Open Source is Opening Data to Predictive Analytics

March 9, 2010

The R Project: despite there being over 2 million users of this open-source language for statistical data analysis, you might not have heard of it … yet. You might have seen this feature in the New York Times last year, and you might have heard how REvolution Computing is enhancing and supporting R for commercial use. Because what was once a secret of drug-development statisticians at pharmaceutical companies, quants on Wall Street, and PhD-level statistical researchers around the globe (not to mention pioneers at Web 2.0 companies like Google and Facebook) is suddenly becoming mainstream. The reason? The perfect storm of a deluge of data, open-source technology, and the rise of predictive analytics.

Predictive analytics — the process of being able to infer meaningful relationships and predictions from vast quantities of data — is disrupting industries in every sector. You’ve probably seen the impact of predictive analytics yourself: ever been surprised by Amazon apparently “reading your mind” on a suggested purchase, or by LinkedIn being able to figure out who you know, but aren’t yet connected with? That’s predictive analytics in action…