In a move to bolster its predictive analytics business, Dell has grabbed StatSoft, an advanced analytics solutions company that's been around since the early 1980s. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
StatSoft has made a name for itself in the big data industry by combining statistical analysis with advanced analytics in a way that helps managers understand what's going on with their business, predict changes coming down the pike, move with more agility, and control critical systems.
"With the rapid explosion of data comes the opportunity for organizations to gain deep insight into their business processes in order to facilitate better decision making and maximize profitability," said Matt Wolken, vice president and general manager, information management at Dell Software. "The acquisition of StatSoft gives Dell's customers access to a proven advanced analytics solution that delivers the predictive and prescriptive analysis capabilities businesses need in order to make faster, more accurate decisions."
Advancing Dell's Analytics
As Dell sees it, organizations that use smart algorithms to harness and learn from the masses of data found in operational systems, social networks and demographic stores will gain competitive advantage.
Market research firm Gartner confirms that theory. The company reports more than 30 percent of analytics projects will deliver insights based on both structured and unstructured data by 2014. With this in mind, Dell has made data and information management a key strategic priority. The StatSoft acquisition is one way to build out its product set quickly.
Dell's strategy is to offer a complete set of platform agnostic information management tools that help companies manage, integrate, and analyze data in the cloud and on-premises. Dell's current capabilities include database management and optimization, application and data integration, and big data analytics. StatSoft brings advanced analytics to Dell's table.
A Win-Win Merger
Some of StatSoft's practical capabilities include helping forecast future trends, unearthing new customers and opportunities, predicting industry shifts, exploring "what-if" scenarios, and reducing business risks, including fraud.
We turned to Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, to get his take on the acquisition. He told us StatSoft has a solid collection of existing customers and significant experience in predictive analytics. The acquisition, he said, brings a portfolio of customers and a history of success and profitability to Dell.
"StatSoft is a recognizable brand that Dell should be able to leverage among its current and future customers. There should be some mutual benefits," King said. "Dell can deliver StatSoft's solutions to its base and StatSoft can leverage Dell's sales force and to broaden its own reach into business customers."
King noted that predictive analytics is a "hot area" in the market right now. Going with a known entity like StatSoft rather than a cutting-edge but still largely immature start-up company, he said, means that Dell should be able to get up to speed much more quickly than if it tried to integrate a pure technology play into its portfolio.