Microsoft Debuts Cortana Analytics Suite To Unify Big Data, Analytics

Most organizations today have access to more than enough data to help improve their operations -- the challenge is sifting through and analyzing all that data to find hidden insights so they can make better decisions about the future. That's why Microsoft on Monday announced plans to combine a variety of its current services into a new, subscription-based package: the Cortana Analytics Suite.

While it's named for Microsoft's personal digital assistant, Cortana, the new suite will feature more than just an intelligent interface that lets users speak commands to their computers and other devices. The suite will also offer tools for big data management, machine learning, business intelligence visualization, and forecasting. Microsoft is not yet providing any pricing information for the suite.

Set for release sometime this fall, the Cortana Analytics Suite is already being used by a few early adopters such as the New Hampshire-based Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System and the North American Eagle project, which aims to break the world's land-speed record later this year. The announcement was one of several made Monday by CEO Satya Nadella during the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Orlando.

Moving from 'What Happened?' to 'What Should I Do?'

Users faced with large volumes of data need to make sense of the information they're gathering to "move from seeing 'what happened' and understanding 'why it happened' to predicting 'what will happen' and ultimately, knowing 'what should I do,'" said Corporate Vice President for Cloud and Enterprise Takeshi Numoto in a post on the Microsoft Azure blog. The new Cortana Analytics Suite is designed to help them do that, he added.

Developed based on years of research and innovation in areas ranging from advanced analytics to face and speech recognition, the suite is designed to help enterprise customers "make better, faster decisions to accelerate their speed of business,"...

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