A recent report from Forrester says that high-growth firms that use data science to generate business insights and drive actions are increasingly gravitating towards integrated data science platforms, rather than an assortment of tools, to carry out their projects.
According to Forrester:
Data science platforms are integrated tool sets for all the steps in a data science workflow, including data integration and exploration, model development, and model deployment.
These tool sets make data science efforts reproducible and easier to scale up, and make it easier for projects to deliver results that can be used to make decisions right away, rather than just reports that are never acted upon and are doomed to quick obsolescence. Some important tool sets are Azure Machine Learning platform from Microsoft, RapidMiner, a GUI-based data science platform, and IBM’s SPSS Modeler and the SAS Enterprise Miner.
The Forrester study also found that high growth firms used platforms to focus the efforts of their data science teams on develop insights and concrete action and away from confusion over tool choice. The leaders also chose a single platform for their data science work and of those that are using more than one platform, many are planning to switch to a single choice. These companies expect that their choice of using a data science platform will lead to improving customer experiences, making better business decisions, and cost cutting.
Another recent report from Gartner evaluated a number of platforms on 15 criteria: data access, data preparation, data exploration and visualization, automation, user interface, machine learning, other advanced analytics, flexibility, extensibility and openness, performance and scalability, delivery, platform and project management, model management, precanned solutions, collaboration, and coherence. They included offerings from 16 major vendors and classified them into four quadrants, leaders, visionaries, niche players and challengers.
This report finds that IBM is the current market leader in data science platforms, followed closely by SAS and also Rapidminer, while Microsoft and the New York based start-up Dataiku provide two of the more visionary products.