Thursday, January 28, 2010

Analytics in Seattle

Seattle hosts a lot of activity in analytics (aka data analysis, visualization, and business intelligence).

Robert Gentleman, one of the principles of the R project, was for a long time associated with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, just across the lake from where I sit. He got hired in September of 2009 by Genentech (now a subsidiary of Roche), and was also recently named to the board of REvolution computing. REvolution's product development office is here in seattle.

R is an open source implementation of the S language, which originated at Bell Labs. S-plus, a commercial offspring of S, was introduced in 1988 by UW professor R. Douglas Martin's company Statistical Sciences, Inc. That was bought in 1993 by MathSoft, maker of MathCAD, then sold off again in 2001 as Insightful corporation. MathSoft continued to struggle and was itself acquired in 2006 by PTC Corporation. TIBCO bought Insightful in 2008. TIBCO, as of 2007, also owns SpotFire.

Tableau, maker of analytics and visualization software that competes with SpotFire, is next to Google in Fremont. Probably doesn't hurt that UW has a strong statistics, biostats, and computer science departments.

Just last year, Microsoft nabbed former South Lake Union residents Rosetta biosoftware for integration into the spooky sounding Microsoft Amalga Unified Intelligence System.

Vaguely related