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Oracle Advanced Analytics, announced today, is a bundling of the open-source R statistical programming language with Oracle Database, and according to experts is yet another way for Oracle shops to do data analytics.
The full package announced by Oracle on Wednesday includes Oracle Database 11g R2, Oracle Data Mining and Oracle R Enterprise. Oracle Database and Data Mining were already offered as a bundled package, and so the inclusion of Oracle’s version of R is what’s new. The new option will cost $23,000 per processor, the same as Data Mining was before.
“This provides tight integration and interoperability between R and the Oracle Database,” said George Lumpkin, Oracle vice president of data warehousing.
R has been around as a programming language for about 15 years, but has made inroads as a language popular for data analytics and mining. As data digging and analysis has grown more important, so has R. Companies known to have used the language include Google, Pfizer and Bank of America. TIOBE Software, a company that tracks the popularity of programming languages, has R listed at 20th for this month. This compares to 25th in February 2011.
Carl Olofson, research vice president for application development and deployment at analyst firm IDC, said the move was part of Oracle’s strategy to blanket the analytics and big data market.
“Oracle’s perspective is that it’s not trying to prescribe to you how to do analytics. It’s providing you with the tools and you can do what you want,” he said. “It may be in a few years that some of these tools fall away as others become more popular.”
According to Olofson, Oracle Advanced Analytics presents the opportunity for Oracle Database shops to use R within the database without having to draw it out into a separate data store, set definitions against that and then map it to variables.
“That’s a lot of work and is error-prone and inefficient and indirect,” he said.
There is concern that Oracle’s broad swath could have IT shops wondering how they should do analytics with big data. Here are the three major and recent products by Oracle under the umbrella of data analytics:
- Oracle Advanced Analytics, announced today, which is a bundling of Oracle Database with Data Mining and Oracle R
- Oracle Big Data Appliance, announced last fall, which includes Hadoop, Oracle NoSQL and the R programming language
- Oracle Exalytics, also announced last fall, which includes Oracle’s TimesTen in-memory database and Oracle BI software
Olofson said there is a distinction between the three. Advanced Analytics is for those Oracle shops looking to do deep analytics within Oracle Database. The Big Data Appliance is for analytics around Hadoop and big data sets. And Exalytics is for highly structured online analytical processing (OLAP) that is done regularly and benefits from in-memory capabilities.