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Executive Insights

The RapidMiner Platform – Stronger Than Ever with Altair

By Ingo Mierswa | Senior Vice President, Product Development | December 6, 2022

More than a decade ago, RapidMiner pioneered the concept of visual, explainable data science. We were the first platform to introduce automatic data science, text analytics, automated feature engineering, deep learning, and more. We have consistently led the pack in advanced data analytics innovation, the most recent example being the unique functionality in our cloud platform for upskilling data stakeholders and accelerating data analytics success.

For me, what is so exciting about Altair having acquired RapidMiner is that we can continue to innovate and deliver – but faster and at a much larger scale than ever. Altair brings global reach, an established data analytics organization, significant additional development resources, a powerful software licensing model, and maybe most importantly, unique technology and expertise. 

We are already integrating these into the future of the RapidMiner platform and, as a result, the new RapidMiner platform – powered by Altair – will bring teams and technology together in ways no other platform can. Here’s how:

 

1. We will uniquely be able to guide users, teams, and enterprises from data analytics idea to adoption. 

This is a nuanced challenge – there are many stakeholders and steps within data analytics workflows that each need small accelerators, all lined up and tied together. Following the acquisition, we now have – by far – the most expertise with this in the industry. 

Knowledge Studio (formerly Angoss) and RapidMiner each have decades of history providing accelerators to anyone and everyone who develops machine learning models. RapidMiner was founded in in 2007 and has spent 15 years innovating new accelerators for machine learning developers. Knowledge Studio’s patented decision trees and strategy trees are beloved by the data science community, and Angoss leader Dr. Mamdouh Refaat literally wrote the book on credit scorecards.

This experience gives us unique insight into how to streamline data analytics workflows, guiding the user experience for all skill levels, no matter their level of coding expertise. We support no-code functionalities via Auto ML for novice users, code-optional functionalities via the workflow builder for intermediate users, and full-code functionalities via notebook integration for experts. Moreover, we have empowered users move seamlessly between these modes as needed.

2. Our platform accommodates the complex, shifting infrastructure landscape.  

In the early 2000s, Altair acquired PBS, a high-performance computing (HPC) software company spun out of NASA that helped manage the supercomputer at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Since then, Altair has become the clear leader in scientific computation software worldwide. This experience gives us unique insight into on-premises, cloud, and hybrid enterprise compute needs, as well as what scale really means – after all, PBS Professional was selected to manage the U.S.’s first exascale supercomputer. It has also taught us how to make our tools work best for the biggest companies in the world, including compute governance, performance, massive scale, deployment flexibility, and adaptability.

Altair’s data analytics tools operate in the top five European and American banks, and in many of the world’s top manufacturing, insurance, financial services, retail, and energy companies. These organizations require every permutation of on-premises, hybrid, and cloud deployment, as well as tools that can accommodate sometimes hundreds of departments and legal entities around the world. They have unique security needs, strict governance to draw the right borders between stakeholders while leaving avenues for collaboration, dozens of disconnected data sources, and controlled cost considerations. 

Altair’s expertise and history have made enterprise needs more central than ever for RapidMiner. Together, we are building a truly future-proof platform. When vendor relationships change at an enterprise, our platform will adapt; when deployment needs change, our platform will adapt; and when security and governance restrictions change, our platform will adapt. We are excited to be the last analytics platform an enterprise will ever need.

 

3. Our platform will accommodate both modern and established data analytics environments. 

Today, while the Python programming language is most often used in new projects, most large organizations still have enormous investments in existing data analytics infrastructure, including applications written in the SAS language. And while the SAS language is excellent for statistical and mathematical analysis, the younger workforce is more familiar with modern tools. As a result, organizations are trying to find ways to modernize their SAS language ecosystems and supplement them with Python or other modern tools, without incurring the enormous cost of a full conversion. 

Altair’s data analytics suite – and Altair SLC in particular – can run programs written in the SAS language, help users write new programs in their preferred languages, and modernize an organization’s analytics infrastructure. 

At dozens of Fortune 500 companies, we have implemented new analytics environments with Altair SLC that let them include both SAS language and Python, and connect to legacy and emerging data sources. This reduces business risk, saves time and money, deepens the range of analytics tools available, and prepares them for the future. 

Through Altair SLC – one of only two SAS language compilers in the world – the Altair data analytics suite is the easiest, most cost-effective way to refine and operationalize models in nearly any language, bridging the gap between the past and the future.

Altair SLC will be closely integrated into RapidMiner so users can bridge the gap between the past and the future. In the RapidMiner platform, you will be able to connect to on-premises or cloud data sources, develop models with no code or with Python, SAS, or R, and deploy those models to a scalable real-time scoring environment. RapidMiner and SLC will be the platform for hardened SAS developers and fresh-out-of-university python coders alike.

 

Summing It Up

By combining Altair’s existing data analytics technology, expertise, and scale with RapidMiner’s, we have never been in a better position to help enterprises take advantage of their data. With 86 offices in 25 countries, serving dozens of verticals through horizontal offerings, and decades of industry experience executing on the biggest enterprise projects, our now hundreds of developers, account representatives, industry experts, and service engagement specialists are focused on accelerating every facet of our customers’ goals.

Altair’s unique technology solves tough challenges faster than any other provider. And maybe most importantly, we now have a software licensing model – Altair Units – that makes our platform cost effective for all our customers.

I am extremely excited for what we have built and the opportunity we now have to scale with Altair. Together, we’re going to transform how the world uses data and makes decisions.