Annually, the respected kdnuggets.com asks their users what tools people are using for analytics, data mining, and big data. I had seen the results summarized this morning, from a StatSoft STATISTICA website, claiming STATISTICA as the top commercial analytics product. I went ahead and tweeted forward that finding and picture, which placed Microsoft SQL Server in seventh place.
Then, when at my desktop, I was looking for the original poll. To my surprise, both kdnuggets.com and statsoft.com misinterpreted the results. I will set the record straight in this post: Microsoft Excel is the number one commercial software named in this annual poll. I will present evidence of why I come to this conclusion later in this post.
Some might dismissively claim that Microsoft Excel is just another spreadsheet. However, smart people who have been reading this blog know that I have, for years, shown what Excel can do for data analytics:
- Microsoft Data Mining with Excel (requiring SQL Server’s Analysis Services) can perform any of nine algorithms (Microsoft’s Decision Trees, Linear Regression, Sequence Analysis, Forecasting — Time Series, Neural Networks, Logistic Regression, Clustering, Association Analysis — Market Basket, Naive Bayes)
- Microsoft also offers PowerPivot for Excel, allowing relational table data inside Excel 2010 workbooks — this Vertipaq technology was extended into what Microsoft recently released as “Tabular Mode” in SQL Server 2012 Analysis Services.
Now, I present the evidence for my correction.