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Just as startups have been designing software to help data scientists and analysts work on data, it turns out Google has been working on this, too.

Today the Google Research blog is talking up a new service some of its employees worked on called CoLaboratory. By downloading the app for the Chrome browser, you instantly get the IPython open-source software for interactive computing, as well as multiple Python libraries. After that, multiple people can explore and process data in a browser tab in a way that’s integrated with Google Drive.

“This provides a big improvement over ad-hoc workflows involving emailing documents back and forth,”Corinna Cortes, Kayur Patel, Mark Sandler Kester Tong of Google Research wrote in the blog post.

Tools like CoLaboratory — as well as software from Sense, Domino Data Labs, Plotly, Mode Analytics, and freshly funded Adatao — could come in handy for companies that hire more than one data scientist to take a close look at historical or new data on performance, usage, and other qualities and dream up smarter services or provide recommendations for their colleagues.

The new tool looked compelling to Josh Bloom, co-founder and chief technology officer of machine learning startup

“I believe the marriage of Jupyter notebooks, the real-time collaboration of Google Docs, and in-browser computation will be most impactful in a teaching and education setting,” Bloom wrote in an email to VentureBeat.

“There, the computation needs are usually minimal (and parallel compute resources are easily mixed in when needed) and the data are rarely sensitive. Gone will be the days of on-laptop language distribution installations, significantly lowering the barrier to entry.”


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