KXEN fills the need for BA speed
Analytic Framework 3.0.2 rips through large data sets, but its ease of use could use a boostFollow @infoworld
The tool has two other noteworthy capabilities. It will omit some data from any given cluster, and it will include some instances in multiple clusters, reflecting the reality outside computers better than the pure either/or arrangements of most BA tools. This makes for a powerful segmentation tool with a leading set of clustering methods.
I would like to see improvement, however, in the ability to see the definition of each cluster. Currently, you must save the model as SQL and read the statements; it’s perfectly functional, but evolving toward natural-language description would let a broad range of domain experts and executives readily understand the K2S information.
Analytic Framework also simplifies the value of a drafted model by focusing on a pair of numbers from statistical learning theory. The first quantity is KI, which indicates how well the model describes the proportion of the target variables’ information “explained” by the other variables — in other words, how “true” is the model.
The second quantity is KR, which measures the current model’s capability of achieving the same performance when used on another set of data with the same attributes — that is, how reusable is the model. Because there are only two key measures against which to optimize, Analytic Framework greatly simplifies the user’s work, opening the information up to a wider, less sophisticated user base.
To improve the analytics model further, Analytic Framework delivers reports on each variable’s contribution, giving the user an opportunity to weigh variables and to exclude or combine them to create different scenarios. The reporting here is both graphical and numeric, and although simple in presentation, it will be best absorbed and acted on by a more BA-sophisticated user.
Export and Consolidate
After building a model that meets your criteria, you can use the Modeling Assistant and KMX (Model Export) module to save it for reuse or to export the model as program code in several languages, including C, ANSI SQL, SQL for SQL Server, XML, and formats for products from SAS and SPSS. This export capability separates the analysis effort from the coder’s domain while serving both in concept.
Analytic Framework also has a module for consolidating data, called KEL (Event Log). KEL supports efforts that require preprocessing, such as summing or averaging tasks. It takes some getting used to, especially the tight prescription of date formats, but otherwise works exactly as advertised.
Overall, KXEN Analytic Framework 3.0.2 is a powerful package with high-power mathematical muscle unequaled by most BA tools. It is most valuable for processing databases with lots of fields that can’t be handled by most tools, but the real benefits come when it’s used as one piece of an overall solution: Integrated with existing BI tools or other data mining systems, this system can significantly magnify strategic insights.