Jamie Thomson just tipped me off about something new and very interesting – one week after I had a moan about Microsoft doing nothing about Excel and the cloud, here comes Excel DataScope:
Here’s the blurb from the site:
From the familiar interface of Microsoft Excel, Excel DataScope enables researchers to accelerate data-driven decision making. It offers data analytics, machine learning, and information visualization by using Windows Azure for data and compute-intensive tasks. Its powerful analysis techniques are applicable to any type of data, ranging from web analytics to survey, environmental, or social data.
There are yet more tantalising details in the video and the two pdfs here:
I’m currently trying to find out more about all this, but there’s clearly a ton of cool stuff here:
- You can use the Live Labs Pivot control for visualisation.
- It does data mining in the cloud. Is this the successor to the old data mining addin? The functionality is clearly the same.
- There’s a section on Map Reduce running on Windows Azure on one of the posters. Is this using Dryad?
Is this a first glimpse of a new cloud-based BI platform from Microsoft? Will SSAS in the cloud form part of it? Before we all get too excited (or at least I get too excited) it’s worth noting that this is coming from the eXtreme Computing Group and not the SQL Server team, it’s clearly aimed at scientific rather than business users, and is described as “an ongoing research and development project”, ie it is not a commercial product. The potential is obvious though, and I hope it becomes something significant.