Data analytics platform provider RapidMiner announced today that it is making the commercial version of its analytics platform available free of charge to non-profit educational institutions.
The program, called RapidMiner Academia, will enable students and educators to leverage RapidMiner’s repository of sample data to create analytic processes for big data, machine learning, and text analytics, from data ingestion through model deployment. In addition, academics will be able to get support from and share innovations and best practices with RapidMiner’s open-source community and the more than 250,000 users of the company’s platform worldwide.
The program also offers advantages for university researchers involved in both funded and unfunded research projects. Unfunded researchers can use RapidMiner and get community support at no cost, and funded researchers receive an 80 percent discount on the commercial platform and receive commercial support. In addition, the platform supports scientific publishing, with export to PDF or EPS for inclusion into LaTeX and other formats.
The impetus for the program can be traced back to the company’s beginnings in the Artificial Intelligence Unit of the Technical University of Dortmund in Germany. It was there in 2001 that RapidMiner co-founder and CEO Ingo Mierswa, along with Ralf Klinkenberg and Simon Fischer, developed the data mining software that became the basis for RapidMiner.
“RapidMiner Academia represents our ‘give back’ to our company’s birthplace, which is in university research,” Mierswa said. “As an open-source company, we wanted to give researchers, professors, and students around the world the full power of our platform to drive new innovations.
“Giving back to the academic communities that helped ignite RapidMiner’s formation and success is at the very heart of this program,” Mierswa added.
The RapidMiner user community in academia already includes more than 45,000 users and 3,000 universities, including the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany.
“Making RapidMiner available to academic communities puts a powerful modern analytics platform into the hands of professors to enrich their data analytics curriculum,” said Dr. Katharina Morik, head of the Artificial Intelligence Unit at the Technical University of Dortmund. “Bringing RapidMiner into the student experience further prepares them for market entry as business analysts and data scientists of the future.”
In addition to honoring the company’s academic roots, Mierswa also sees the program as a means to address the predicted shortage of qualified talent to fill industry’s growing demand for trained data analytics professionals – the McKinsey Global Institute famously predicted a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with analytical expertise and 1.5 million managers and analysts with big data skills in the United States alone – and consistent with the company’s founding principles.
“ ‘Analytics for Anyone’ is far more than our company tagline, it is part of our mission to help mitigate the shortfall of skilled analytic professionals, starting with empowering the next generation of data scientists,” said Mierswa.
“Data scientists are unicorns or a rare breed with many years of technical training and applied experience,” said RapidMiner President and Chief Operating Officer Michele Chambers. “So we are not going to fill the data scientist skills gap around the world very easily without doing something new and different.”
RapidMiner provides as part of the program examinations that instructors can incorporate into their curricula to certify students in RapidMiner. Academic researchers also can opt to become certified as part of the program.
“With RapidMiner Academia, professors can choose to certify their students with RapidMiner,” said Chambers. “This gives graduating students an edge in the job market – knowing how to quickly capitalize on big data with advanced analytics and being certified in an enterprise-ready platform that can help their employer attain value from their data. Professors who certify their students are giving their students a way to differentiate their skills in the competitive job market.”
For additional information about the program, including academic registration and eligibility for colleges and universities, visit www.rapidminer.com/academia.
Subscribe to Data Informed for the latest information and news on big data and analytics for the enterprise.