Friday, August 13, 2010

IBM and Unica, Affinium Model and Clementine

After seeing that IBM has purchased Unica I have to wonder how this will effect Affinium Model and Clementine (I revert to the names that were used for so long here, now PredictExpress and Modeler, respectively). They are so very different in interfaces, features and deployment options that it is hard to see how they will be "joined": the big-button wizard interface vs. the block-diagram flow interface.

One thing I always liked about Affinium Model was the ability to automate the building of thousands of models. Clementine now has that same capability, so that advantage is lost. To me, that leaves the biggest advantage of Affinium Model being it's language and wizards. Because it uses the language of customer analytics rather than the more technical language of data mining / predictive analytics, it was easier to teach to new analysts. Because it makes generally good decisions on data prep and preprocessing, the analyst didn't need to know a lot about sampling and data transformations to get a model out (we won't dive into how good here, or how much better experts could do the data transformations and sampling).

My fear is that Affinium Model will just be dropped, going the way of Darwin, PRW (the predecessor to Affinium Model), and other data mining tools that were good ideas. Time will tell.

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