SAP says KXEN deal will bring automated predictive analytics capabilities to business users, not just data scientists.
(click image for larger view)
8 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Your iPad And The Cloud
SAP announced Tuesday that it intends to acquire predictive analytics vendor KXEN. The terms of the deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, were not disclosed.
SAP already has predictive analytics capabilities in its BusinessObjects portfolio by way of SAP Predictive Analysis software. That tool set is focused on the kind of classic data-mining, data-modeling and scoring procedures that statisticians and analytics professionals have been practicing for decades. KXEN, a privately-held San Francisco-based company, specializes in automating many aspects of prediction so that line-of-business users can make forward-looking decisions directly.
The appeal of business-user-accessible prediction is obvious, and analyst organizations including Gartner and Forrester have called on analytics vendors such as SAS, IBM SPSS and others to make their tools more accessible. One way to do that is to provide abstracted, business-user-oriented interfaces. Another is take advantage of automation and machine learning.
"We're not there yet, but lots of vendors are working on these approaches," Forrester analyst Mike Gualtieri told InformationWeek last year after publishing a Forrester Wave report calling on analytics vendors to make their software easier to use.
KXEN is among a raft of smaller, emerging vendors pursuing automation and machine learning. Others include Alpine Data Labs and Alteryx and process-management vendors Pegasystems and Rage Frameworks.
KXEN's InfiniteInsight software and its Cloud Prediction service platform is said to speed time to predictive insights for customer acquisition, cross-sell, up-sell, retention and next-best offers. The company has more than 500 customers, including Barclays, CBS Interactive, ING Direct, Lowe's, Overstock.com, RealNetworks, Sears, U.S. Cellular and Vodafone.
SAP said it plans to incorporate KXEN technology into cloud and on-premises SAP applications built on the SAP Hana in-memory platform, including the SAP Fraud Management analytic application, SAP Smart Meter Analytics software and the SAP 360 Customer solution. A SAP press release did not say whether the KXEN brand name, offices and management team will be retained.
Learn more about cloud computing by attending the Interop conference track on Cloud Computing and Virtualization in New York from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4.
The Agile ArchiveWhen it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
2014 Analytics, BI, and Information Management SurveyITís tried for years to simplify data analytics and business intelligence efforts. Have visual analysis tools and Hadoop and NoSQL databases helped? Respondents to our 2014 InformationWeek Analytics, Business Intelligence, and Information Management Survey have a mixed outlook.