R is to SAS as Java is to COBOL

May 18, 2012
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(This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

An interview with Revolution Analytics CEO Dave Rich was published this week by BeyeNetwork. During the interview, Dace was asked about how the statistical modeling platforms have changed over the decades:

People have been doing statistical modeling and predictive analytics for 50 years now, SAS and SPSS have been around since the early ‘70s. What’s different now -- what’s making this move toward other statistical and “big data” areas?

David Rich: Well, I think obviously SAS and SPSS have been around, as you pointed out, for decades. We call that sort of the first generation of analytics and insight-driven solutions. In my perspective, having been in the business for more than three decades, it reminds me a bit of what COBOL was back in the day relative to business software. I see R as the more modern language. In this analogy, R would represent Java or C++. What happened in the middle of the nineties when the shift occurred is very similar to where we are now with R. Open source is a worldwide collaboration innovation. It’s a way to tap into that channel for research, and I think the role that Revolution Analytics can play – very similar to what Red Hat did back in the Linux days – is to be the conduit between the community and enterprise deployment.

The conversation also touched on the future of big data analytics, impact of advanced analytics on business, and the benefits of R and Revolution R Enteprise to reduce costs and expand the scope of possibility with big data analytics. For the complete interview, follow the link below.

BeyeNetwork: Advanced Analytics, Big Data and the Power of R: A Q&A Spotlight with David Rich, CEO of Revolution Analytics

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