Monthly Archives: July, 2018

Next Steps: when you got data it’s time to gain knowledge

July 30th, 2018 Posted by AI, Blockchain, Data Analysis, Data Collection, software development, Uncategorised 0 comments on “Next Steps: when you got data it’s time to gain knowledge”

What does the ancient astronomer Taqi ad-Din, the well known scientific communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson, and the father of modern statistics, Sir Francis Galton, have in common? Their life is tightly bound with data analysis, as almost everything in our “data explosion” times, should be. The era of guessing is rapidly declining, when the data-driven paradigms are more and more on the rise. Gnucoop, being a data oriented software company from the very beginning, stays true to it’s origins. During the last Gnumeeting, an entire day was dedicated to an extended overview of the Data Science discipline, for all our team. I was delighted to introduce my colleagues to all the bolts and nuts of this fascinating, almost magic, activity called Machine Learning.

Starting with some historical anecdotes on how a wrong data interpretation could, and in fact did lead to some disastrous outcomes, we moved on experiencing how fascinating the data visualization could be. I always suggest to make a peek at David McCandless marvelous project called ““. It’s the best place to quickly understand how much information could be delivered to us, with simple visualization techniques, instead of using pure language.

Next we moved to the real core of the data analysis, taking a look at the data cleaning activity and some basic models like Linear Regression, applied on some standard datasets from Kaggle. Kaggle is de facto the place to go for every data enthusiast, being the main platform both for education and competitions in data science, setting all the reference benchmarks for the best models around.

Our data-garden was next enriched by Decision Trees, creating a Random Forest (pun intended). All our products and projects will expand on existing decision support systems, leveraging all our data gathering tools, and Machine Learning techniques going forward with all this rapid developing field.

Data analysis made some huge leaps in the last years, allowing software not only to see, but also to understand what is looking at. We analyzed some data sets for Classification problems, making our model actually distinguish between entities, being it some lexical notions, as in Natural Language Processing  techniques, or plain pictures containing subjects. There are several tools at our disposition for the task, from some simple Probability Models to some more advanced Convolutional Neural Networks. In conclusion we did test some other techniques regarding Time Series analysis for pattern recognition. As usual one can only predict efficiently an event which is generated from some discovered strong patterns, otherwise we go back to guessing.Artificial intelligence should and will enhance all those social interventions already done by thousands of people in the most critical areas of the globe, and I believe actually it is the best field where AI should be deployed. Using learning networks in video games is fun. Selling the right burger to the right person is nice. But what about those situations where time is not an option, nor errors are allowed. Situations where life itself depends on fast and precise reaction of those who can help. Here at Gnucoop our daily effort is committed towards deploying every useful technology, from computer vision to neural networks, from language processing to block-chain, in order to help equality, collaboration and justice.

What Gnucoop means to me

July 23rd, 2018 Posted by Data Collection, software development, Web Design 0 comments on “What Gnucoop means to me”

Thanks to IES Abroad Italy Foundation and its Internship programme we had the pleasure to meet and work with Zoe.

She completed her stage few days ago, and here what he left to us….

Thank you Zoe! And than you for your enthusiasm!

For the past two and a half months, I have spent my summer abroad living in Milan, Italy, working for the internationally acclaimed IT non-profit Gnucoop. Gnucoop provides free, secure, and reliable data platforms for information collection services in developing countries, making possible the digitization of information from the start (whether it be resource distribution or identification statistics). In working with this company, I have learned much more than I ever anticipated, developing hard and soft skills that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I worked with colleagues to compose, review, and revise Brief Summaries, Business Informational Reports, and Grant Proposals/ Applications. Throughout this process, I had to analyze data platforms, geo-level map indicators, and block chain solutions. Understanding the steps necessary to collect, aggregate, monitor, and report & share data. When dealing with clients, such as the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency, and UNICEF, it is crucial to be consistent and clear: presenting the features and implementations of hash maps and customizable indicators is not always accomplished in the most concise manner. This internship has taught me how to analyze extended reports and reproduce them in simplified versions without taking away from the original meaning. The Gnucoop team does a phenomenal job of marketing and advertising their complex company message in a clean and clear light. Additionally, I designed and created the Gnucoop sector based logos, infographics, flyers, and social-media posts. To do so, I had to participate in many conference calls and gain a basic understanding of data-science engineering to remain consistent with the company concept design. Leading the graphic design initiative for Gnucoop was both an honor and a horror story, because of the acknowledgement to my skill and my initial fear of failure. Like any new intern, I was nervous and scared of rejection. By the end of my internship, though, it was learning how to accept myself as a creator and have confidence in my work that imposed in me notions of self-worth and pride that I will cherish forever. Without Gnucoop and the roles to which they assigned me, I do not know if I ever would have truly valued myself as an artist. In performing such tasks, I am now more confident in my Writing in Business skills as well as mastery of both Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

Zoe with the brochure she created during the stage

A characteristic of this company that cannot be left unsaid is its welcoming nature. Not a single day did I feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed with my role in the company. I was certainly kept busy, but never to an extent where I felt I could not manage the tasks at hand. I attribute this optimism to my enjoyment and excitement for working with Gnucoop. Being a part of this team was as amusing and entertaining as it was challenging, constantly being pushed as well as non-stop laughing with my co-workers—making me feel right at home. Gnucoop embodies a perfect balance of intense software engineering with playful, open-minded collaboration. Every aspect of my internship taught me something new, and I will use this exposure and knowledge as a vehicle to further my pursuits in international business and networking. I am thankful for these lessons, some of which arrived from relationships built with colleagues, involvement in international business, and a growing understanding of Italian NGO and co-op working culture. All of the respect my fellow colleagues gave to me motivated me to give just the same in return. I will carry with me this attitude, as I prepare for my return to the United States to embark on my next business journey, curious to see where these incomparable skills will take me.