While the open source R programming environment for building statistical analysis applications continues to gain momentum in academia, it's not widely adopted in the enterprise.
To facilitate that, Revolution Analytics today rolled out a RevoDeployR server that makes it easier to access data in an R application through traditional enterprise applications such as Microsoft Office.
As an alternative to statistical programming environments such as SAS or the SPSS business unit of IBM, the R language has been gaining adherents at a time when many companies simply can't afford commercial software licenses. And while it's true that R applications generally run more slowly than applications built using commercial software, many customers are determining that cost benefits of R are worth tradeoffs in performance in many instances.
According to Revolution Analytics COO Jeff Erhardt, Revolution sees R extending the use of statistical applications at at time when interest in analytics of all types is growing. That means that rather than replacing SAS or SPSS, he said R is being used to drive development of applications that previously would not have been built before. As part of the overall effort to increase use of R in the enterprise, Revolution Analytics has added support for a variety of sources of "big data," and the company plans to add a graphical user interface to make R applications more accessible, said Erhardt.
Whatever route R takes into the enterprise, it's pretty clear that as the number of people familar with R continues to grow, so the number of R applications will, too. So the next big challenge when it comes to R will be making the data in those applications available to rest of the mere mortals in the enterprise.