Is your business interested in getting started with data analytics, but not sure where to start? There are several routes to becoming skilled in data science—such as enrolling in a degree program or a training bootcamp. But for those who want to begin applying analytics to data sets without formal training, there's another option: Free software platforms.
Free platforms are nothing new, and there are dozens to choose from. So selecting one is not necessarily an easy task.
"We've seen a huge period of innovation in data science, driven by a number of different factors," said Hugh Owen, senior vice president of product marketing at MicroStrategy. "There continues to be more data produced, and enterprises and organizations have greater and easier access to that data."
Ten years ago, Owen said, everything was in a relational database. But today, "big data" means that there are a slew of different ways to capture and access data.
MicroStrategy, a software company focusing on enterprise users, has been around for over 25 years. Its desktop platform, MicroStrategy 10, aims to help businesses make more intelligent, data-based decisions. The tool was just made completely free, in an effort to make it easy for beginners to acquaint themselves with data mining, dashboarding and visualization, said Owen.
Owen says MicroStrategy stands out in its organic approach to the platform. "We've never added functionality or enhanced the product by acquiring technology or acquiring companies or merging other technology into ours," he said. "That means that whether you're a sales rep who's looking at information on your iPad before meeting a client, or an analyst doing predictive or prescriptive analysis, or an executive getting a report through a dashboard on your MacBook Air, all of those different pieces of the puzzle all tie back into the same system.
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