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DataRobot machine learning boosts MicroStrategy AI

Under a new partnership, MicroStrategy customers can use automated machine learning models from DataRobot for predictive, AI-based analytics.

MicroStrategy customers now can use DataRobot machine learning models to automate AI processes for predictive analytics and other business intelligence applications.

Under a new partnership between DataRobot, a Boston-based enterprise AI vendor, and MicroStrategy, a 30-year-old independent analytics and BI vendor based in Tysons Corner, Va., business users of the MicroStrategy 2019 platform can use DataRobot's enterprise AI platform to deploy advanced machine learning models.

The vendors made the partnership public Wednesday in advance of the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2019 conference in Orlando Oct. 20-24, at which they plan to demo the merged capabilities of their platforms.

Deal helps MicroStrategy

The deal will primarily benefit MicroStrategy users by providing access to DataRobot machine learning models, said Dave Schubmehl, research director for cognitive-artificial intelligent systems and content analytics at IDC.

"Competitors have been adding features around AI, and this is a great way for MicroStrategy to put a best-of-breed product in their platform and allow their users to do prescriptive and predictive analytics in a variety of applications," Schubmehl said. "MicroStrategy can now embed these advanced machine learning models."

Competitors have been adding features around AI and this is a great way for MicroStrategy to put a best-of-breed product in their platform and allow their users to do prescriptive and predictive analytics.
Dave SchubmehlResearch director for cognitive-artificial intelligent systems and content analytics, IDC

Among the top areas in which enterprises are doing that kind of machine learning and AI-based analytics are marketing technology for retail and manufacturing, with its need for preventative maintenance on machines, Schubmehl noted.

Access to DataRobot machine learning tools is part of MicroStrategy's business methodology, which includes openness and extensibility of its BI platform, said Vijay Anand, vice president of product marketing enterprise analytics at MicroStrategy.

Openness strategy

For example, with the launch of MicroStrategy 2019, the vendor provided the ability to connect its platform to those of competitors, such as Tableau, Qlik and Microsoft, for "federated analytics," Anand noted.

"We recognize that users today have a broad set of preferences, so to drive that goal of 100% adoption of governed and secure analytics to drive digital transformation, we think the openness ideology is extremely important," he said.

Also, allying its technology with DataRobot machine learning technology fits in with MicroStrategy's pre-existing focus on data science and AI and two of the field's most popular open source programming languages, R and Python, Anand said.

Screenshot of DataRobot dashboard for building machine learning models
DataRobot model building dashboard

"DataRobot, among other technologies, is pretty far along in the specific area of automated machine learning, and can help MicroStrategy users deploy machine learning as part of end-to-end workflow," he said.

DataRobot benefits too

Meanwhile, DataRobot, which already has similar partnerships with Tableau, Qlik, Microsoft and other analytics vendors, also stands to profit from the arrangement, said Seann Gardiner, executive vice president of business development at DataRobot.

DataRobot and MicroStrategy have many mutual customers, and DataRobot's customers have been asking for a gateway to MicroStrategy's BI platform, Gardiner said.

"MicroStrategy is really an enterprise analytics and BI platform. We're an enterprise AI platform," he said. "What do we get out of [the partnership]? We get access to data that's being used, and MicroStrategy is a system of record.

"Another thing is our customers want to enrich the insights they're getting out of MicroStrategy with machine learning and AI," Gardiner added. "The last thing is democratization. What MicroStrategy brings to the table is they have thousands of customers and a lot of them are BI developers and analytics professionals who want to start to do machine learning."

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If you are a DataRobot or MicroStrategy customer, how does the partnership between the two vendors affect your organization?
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There's a few interesting things going on here. 

Microstrategy represents yet another analytic-ready data source for DataRobot to access. At this point, DataRobot is establishing itself as the starting point for neutral enterprise AI just as Informatica established itself as the starting point for neutral enterprise data integration. 

This provides Microstrategy with another use case for its analytically cleansed data. Microstrategy needs to make sure that it now embeds these AI modeling outputs into Hyperintelligence to fully take advantage of this partnership. 

But this also leaves a question for DataRobot on how it will accelerate gateway access to more trusted and cleansed data sources to maximize its value. They're doing a great job so far, but have to keep moving fast. 

Overall, this is great positioning for DataRobot as its valuation starts to approach Microstrategy's and will likely leapfrog Microstrategy over the next 12 months.
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