Microsoft embarks on analytics revolution with new acquisition

Microsoft completes the acquisition of Revolution Analytics, a big data predictive analysis firm, for an undisclosed amount.

Microsoft has completed the acquisition of Revolution Analytics, a Big Data predictive analysis firm, for an undisclosed amount.

After initially revealing its plans to acquire the company in January 2015, Redmond has now closed the deal, as the tech giant explores the possibilities of machine learning across the industry.

With over two million users and growing, the open source programming language known as R has emerged as the new de facto standard for computational statistics and predictive analytics.

Since 2007 Revolution Analytics has been working to support and enhance R, the world's most popular and powerful statistical programming language.

“R is the world’s most popular programming language for statistical computing and predictive analytics, used by more than 2 million people worldwide,” says Joseph Sirosh, Corporate Vice President of Information Management & Machine Learning, Microsoft.

“Revolution has made R enterprise-ready with speed and scalability for the largest data warehouses and Hadoop systems.”

Moving forward, Microsoft will build R and Revolution’s technology into its data platform products so companies, developers and data scientists can use it across on-premises, hybrid cloud and Azure public cloud environments.

“For example,” Sirosh explains, “we will build R into SQL Server to provide enormously fast and scalable in-database analytics that can be deployed in an enterprise customer’s datacenter, on Azure, or in a hybrid combination.”

In addition, Microsoft will integrate Revolution’s scalable R distribution into Azure HDInsight and Azure Machine Learning, making it easier and faster to analyse big data, and to operationalise R code for production applications.

“We will also continue to support running Revolution R Enterprise across heterogeneous platforms including Linux, Teradata and Hadoop deployments,” Sirosh adds.

“No matter where their data lives, customers and partners will be able to take advantage of R more quickly, simply and cost effectively than ever before.”

As part of Microsoft’s commitment to help close the data scientist and analytics skills gap, Sirosh says the company will also carry forward Revolution’s efforts to educate and train aspiring developers and data scientists who want to learn R, “leveraging the breadth and depth of our global programs and partner ecosystem.”

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