Predictive analytics has emerged as a major force in the business world. These solutions—which typically encompass data mining, business intelligence and machine learning components—help organizations understand how to better focus research, development, marketing, maintenance, cybersecurity and numerous other tasks. Using statistical techniques and specialized algorithms, they provide insights and models that would otherwise fly beneath the radar, thus helping an enterprise understand conditions and allocate resources more effectively.
According to research firm MarketsandMarkets, the global predictive analytics market is expected to grow from $4.56 billion in 2017 to $12.41 billion by 2022. It noted that, among other things, predictive analytics helps companies spot anomalies, anticipate events, use what-if-simulations and understand customer behavior. These tools are now used to address an array of diverse challenges revolving around financial matters, human behavior, supply chains and cybersecurity.
Typically, predictive analytics involves a number of discreet steps: defining a project, assembling the relevant data, conducting the data analysis, applying statistics and modeling, deploying the predictive model and monitoring and validating the model to ensure that it is accurate and producing usable results. In the past, organizations often used separate tools for each of these tasks. However, the lines between different types of data science solutions has blurred.
Here's a look at 10 top vendors in predictive analytics and machine learning. eWEEK has assembled this vendor list and the accompanying information using a variety of sources, including the Gartner Magic Quadrant (MQ) for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms, the Gartner MQ for Data Science and Machine Learning Platforms, Gartner Peer Insights, G2 Crowd, vendor websites and other online sources.
Headquarters: Irvine, Calif.
Alteryx has emerged as a leading platform for predictive analytics. It focuses on providing tools for non-data scientists as well as analysts and experts. It offers an end-to-end no-code approach that simplifies data discovery and processing. The platform can pull data from sources as diverse as data warehouses and social networking sites. In addition, Alteryx is optimized for regression analysis, neural networks, decision trees, time series modeling and other tasks. It promotes data investigation, traditional and modern statistical modeling, time series and predictive grouping. It includes more than 40 predesigned tools and templates to aid in building predictive models. The platform also supports connected workflows and collaboration. Alteryx landed on the border of “Challengers” and “Leaders” in Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for Data Science and Machine Learning Platforms. The platform received a 4.5 user rating at G2 Crowd and the same score at Gartner’s Peer Insights review site. That was enough to earn a Gartner Customers’ Choice 2018 distinction.
eWEEK rates Alteryx with 4.5 stars on a scale of 5.0.
Headquarters: Redmond, Wash.
Predictive analytics is a major focus for Microsoft. It offers a growing array of tools and solutions designed to tap machine learning and predictive modeling. Power BI delivers powerful data mining, data preparation, visual-based data discovery, interactive dashboards and other capabilities within a single product. It is designed for the entire spectrum of users—from non-data scientists to business analysts and experts. Azure Machine Learning offers an array of analytics capabilities, tapping the Azure cloud platform. This includes text, sentiment, image analytics and AI functionality. Gartner rated Microsoft in the “Leaders” category in its 2019 Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms. It cited powerful tools, low cost and ease-of-use as appealing reasons to adopt the vendor’s platforms. It also cited Microsoft’s comprehensive product vision as a plus. Users give the vendor high marks (4.2 out of 5 stars for Power BI at G2 Crowd) and say that the solutions are on the leading edge of functionality.
eWEEK rates Microsoft with 4.2 stars on a scale of 5.0.
Headquarters: Radnor, Penn.
The Qlik Analytics Platform aims to deliver a comprehensive platform for managing data science tasks, including predictive analytics. The platform offers a high level of scalability and flexibility through built-in capabilities as well as add-ons for geo-analytics and external data markets and data services. The Qlik platform supports custom applications through a robust set of APIs. Two flagship products, QlikView and Qlik Sense, offer strong cognitive features and an Insight Advisor that delivers suggestions for refining projects. QlikView handles predictive capabilities in conjunction with built in VBScript that works with R scripts. The vendor’s Qlik Core product supports cloud and edge app development. Qlik Data Catalyst aims to simplify and accelerate data discovery. Overall, the platform supports numerous data sources, complex data models and complex calculations, Gartner noted in the MQ for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms. It ranked the company among the “Leaders.” Users give the platform high marks. It received a 4.1 out of 5 stars at G2 Crowd. Users describe QlikView and other products from Qlik as powerful, scalable and easy-to-use.
eWEEK rates Qlik with 4.3 stars on a scale of 5.0.
Headquarters (U.S.): Boston, Mass.
RapidMiner places predictive data science at the center of its platform. RapidMiner Studio is built around a visual workflow designer that accommodates business analysts, executives and data science specialists. It relies on a drag-and-drop interface that connects to more than 1,500 machine learning algorithms specifically designed for different use cases. Pre-built templates focus on customer churn, predictive maintenance, fraud detection and other tasks. The solution connects to data warehouses, databases, cloud sources, social media and numerous business applications. It handles ETL and data prep through in-databased processing, which allows it work faster. RapidMiner Radoop accommodates code-free machine learning using open-source Hadoop and Spark. Gartner cites advanced features and GPU support as reasons for ranking the vendor in the “Leaders” category in its MQ for Data Science and Machine Learning Platforms. The vendor received 4.5 out of 5 stars at G2 Crowd. Users describe it as an intuitive and extremely powerful platform.
eWEEK rates RapidMiner with 4.5 stars on a scale of 5.0.
Headquarters: San Francisco, Calif.
Salesforce Einstein Analytics
Salesforce almost singlehandedly put customer relationship management (CRM) on the map. Today, virtually no major business is without an enterprise application to handle the task. Salesforce Einstein Analytics transform data from the vendor’s CRM application along with numerous outside sources—including point of sale systems—to spot significant patterns. The platform includes 15 prebuilt dashboards that provide views into 30 events. The solution accommodates R Code and numerous APIs for additional functionality. It also includes AI-augmented data discovery and explanations. All of this delivers predictions and recommendations through CRM-connected analytics, augmented analytics, predictive insights and enterprise-ready analytics within a drag-and-drop environment. Gartner placed Salesforce Einstein Analytics on the border of “Visionaries” and “Leaders” on its MQ for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms. The solution received 4.3 out of 5 stars at G2 Crowd and a 4.2 rating at Gartner Peer Insights. Users praised the features and capabilities, particularly in regard to sales and CRM.
eWEEK rates Salesforce with 4.3 stars on a scale of 5.0.
Headquarters: Cary, NC
SAS has long been regarded as a heavyweight in the analytics field. Predictive analytics and machine learning are core offerings for SAS. The vendor’s Visual Analytics product—which is built for both non-data scientists and experts—includes interactive dashboards that display data through multiple channels, including Microsoft Office applications. Smart visualizations present data in logical and compelling ways through templates and auto-charting. It also includes self-service features for data import and management, powerful text and geolocation analytics, and support for mobile platforms—all from a drag-and-drop interface. SAS Data Mining and Machine Learning taps in-memory processing and a highly scalable architecture to produce fast predictive modeling and visual capabilities. It includes model assessments and scoring tools—including detailed reporting on the results from multiple supervised learning algorithms. Gartner placed the company in the “Leaders” category in its MQ for Data Science and Machine Learning Platforms. SAS Visual Analytics received a 4.2 out of 5 stars at both G2 Crowd and Gartner Peer Insights. Users praised the interface and the depth of the tools and features.
eWEEK rates SAS with 4.4 stars on a scale of 5.0.
Headquarters: New York, NY and Tel Aviv, Israel
Sisense has emerged as a strong candidate for businesses requiring predictive analytics and machine learning. The vendor aims to deliver an end-to-end solution for analysts and data scientists. This includes BI software that handles database management, ETL, analytics and visualizations. A proprietary In-Chip technology framework processes data rapidly in memory, and a machine learning component offers anomaly detection and predictive insights. The Sisense platform supports complex mash-ups of data through a drag-and-drop interface. It connects to cloud services such as AWS and Azure, and it includes automated insight generation and integration with Amazon Alexa and various chatbots. Gartner placed Sisense in its “Visionaries” category for the MQ for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms (on the border with “Leaders”). It received a 4.5 out of 5-star rating at Gartner Peer Insights, where it also captured a Customers’ Choice 2018 designation. Users praised the product’s strong features and capabilities.
eWEEK rates Sisense with 4.5 stars on a scale of 5.0.
Headquarters: Seattle, Wash.
The appeal of Tableau for many users is a flexible visually-oriented drag-and-drop interface that doesn’t require data science or programming skills. Tableau connects to numerous external data sources—including heavyweights such as AWS, Azure, Dropbox, Microsoft Excel and Salesforce—and it integrates with geolocation mapping and other tools for advanced forecasting, clustering and other analytics capabilities. A recently added feature is natural language querying. The result is an ability to mix and match data en route to different view and perspectives. A machine learning component makes recommendations, and the platform drives sophisticated forecasting and statistical model integration to build more powerful predictive models. Gartner placed Tableau in its “Leaders” category in its MQ for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms. All three products received a rating of 4.1 or higher at G2 Crowd.
eWEEK rates Tableau with 4.5 stars on a scale of 5.0.
Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.
Founded by a former Google executive, ThoughtSpot takes a visualization-centric approach to BI and analytics. The product focuses on AI-driven insight, natural language search and a democratized BI platform to answer questions and drive insights. The vendor focuses on uncovering anomalies, identifying leading indicators, isolating trends and segmenting data to spot important trends and patterns. It incorporates AI and machine learning algorithms and analyzes data at massive scale. It also uses bots and automated features to deliver notifications and alerts. The company landed in the “Leaders” category in the Gartner MQ for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms. It earned a 4.4 out of 5-star rating at Gartner Peer Review and a 4.3 rating at G2 Crowd. Users cited ease-of-use and powerful automation as benefits.
eWEEK rates ThoughtSpot with 4.5 stars on a scale of 5.0.
Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.
TIBCO Software addresses BI and analytics in numerous ways. The heart of its predictive capabilities lies in Spotfire and Data Science. Spotfire offers visual dashboards, interactive visualizations, and powerful data extraction and manipulations tools within a single platform. It powers through data using in-memory processing and offers numerous APIs to connect with external sources such as AWS, Salesforce and open source Apache Spark. It facilitates data sharing across enterprise applications—and to support specific vertical industries. And the platform also supports natural language search and AI and machine learning insights. Gartner placed TIBCO Software near the border of its “Leaders” and “Visionaries” category in the MQ for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms (it was designated a “Visionary”). Spotfire was rated 4.1 out of 5 stars at G2 Crowd and a 4.2 at Gartner Peer Insights. Users described it as a great data visualization tool and useful for those that lack dedicated data science skills.
eWEEK rates TIBCO with 4.2 stars on a scale of 5.0.
Solutions at a Glance