Startup wants to be R alternative to IBM, SAS

Revolution Computing sells tools and services for the open-source statistical analysis language

A company focused on R, the open-source language for statistical analysis, relaunched under a new name Tuesday and gave a preview of its technology roadmap for 2010.

Revolution Analytics, formerly known as Revolution Computing, is headed by CEO Norman Nie, co-founder of predictive analytics vendor SPSS, and R co-creator Robert Gentleman sits on its board.

To date, the startup has offered an R development environment called Revolution R Enterprise, as well as commercial training and support.

R was initially created by Ross Ihaka and Gentleman at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. It now boasts a thriving community, and a large body of add-on packages have been created for the core toolset.

Hoping to gain a stronger foothold at the grassroots level, the company is now offering a single workstation license of Revolution R Enterprise at no cost to academic users, although costs would kick in if they desire support. It is also launching a portal, inside-R.org, for R advocates and users.

Its product releases for the remainder of 2010 will include technology for processing very large data sets; an easier-to-use, Web-based user interface aimed at business analysts, not programmers; and new services and products for helping customers migrate over to R.

The company is also planning to form many partnerships with BI (business intelligence) and database vendors, according to chief operating officer Jeff Erhardt. Also, "everything we're building is in a cloud-ready form," he added. "As we move forward, [customers] will be able to do cloud implementations."

IBM and SAS have both moved to support R in their own statistical-analysis platforms.

This represents a validation of R more than a threat, according to Revolution Analytics.

The company's software is priced "aggressively" versus IBM and SAS. A single supported workstation costs $2,000 for an annual subscription. Pricing for server-based licenses varies depending on the implementation.

But Revolution Analytics faces a tough challenge from those larger vendors, as well as the likes of XLSolutions, which offers R training and a competing software package, R-Plus.

The integration of SAS Institute's technology with various MPP (massively parallel processing) databases, for example, "promises to be very powerful, scalable, and functional, once it is fully available," said analyst Curt Monash of Monash Research. "It's hard to see how a startup -- even an R-based one -- could offer better technology."

That's not to say it has no chance.

"It's easy to see how an alternative could be much less expensive, yet still get the work done," Monash added.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags analyticsRevolution AnalyticsstartupssasR

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?