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May 13, 2020

Data Science, ML Platform Leader Board Shuffled

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A roster of technology hyper-scalers and a batch of up-and-comers make the latest rankings of the leading data science and AI and machine learning platforms.

Market tracker Omdia’s list of AI and ML development platforms was topped by IBM and Microsoft. IBM (NYSE: IBM) was credited with offering a full-featured “build-deploy-validate-monitor-govern” workflow for machine learning applications. Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) automated ML tools were cited for freeing data scientists to focus on organizing data and deploying applications via its Azure cloud.

Rounding out the top five leaders are, Dataiku and SAS. They were followed by AI development “challengers” Petuum and, with Evolution AI listed as a “follower.”

Omdia specifically lauded IBM Watson OpenScale, a tool used to monitor “drift” in AI models as a way to avoid algorithmic bias. The company also was praised for its open source ML algorithms based on frameworks like PyTorch and TensorFlow which are “curated under hood” to automate updates.

Microsoft’s ML platform was credited with automating hard-to-find model creation tasks via its Azure cloud machine learning automation service. The automation tool helps enterprises scale ML development projects, Omdia said.

Another platform leader,, has fielded some of the world’s largest at-scale enterprise AI implementations, including Con EdisonEnel, the U.S. Air Force and Royal Dutch Shell. Omdia cited the company’s modular approach, especially an abstraction layer that combines pre-built pipelines to data sources and infrastructure.

AI platform accessibility for multiple development teams was a key feature of Dataiku’s platform. The industry analyst also cited the platform’s self-service analytics fostered by ease-of-use for experienced and non-coders, data scientists and business analysts.

Rounding out the top five was SAS (STO: SAS), provider of the “statistician’s tool of choice.” The history of the company’s development platform positions SAS to help elevate data scientists’ role in the enterprise AI wave, Omdia said.

“ML and its sub-branch of deep learning have left the research laboratory and are being applied in real-world applications,” said Bradley Shimmin, Omdia’s data management and analytics specialist.

“The high-tech internet giants have taken the lead in this field and many other enterprises are now looking to reap the same benefits.”

Other recent rankings of data science and machine learning development platforms had a different take, placing IBM and Microsoft behind a growing group of mid-tier data science and AI development vendors. For example, Gartner’s most recent data science and ML “magic quadrant” rankings also included Dataiku and SAS among the leaders, but listed Microsoft a notch lower among “visionaries.” Meanwhile, IBM demonstrated the “ability to execute” but only ranked among “challengers” as measured by the “completeness of vision.”

Besides Dataiku and SAS, Gartner ranked Databricks, Tibco Software and Mathworks among the leaders in data science and ML development platforms.

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