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February 18, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

Chicago-based data mining company SPSS Inc yesterday announced a slew of new products and released details of its software road map for the next 12 months. Following last month’s acquisition of UK-based Integral Solutions Inc for $7.1m (CI No 3,570), the company says it has now rounded out its portfolio and plans to focus on making its product set more scaleable and easier to deploy. SPSS executive VP of marketing, Mark Battaglia, says making analytical applications more scaleable and accessible is key, especially given the volumes of data businesses are accumulating. Historically, the technical people could always build models to extract useful information, but today’s decision- makers don’t always have the necessary tools, he said. To address that problem, Battaglia said SPSS will release, in the fall this year, a client server version of its flagship data analysis product, SPSS Server, designed for both NT and Unix platforms. It will also introduce client-server versions of Clementine, the data modeling engine acquired through the ISL acquisition and AnswerTree Server, a software product for classification and segmentation of data. Later this year, SPSS will also introduce DecisionTime Server. The client-only version of the software, which enables users to carry out statistical forecasts and analysis based on historical data, will ship in mid-1999 while the server add-on will be released at the end of this year. A complimentary software tool, WhatIf? will enable users to adjust the forecasts and variables from DecisionTime to create different, what if?, scenarios based on the historical data. WhatIf? is also due in mid-1999. By extending its core products to the client server architecture, SPSS says it will enable companies to analyze much larger files, typical of data warehouses and data marts, than they can at present using SPSS’ standalone products. In terms of making data easier to deploy – the second part of the company’s development strategy – SPSS says it will introduce a new application in the second quarter, called Data Entry Web Server, which builds on SPSS Data Entry Network Server released last year. The software enables any type of forms-based data collection, including online surveys, to be deployed throughout the organization via the Web. Another new application, codenamed ScoreCard, offers real-time scoring (analysis) of individual cases or batch scoring of entire data files, working off data gleaned from AnswerTree Server. If used to monitor consumer behavior, potential new customers (such as respondents to a promotional mailing) can be scored to determine their likelihood of purchase. It will also be possible to do real-time scoring of visitors to a corporate web site, SPSS said. The ScoreCard component is expected in the second quarter. Finally, SPSS says it will upgrade its SmartViewer Web Server, in late 1999, to offer more advanced browser-based publishing and reporting for those who want to slice, dice and drill down into pre-defined OLAP report cubes and graphs, without disturbing the enterprise source data.

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