Executive Insights

Altair Knows Data Analytics

By Jim Scapa | Chairman and Chief Executive Officer | November 17, 2022

Altair has completed 42 acquisitions to date – some small technology tuck-ins, some large, organization-creating mergers. Every acquisition is different, but our strategy for each remains the same: integrate the people, integrate the technology, and absorb the expertise. With each acquisition, we grow, evolve, and get stronger. Every company we acquire becomes a part of who we are.

So, when I say, “Altair knows data analytics,” it isn’t a product of where we started but of what we have become. We have acquired six data analytics organizations which each have decades of experience and sometimes hundreds of experts. Each of these companies has become part of who we are; we have carefully integrated each team and disseminated their respective expertise to strengthen ourselves. Today, our entire sales team sells data analytics software alongside our simulation and high-performance computing (HPC) solutions. Our entire services team supports data analytics use cases alongside simulation and HPC. I say we know data analytics because, in the broadest sense, we are a data analytics company.

Our acquisition of RapidMiner, a leader in enterprise data analytics, is another significant extension of our data analytics identity. RapidMiner brings another talented team and one of the most well-loved products in data science to Altair. More than a million people have used RapidMiner to solve their data analytics challenges – a number that increases every day. 

This is, in large part, because of the guidance of RapidMiner’s founder, Dr. Ingo Mierswa. Founders are special thinkers and natural leaders so – as with most of our acquisitions – it was important to me that Ingo join us and continue to lead RapidMiner’s direction. We are better for the many former founders at Altair who shape the future of the company. Under Ingo’s leadership, RapidMiner pioneered the concept of visual, explainable data science, and was the first platform to introduce automatic data science, text analytics, automated feature engineering, deep learning, and many other critical innovations.

Today, the RapidMiner platform is loved because it is unique in the breadth of people it can serve, the problems it can solve, and the business outcomes it can drive. Through RapidMiner, anyone – regardless of skill level – can connect to enterprise data, transform it, automate it, build machine learning models with it, deploy those models in production, and build data analytics applications their business uses every day. It puts the power of data analytics into the hands of those who know the problem best, so there is no disconnect between data experts and domain experts. This is because it has toolsets for users of all skill levels, no matter their level of coding expertise. It supports no-code functionalities via Auto ML for novice users, code-optional functionalities via the workflow builder for intermediate users, and full-code functionalities for experts. Moreover, users can move seamlessly between these modes as needed.

RapidMiner will join our established data analytics business alongside industry-shaping technologies like Altair Monarch, Panopticon, SLC, and SmartWorks. RapidMiner will be a cornerstone of our data analytics offering, a way to access the broad features of our data analytics portfolio in a centralized, cloud-native, governed, secure, and scalable platform. As with our other products, RapidMiner will be available through Altair Units, which give our existing customers immediate access to RapidMiner and will give RapidMiner customers access to Altair’s existing comprehensive technology suite. 

Already, this combination is yielding benefits. RapidMiner pioneered a program called the Center of Excellence (CoE) that helps organizations generate business value through data analytics. The CoE identifies the path that tackles the highest priority use cases first, upskills the business line teams so they can address data analytics problems themselves, and trains everyone – from business analysts to data scientists – to use the right tools for the problem. Upon completing the engagement with the CoE, organizations will have succeeded in their first data analytics projects and, more importantly, they will be prepared to succeed on their own going forward. Since the acquisition, we have adopted the CoE program for the entire Altair data analytics customer success organization because it is so impactful. 

RapidMiner and Altair are stronger together. RapidMiner offers a world-class advanced data analytics platform and an industry-leading CoE program for data analytics organizational transformation. Altair offers scale, an established data analytics business, unique technology, and a revolutionary, patented business model. Together, we are streamlining the data analytics process at a global scale in a one-of-a-kind way.

In other words, because of RapidMiner, Altair continues to grow and evolve. Through this acquisition, we have learned new strategies, integrated new technologies, and our team has new talent. Our offering has broadened. Our capacity to solve customer challenges has increased. Our expertise has deepened. The future is bright for Altair.