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February 9, 2012

Oracle Flags Down R Users with Analytics Option

Robert Gelber

Tech giant Oracle announced a new advanced analytics option to go with its Database 11g product. For $23,000 users can tap into the R statistical language with Oracle R—part of the 11g bundle that includes the R Enterprise offering and the companion Oracle Data Mining product.

The new advanced analytics feature will incorporate the current data mining option with hopes that it will gain popularity by tying in support for the R programming language.

R is definitely not the new kid on the block in the metropolis of open source applications, but given its strengths in statistical analytics and visualizations, it has been given a second wind in the burgeoning big data storm.

According to Oracle, its own tests on early customers indicates what they claim is a 100x increase in performance over the myriad environments they are running in now.

Additionally, the company said that the “bundled” approach allows users to “”easily build and deploy predictive analytic applications.” While the jury is still on how easy such a process can really be, this is an interesting move by Oracle as it seeks to deliver high-end analytics that rival those from SAS and others.  

This is also a notable step for Oracle as they claim the ability to harness the power of R and Hadoop together. As they noted in a recent statement, “The tight integration between R, Oracle Database 11g, and Hadoop enables R users to write one R script that can run in three different environments: a laptop running open source R, Hadoop running with Oracle Big Data Connectors, and Oracle Database 11g.”

This move leaves some unanswered questions that only time and customer adoption will lend answers to. Namely, will Oracle’s bet on R add to their advanced analytics bottom line? This could possibly be the case, but the user community always has the final say and when it comes to other R-driven companies, including Revolution Analytics, among others, the jury is still out.

Nonetheless, this is an interesting move for Oracle as it attempts to gain some support in the community of 2 million plus R users, and with all the focus on Hadoop these days, they may be banking on R veterans with “Hadoop curiosity”

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