science teams become faster in how they roll out enhancements to the complicated mathematical models powering their recommendation engines. That process normally takes a great deal of time due to the amount of effort needed to adapt the process by which information is fed into those updated models, which the tool automates using a Java library called Expr.