Dell steps up analytics push with Statistica 13, new vertical services

The company's Analytics-as-a-Service line has gained several new industry-specific offerings

Dell got a jump-start in the world of analytics software when it acquired StatSoft early last year, and on Tuesday it forged further ahead into the space with a new Statistica release and a variety of industry-specific services.

Announced at the company's Dell World conference taking place in Austin, Texas, this week, Statistica 13 updates the company's advanced analytics software platform with several key new capabilities. First and foremost is native distributed analytics, a feature that allows users to run analytics directly in the database where data resides.

"Usually people dip data out of the database or Hadoop cluster and bring it back to a smaller server or desktop for analysis there," said John Thompson, general manager for advanced analytics with Dell Software. "This allows you to take your analytical models to the data."

Users can build models and export them into different languages, including C, SQL or Java, Thompson explained. Then, they can transport them into the data environment of their choice.

For example, "you can now run Java models on Hadoop," he said. "This opens it up to allow people to run models on large amounts of data and also to transport models out to environments like the Internet of Things."

Besides the ability to work with full volumes of data rather than just subsets, the new capability also brings better privacy and security since data can remain behind the corporate firewall without needing to traverse any networks, Thompson said.

Also included in Statistica 13 are a revamped user interface, tighter integration with the R programming language, and a new stepwise model tool that progressively recommends optimum models for users.

The software is available now featuring native distributed analytics capabilities for Microsoft SQL Server databases; additional databases will be added later, Dell said.

As for the services portion of Dell's analytics news, the company is expanding its Analytics-as-a-Service line with several new industry-specific offerings.

One targeting the medical industry, for example, focuses on helping organizations identify cases of medical identity theft, unnecessary diagnostic services and incorrect billing. Others focus on scoring the likelihood of claim denial and churn management.

"It's all integrated and targeted for specific business problems, so time to market is going to be very quick," said Prasad Thrikutam, president and global head of applications for Dell Services. "It's also outcome-oriented, so you're not just throwing dollars at the problem and hoping something will come out."

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