Yandex Expands Into Data Services

Russia's major search engine Yandex plans to capitalize on the expertise it has developed in processing billions of Web pages and terabytes of data daily to help searchers find information. On Tuesday it announced the launch of a business unit called Yandex Data Factory to support data services for companies. The group, with offices in Moscow and Amsterdam, will help companies worldwide make sense of the mounds of data they collect daily.

The data services will allow businesses to use the search engine's technologies such as machine learning, image and voice recognition, deep neural networks, and natural voice processing to make sense of large amounts of data that can solve business tasks.

Yandex ran several pilot projects, and initially involved the Large Hadron Collider beauty experiment with the CERN Institute in 2011. For this project, Yandex trained its MatrixNet to search for specific types of particle collisions, or events, among thousands of terabytes of information about these events registered by the detector in the LHCb. Yandex provided the LHCb researchers with an instant access to the details of any specific event. About 60% of all LHCb publications used the output produced using MatrixNet.

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The data services also helped one major European bank increase sales by building look-alike audience segments to personalize and target product offerings to customers whose behavior was similar to those who had already bought the products.

In another case, Yandex used machine-learning technologies and geolocation targeting, making predictability of traffic accidents for a road and traffic management agency 30 times more accurate, per the company. In another, a mobile service provider was enabled to target anonymous SIM card owners more precisely.

Yandex is working on about 20 projects in various stages and plans to turn Big Data into profits.

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