When Dell acquired StatSoft and its Statistica advanced analytics platform back in early 2014, we knew it was only the start of a journey toward something bigger. Certainly, StatSoft had every reason to be proud of its accomplishments up to that point. The company and its leaders spent 30 tireless years building a loyal user base, and earning a reputation for world-class customer service and support that exceeded anything I’d seen in all my years in the industry. But we still felt there was room for more – more investment, more functionality, and more innovation. In other words, we felt there was room for true market leadership.
That’s why I was so proud last week when Dell was positioned as a “Leader” in the 2016 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Advanced Analytics Platforms[i]. For those of you not familiar with Gartner Magic Quadrants, they assess vendors on their ability to execute and the completeness of their vision, and provide the industry with an important and objective tool that organizations can use to help evaluate the advanced analytics capabilities of vendors worldwide. I highly recommend reading not only this Magic Quadrant, but others with relevance to key areas of your business.
On a personal level, I can’t help but feel as though this placement represents an inflection point of sorts for Statistica – an opportunity to not only look back at all we’ve accomplished as a business, but also to look forward to the many innovations we still have in store for customers.
By committing to and never wavering from an aggressive development roadmap, in less than two years, we’ve transformed Dell Statistica from a solution that meets the needs of the top Ph. D.’s and data scientists, into one that now also meets the needs of the everyday citizen data scientists that have become the true driving force behind the use of analytics for so many companies. We did this not only by greatly enriching Statistica’s data visualization, visual discovery and dashboarding capabilities, but also by delivering a completely revamped and modernized GUI that prioritizes ease of use and visual appeal.
As proud as we are of those enhancements, technology leadership is about more than just having all the requisite bells and whistles customers want today. It’s about charting a course that prepares them to deal with the challenges of tomorrow. And there’s no greater analytics challenge staring customers in the face than the explosive growth of IoT infrastructures and the edge devices of which they’re comprised. That’s why we moved aggressively to build out our new Native Distributed Analytics Architecture (NDAA) capability, which enables Statistica users to push predictive algorithms and scoring functionality directly to the source of data. This eliminates the time and expense required to transport data to a centralized location, and allows for immediate action to be taken in response to insights. Leadership means coming up with a new approach to address a new challenge, and with NDAA, we’ve developed today a capability that no organization will be able to live without tomorrow.
I noted earlier that when we initially acquired StatSoft, we felt like we were at the start of journey to something bigger. With all we’ve accomplished in the two years since, it might seem as though that journey is now complete. But in fact, the opposite is true. We’re still only getting started. We just completed year one of an ambitious three-year plan to deliver continued innovation in advanced analytics. In months and years ahead, we’ll continue delivering aggressive cycles of product updates to our customers, allowing them to progress and scale at their own speed while maintaining a proactive approach to tackling the challenges of tomorrow.
At Dell, we don’t take leadership lightly. So, while we’re extremely proud to be recognized as a leader today, you don’t need predictive analytics to know how determined we’ll be to maintain that leadership well into tomorrow.
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[i] Source: Gartner, “Magic Quadrant for Advanced Analytics Platforms,” February 2016