5 Questions with Revolution Analytics’ David Smith

Revolution Analytics, which provides production-grade analytics software built upon the open source R statistics language, and Teradata, a provider of analytic data solutions, recently announced that as a result of a deepened partnership, Teradata is now offering in-database R Analytics that are fully parallel and scalable. David Smith, Revolution Analytics’ vice president of marketing and community, talks about what’s ahead for the companies’ joint customers.

Why is the significance of this new partnership?

Smith: This is all about bringing big data analytics with R to all the modern data platforms. We have brought our big data big analytics algorithms in R to the Hortonworks platform, and we also announced recently that we were bringing our analytics to the Cloudera platform. Now, we are bringing the same analytics to the Teradata platform. In whichever environment companies have their big data stored they will be able to build big data predictive models on that data using the R language and using the computational and storage power of their platform of choice.

What was Revolution Analytics seeking in the Teradata partnership?

Smith: Teradata is a market leader in providing high performance big data storage and big data computing platforms. Teradata is a great fit because not only is it a great storage platform but our algorithms can actually use the parallel processing capabilities of the Teradata appliance itself to apply these high performance predictive models that we have developed to the big data stored in Teradata. It is a good combination of both storage and computational power.

How widespread is the use of the R language in the market?

Smith: There are easily more than 2 million users worldwide. Because of its open source nature, practically every student of statistics, data science, machine learning or predictive analytics at the university level is learning that in R. It is now the most widely used statistical software in the world and it is the software of choice for data scientists everywhere as has been revealed in many polls.

Is the focus on big data fueling the adoption of R?

Smith: That is why Revolution Analytics exists. R has driven incredible amounts of innovation in statistical analysis, data mining and data science over the last 15 years, but R was not designed with big data in mind. That is what Revolution Analytics brings to open source R - in the big data platform for storing data out of memory and taking big data algorithms for statistical models and bringing those into big data platforms like Teradata.

When will Teradata with R Analytics be available?
Smith: It will be available to limited customers in early Q4 and available generally by the end of the year.

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