Clementine 10 reinforces defensive analytics
Upgrades to SPSS's BA app power anomaly detection, faster answers in graphical modeling systemFollow @infoworld
Clementine has grown two versions since I last ran it through its paces, and SPSS has successfully maintained the usability of the interface. The UI’s foundation is a set of tools palettes. The top tab contains the tools needed most frequently, and after that they are organized into tabs of related workflow steps. The analyst drags nodes from palettes to the work area and connects them in a structured, graphical sequence to create workflows that SPSS calls “streams.”
You can create a useful stream and answer questions inside Clementine with as little as a data source node, a single process node, and a deliverable (a model or graphical output). Some users may occasionally choose to do ad hoc work this way, but they’ll do the bulk of their serious work by creating models inside this client and exporting the models and procedures to one of the supported output formats, including SPSS, SAS, and SQL. You can also save the data preparation work and models back into the database so they won’t need to re-execute in future data mining efforts.
SPSS has made some architectural and platform advances, too. Clementine 10 catches up with SAS Enterprise Miner’s capability to take advantage of multiprocessor systems: The software delivers multithreaded processes for complex modeling and for parallel processing of other routines. SPSS also upgraded Clementine’s capability to do in-database data mining efforts, adding specific functions, and extending in-database support for IBM DB2 and Oracle databases -- and it now runs on 32-bit Red Hat Linux. Reporting was fine overall, but it doesn’t have much in the way of printed reports, relying instead on on other SPSS models.
Nevertheless, Clementine 10 hasn’t lost its usability strengths for its core professional analyst audience, and the new features -- including anomaly detection and the Feature Selection node -- continue to serve existing BA customers while adding strengths for new ones.