In the environment of advanced analytics, there are a number of well-established players as well as a plethora of smaller companies making rounds with their solutions. The sector itself has been projected to grow 14% in 2016 to reach value of $1.5bn. Quite understandably, most of them are trying to positions themselves into “advanced insights, simple operation” space, because every single business has the need for data, but not every single one has necessarily the resources to employ a skilled data scientist to handle the data. But without actually trying all of them, it is incredibly difficult to really see how ‘simple’ the operation of the software is, and how would “an average Joe” describe the experience of working with it.
Analytics first, then data
Typologically, the companies that are best equipped to offer solutions for citizen data science are those which have their primary strength in analytics. Although companies like SAS and SAP are at the forefront of business intelligence, there is a different set of leaders for the Advanced Analytics (under which citizen data science belongs). According to Gartner Magic Quadrant, these are SAP, IBM, KNIME, RapidMiner and Dell. These companies are fully geared towards providing analytics solutions and would be the “traditional” ones in this space. What is interesting here is that KNIME and RapidMiner operate under open-source licences and support community-created extension to their core software, which supposedly greatly enhance the range of functions the software provides.
Data first, then analytics
Other companies that might be able to provide citizen data science solutions are those that already have a well-developed bank of data on which they could offer tailored solutions directly to their customers. For example, Salesforce is best known for its cloud-based Customer Relationship Management solution. In 2013, Salesforce introduced Wave, a Business Intelligence software which leverages data already hosted on Salesforce and markets itself as “the only analytics solution designed for Salesforce users”. Here, Salesforce identified a potential to extend their business from, essentially, hosting the data to analysing it, and because they already had the data and the platform their solution feels only natural to their customers. From 2012 to 2013, Salesforce had the highest increase in market share and highest increase in growth rate. Similar companies could follow, although obviously the requirement of strong analytics component might not suit everyone.