Who will forecast for the forecasters?

An interesting blog post appeared here at http://www.information-management.com/blogs/business_intelligence_bi_statistics-10016491-1.html basically laying down the competitive landscape for analytical companies.

“-One safe bet is that IBM, with newly-acquired SPSS and Cognos, is gearing up to take on SAS in the high-end enterprise analytics market that features very large data and operational analytics with significant capacity challenges. In this segment, IBM can leverage its hardware, database and consulting strengths to become a formidable SAS competitor.


A number of start-up companies promoting competitive SAS language tools at a fraction of SAS prices may begin chipping away at many SAS annuity customers. As I wrote in last week’s blog, WPS from World Programming Systems is an outstanding SAS compiler that can replace expensive SAS licenses in many cases – especially those primarily used for data step programs. Similarly, another competitor, Carolina, from Dulles Research, LLC, converts Base SAS program code to Java, which can then be deployed in a Java run-time environment. Large SAS customer Discover Card is currently evaluating Carolina as a replacement for some its SAS applications.

CITATION-Steve Miller’s blog can also be found at miller.openbi.com.”

I think all companies have hired smart enough people and many of their efforts would cancel each other out in a true game theory manner.

I also find it extremely hypocritical for commercial vendors not to incentive R algorithm developers and treat the 2000 plus packages as essentially free ware.

If used for academics and research, R package creators expect and demand no money. But if used commercially – shouldnt the leading analytical vendors like SAS, SPSS, and even the newly cash infused REVolution create some kind of royalty sharing agreement.

If iTunes can help sell songs for 99 cents per download and really help the Music industry come to the next generation- how much would commercial vendors agree to share their solutions which ARE DEPENDENT on popular R packages like Plier or even Dr Frank’s Hmisc.

Unless you think Britney Spears has a better right to intellectual property than venerable professors and academics.

Even a monthly 10000 USD prize for the best R package created ( that can be used by that specific company’s use for commercial packages) can help speed up the R software movement- just like NetFlix prize.

More importantly – it can free up valuable resources for companies to concentrate on customer solutions like data quality, systems integration and computational environment shift to clouds which even todayis sadly lacking in the whole analytical ecosystem.

One interesting paradigm I find is that who ever masters the new computational requirements of unstructured large amounts of data ( not just row and column numeric data) but text sentiment analysis like data, and can integrate this for a complete customer solution in an easy to understand data visualization enabled system- that specific package,platform  or company would be leading the next decade

( Q -if the 90s were the Nineties will the next decade be the teen years)

Author: Ajay Ohri


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