DBMS2, April 8, 2011, by Curt Monash
I wasn't too impressed when I spoke with
Revolution Analytics at the time of its relaunch last year. But a conversation Thursday evening was much clearer. And I even learned some cool stuff about general predictive modeling trends (see the bottom of this post).
Revolution Analytics business and business model highlights include:
- Revolution Analytics is an open-core vendor built around the R language. That is, Revolution Analytics offers proprietary code and support, with subscription pricing, that help in the use of open source software.
- Unlike most open-core vendors I can think of, Revolution Analytics takes little responsibility for the actual open source part. Some "grants" for developing certain open source R pieces seem to be the main exception. While this has caused some hard feelings, I don't have an accurate sense for their scope or severity.
- Revolution Analytics boasts around 100 customers, split about 70-30 between the workstation seeding stuff and the real server
- You can do more with R. That may be debatable, but what's harder to dispute is that there are a bunch of things you can do straightforwardly in R and its thousands of routines that would at best be more difficult in SAS.
- Students today are learning R, so you have access to (affordable?) talent. That's pretty clearly correct, although I do note SPSS' long history of academic social sciences use .
- R is cheaper. It's hard to argue with that one