Rexer Analytics just released results of its 5th annual Analytics Data Miner Survey. For those interested in tools to gain insight from the Big Data explosion, this report is a must read. It’s a comprehensive survey of 1,319 data miners from over 60 countries.
A few highlights I’d like to share from the report.
- Data mining / analytics can be used for a wide variety of problems in the enterprise. But for the past 5 years running the study had found CRM/Marketing as the top field. Data miners said that “improving the understanding of customers” and “retaining customers” were popular goals.
- Text mining is on the rise. About 1/3 of data miners currently use text mining and another third plan to do so in the future. Key applications include customer survey analysis (verbatims) and making sense of the Social Web.
- Based on this chart below, you can see that STATISTICA, KNIME, Rapid Miner and Salford Systems received the highest marks in overall satisfaction. I was somewhat surprised that IBM (SPSS) and SAS didn’t score better. You can see a noticeable gap in the top 4 in top box (extremely satisfied) vs. the rest.
- R (the open source tool) usage is ramping up dramatically. Over the past 5 years R usage has more than doubled to 47%. According to the report:
R users report preferring it for being free, open source, and having a wide variety of algorithms. Many people also cited R’s flexibility and the strength of the user community.
- Finally, companies with more “sophisticated” analytics capabilities perform better than peers. Thankfully, the study notes that this is self-report data and correlation analysis. As we all know (right?), correlation doesn’t imply causation. There are lots of factors in company performance; analytics prowess is just one.