Dell Adds Predictive Analytics With StatSoft Acquisition

Dell acquired business analytics firm StatSoft Monday in a push to beef up its big data offerings and win a bigger piece of the analytics market that Dell said is worth $232 billion through 2016. It's Dell's first acquisition as a private firm and one, the company said, was much needed to sure up its analytics software stack.

StatSoft, which specializes in predictive big data analytics for the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, fits into Dell's database management, optimization and integration applications business, the company said.

"For Dell partners, StatSoft offers an opportunity for them to answer information life cycle questions," said John Whittaker, director of marketing for Dell Information Management division. "Now Dell serves the data, stores the data, manages the data, integrates the data, and now finally analyzes the data. Data analysis has been the missing link for Dell."

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StatSoft's flagship software, Whittaker said, is Statistica Enterprise -- a big data analytics app that filters and analyzes data from multiple sources. Dell said StatSoft's portfolio complements its own flagship big data analytics solution Kitenga it acquired when it purchased Quest 2012.

Dell declined to reveal the details of the acquisition. But the Tulsa, Okla.-based StatSoft, founded in 1984, has estimated revenues of $30 million annually with an estimated 200 employees, according to public information culled by the business intelligence firm FindTheBest.

StatSoft's partner program is minimal, Whittaker said, with most sales generated by direct reps. He said eventually StatSoft would be opened up to the wider Dell channel, but in the interim StatSoft would be run with a great degree of autonomy.

Dell has been criticized for failing to integrate recent acquisitions into its larger portfolio of product offerings. But Matt Wolken, vice president and general manager of information management at Dell, said that won't be the case with StatSoft.

In a blog post announcing the acquisition, Wolken wrote: "StatSoft can potentially be expanded to deliver Natural Language Processing on Big Data analysis tasks. StatSoft’s software runs on Dell’s affordable x86 server platforms, and myriad opportunities exist to leverage StatSoft in concert with Dell’s hardware solutions, and by way of its numerous industry relationships, including those with SAP Hana, Oracle, Microsoft SQL and PDW, and Cloudera."

Dell ramped up its big data strategy in 2012 when it snapped up Quest Software in 2012 for $2.4 billion. Part of that acquisition included Toad for Hadoop, SharePlex for Hadoop, and other solutions, such as Boomi, that joined Dell's portfolio along with the Quest acquisition.