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Revolution brings R programming language to AWS, plus SAS on Hadoop

Revolution Analytics brings the R programming language to the cloud, while SAS readies a new in-memory analytics platform to run on Hadoop.

Revolution Analytics releases new cloud offering on Amazon Web Services

Revolution Analytics announced this week the availability of its Enterprise 7 software on Amazon Web Services. Revolution is one of the few vendors currently offering products based on the R programming language.

Revolution's vice president of corporate marketing, David Smith, said in an interview that the release is intended to address some of the perceived drawbacks of R. While programmers see R as a useful tool for developing statistical models, it is generally accepted that it doesn't scale well to big data applications. Smith said that by deploying Enterprise 7 in the cloud, users can acquire as much computing power as they need. Analysts can also use the software as needed rather than purchasing it through a long-term contract.

R is one of the most popular programming languages for performing statistical analyses in university settings. However, its perceived limitations with regard to big data have held back adoption at the commercial level. Vendors are starting to test the waters with products based on the R programming language as the cost of computing power drops.

SAS announces plan to marry in-memory analytics with Hadoop

Analytics tools don't get any hotter these days than in-memory software and Hadoop. Jumping on these trends, SAS Institute announced this week it is developing a programming environment called SAS In-Memory Statistics for Hadoop that will allow users to perform in-memory analytics functions on Hadoop.

The company says leveraging in-memory technology will speed up the process of querying data stored in Hadoop. Additionally, it will give analysts who are experienced in writing queries in the SAS programming language a familiar way to interface with Hadoop. Without an analytics layer, Hadoop users must write queries in MapReduce, a language with which relatively few data scientists are familiar.

"Data scientists … no longer need a patchwork of tools because we're eliminating the need for different programming languages," SAS senior director of analytic server research and development Oliver Schabenberger said in a release.

No firm date for the release of the software has been made, but SAS says to expect it in the first half of 2014.

Weekly dataviz

Feeling the Olympic spirit? Check out this data visualization of historic medal totals put together by Paul Banoub, a Tableau user at RBC Capital Markets in London and the man behind VizNinja Blog. It charts the number of medals won by individual, country, year and sport. You can also read more about the making of the visualization here.

Ed Burns is site editor of SearchBusinessAnalytics. Email him at and follow him on Twitter: @EdBurnsTT.

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