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Insightful® Annouces S-PLUS® 7

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Software Enables Analysis of Large Data Sets and Development Of Enterprise Applications for Delivery of Statistics Across the Enterprise

SEATTLE – April 11, 2005 – Insightful Corporation® (NASDAQ: IFUL), a leading provider of advanced statistical software for analysis of numeric and text data, announced today the release of S-PLUS® 7, a major release to the de facto industry standard software platform for statistical data analysis and predictive analytics. S-PLUS 7 supports analysis of very large data sets and the rapid development of analytic applications that integrate advanced statistical methods within existing business processes. Decision-makers benefit from the deployment of advanced analytics across the enterprise.

With S-PLUS 7, statisticians, developers, and IT personnel use a new integrated development environment (IDE) on top of the flexible and elegant S programming language to rapidly develop, integrate, and deploy advanced analytic solutions. A new pipeline architecture in S-PLUS 7 allows for the preparation, manipulation, and analysis of very large data sets, thereby enabling companies to solve analytic problems not solvable before. S-PLUS 7 offers rich visualization and reporting capabilities that can be delivered from a back-office server to Web portals to improve information sharing required for effective decision-making.

“From our research, we see the interest in `advanced analytics’ growing steadily within the Business Intelligence (BI) marketplace,” said Howard Dresner, vice-president and Gartner Fellow of Gartner, Inc. “As the base of BI users continues to grow dramatically, it has exposed the need for more in-depth and profound types of analyses.”

“S-PLUS 7 is a major step forward in delivering on our mission to expand the usage of S-PLUS beyond its traditional position as a de facto standard for analytic model prototyping, data exploration, and visualization on statisticians’ desktops,” said Jeff Coombs, CEO of Insightful. “This release enhances the capabilities of S-PLUS to include wide deployment in production environments analyzing gigabytes of data that are deployed to hundreds of users across the enterprise. S-PLUS 7 is the result of scores of interviews with Insightful customers across a spectrum of industries and extensive testing to ensure that it met our customers’ high demands for quality and scalability required for large production deployment,” said Coombs.

In the life sciences industry, thinning drug pipelines and dwindling patent portfolios are driving life science companies to test more compounds more rapidly and apply new statistical techniques to reliably and efficiently spot “hits” from “misses.” “Every day we need to analyze huge databases of new compounds, as well as patient efficacy and safety data from our clinical trials, to define how to best allocate our resources for drug development,” said Jose Pinheiro, Senior Associate Director of Biostatistics, for Novartis. “Our decision-makers require reliable discovery, development, and market information to reach decisions about what compounds to bring and keep in development. Selecting or keeping in development the wrong compound can cost our company millions of dollars and delay time-to-market, reducing our competitive advantage. S-PLUS 7 offers us the scalability, fast prototyping, programming flexibility, and reporting capabilities we need to analyze, model, and share information enterprise-wide to make better, faster decisions.”

In the financial services industry, increasing complexity and volume of data, industry regulation including Basel II requirements for better risk estimation, and the need to respond quickly to changing market conditions is driving demand for robust, precise statistical data analysis solutions. “Statistical data analysis and modeling is critical in the financial services industry. Mortgage-backed securities continue to grow in complexity as issuers introduce innovations to the market,” said Francis Parisi, a director in Standard & Poor’s Structured Finance Group. “To stay at the forefront of this dynamic environment, Standard & Poor’s analysts need flexible statistical analysis tools to build robust models quickly.”

“S-PLUS 7 is clearly a powerful solution for quickly building models that are used to develop rating criteria,” continued Parisi. “These criteria are the basis of the models we license and distribute to our rating customers. The flexibility of S-PLUS makes it a natural choice for exploring and building new models rapidly — critical in an industry that introduces new mortgage products frequently. S-PLUS 7 provides support for the analyses of large datasets and allows our analysts to quickly visualize key findings critical for understanding the drivers of mortgage loan defaults. As a result, our customers have faster access to information and Standard & Poor’s analytics as they need to size risk in their mortgage securities.”

In manufacturing, demand for advanced analytics is fueled by the ongoing drive toward Six Sigma, zero defects, cost reductions, increased quality and reduced costs due to warranty claims. Timely and accurate prediction of how a product will perform for customers and the need to avoid costly in-field failures is driving demand for robust data analysis solutions for statistical process control. “At SyntheSys Research, Inc., we provide test and measurement analysis solutions for customers in data communications, data storage, and digital video communications,” said Greg Stone, senior test engineer, of California-based SyntheSys Research Inc. “We depend on reliable, robust statistical analysis to help set our specifications and validate product performance against customer-specified criterion.”

“Often, our marketing department will receive requests to change a specific test measurement or tighten a specification for a particular product based on in-field performance,” Stone said. “With S-PLUS 7, we are able to prototype new models quickly to demonstrate how proposed changes will impact our manufacturing process. Powerful visualization techniques allow us to quickly and effectively communicate the impact of this change to less technical decision-makers.”


Pipeline Architecture for Scalable Performance: S-PLUS 7 adds a major and highly anticipated new capability to S-PLUS-the ability to read, manipulate, and analyze extremely large data sets. The new, patent-pending “pipeline architecture” works by streaming large data sets instead of reading the entire data set into memory at once. S PLUS is now designed to allow users to analyze gigabytes of data on their existing hardware, without needing to purchase additional RAM or migrate to 64-bit operating systems.

This capability is seamlessly integrated into S-PLUS so that statistical programmers can continue to enjoy the elegance and power of the S programming language, and easily convert the applications they have already developed for use large data sets. S-PLUS is designed to be the only statistical software environment that combines the rapid-development environment of a modern 4GL language with the power to scale to extremely large data sets.

Modern Environment for Robust Application Development: The S programming language has long been recognized as the premier environment for rapid creation of statistical applications. The elegance of this 4GL language combined with its comprehensive library of statistical, graphical, and data-processing techniques – including a new library for analysis of correlated data, and improved methods for manipulating time series data – enables S-PLUS users to create new applications up to ten times faster than with competing systems. With the S-PLUS Workbench – a new interface to S-PLUS designed for the needs of development teams – programmers will be able to create more reliable applications faster than ever before. Based on the industry-standard EclipseT framework, the S-PLUS Workbench aids developers by offering a syntax-aware code editor, tools for project and task management, code validation and error correction, and much more. And because the S-PLUS Workbench integrates with all standard source control systems, development teams will be able to manage large projects reliably when developing applications for integration with business processes.

Integration of Advanced Statistical Applications Enterprise-wide: Designed with an open architecture and flexible interfaces, S-PLUS 7 is an ideal platform for integrating advanced statistical techniques into existing business processes. Applications developed on the desktop, using the most comprehensive suite of statistical, graphical and data processing methods available, are easily be deployed to production environments using C++, JavaT, or OLE APIs, or integrated with batch jobs or Web-based or other client/server applications, using the S-PLUS Server product.

Flexible Charts and Reports for Improved Communication. Statisticians know how valuable their work can be to improve decision making and efficiency throughout the organization. The graphical and reporting capabilities of the S-PLUS product family help ensure the project and business teams realize the value, too.

An interactive graphical system enables the creation of statistical charts to exact specifications, which can then be pasted directly into Microsoftr Office applications. Graphletsr, unique to S-PLUS, allow application developers to embed custom interactive graphics into Web pages, enabling business users to zoom, select, and drill down to answer specific questions or hyperlink to supporting information. Detailed reports incorporating statistical tables and graphics can be updated with the latest data and automatically generated using an XML-based report generation system.


The S-PLUS Student Edition complements the existing Insightful university site-license policy by making it free for verified students (download version only, 130MB) to install a one-year, dataset-size limited version of S-PLUS 7.0 for their personal computer. For convenience a CD-ROM version is available for $20US plus postage.

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Insightful Corporation (NASDAQ:IFUL) provides enterprises with scalable data analysis solutions that drive better decisions faster by revealing patterns, trends, and relationships. The company is a leading supplier of software and services for statistical data analysis, data mining, and knowledge access enabling clients to gain intelligence from numeric and text data.

Insightful products include S-PLUS®, Insightful MinerT, S-PLUS® Server, and InFact®. Insightful consulting services provide specialized expertise and proven processes for the design, development, and deployment of customized solutions. The company has been delivering industry-leading, high-ROI solutions to thousands of companies in financial services, life sciences, biotechnology, telecommunications, manufacturing, plus government and research institutions.

Headquartered in Seattle, Insightful has offices in New York City, North Carolina, France, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, with distributors around the world. For more information, email, or call 1-800-569-0123.


Adam Januszkiewicz

All stories by: Adam Januszkiewicz