Dell jumpstarts advanced analytics strategy with StatSoft buy

santa clara cloud analyticsDell has had its foot in the door of the Big market for a few years now. The hardware maker became one of the first major enterprise vendors to partner with Cloudera in August 2011, and reiterated its analytics focus with the subsequent $2.4 billion purchase of Quest Software in November 2012. Included in the buy were the Kitenga search and forecasting suite for midmarket companies, Toad and a number of other established products that today constitute the core pillars of Dell’s data management portfolio.

The firm has continued apace since, repurposing Toad for batch processing and releasing the source code of Crowbar, its homegrown Hadoop deployment and configuration utility, under an Apache license. But these disparate forays have not come together in a cohesive strategy, and as a result Dell found itself lagging years behind rivals HP and IBM, which are already making fast progress in unifying their Big Data capabilities into distinct solutions.

Today’s acquisition of StatSoft signals the company’s intent to leave the sidelines and establish a solid foothold for growth in the analytics market. The terms of the deal, Dell’s first since going private last September, were not disclosed.

Based in based in Tulsa, Oklahoma with operations in over two dozen countries, the 20-year-old StatSoft develops data mining and predictive analytics software that serves more than one million users across enterprise, government and academia. The firm’s flagship Statistica suite, which is available both on-premise in the cloud, offers hundreds of graphical models and has consistently received high marks from analysts for its versatility.

Mark Wolken, the head of information management for Dell Software, hailed StatSoft as an important addition to the company’s Big Data lineup .“The acquisition of StatSoft gives Dell’s customers access to a proven advanced analytics solution that delivers the predictive and prescriptive analysis capabilities businesses need in order to make faster, more accurate decisions,” the executive said in a statement.

Dell didn’t provide any specific details about its plans for Statistica, but Walken noted that the transaction underscores his firm’s strong focus on the mid-market, one of the fastest growing segments in the industry. That suggests Statistica may end up getting bundled with Kitenga to provide integrated advanced analytics capabilities, which would help level the playing field for users and potentially enable them to better compete against enterprise rivals.

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