We just had a Microsoft consultant come in and show us the latest innovation in SQL Server 2014 with Office 365. Though I saw most of it in demos given before, it was still stunning to see the abilities of Office 365 with SQL Server 2014. There was something new to see this time regarding Data Mining and Predictive Analytics in the cloud. This is the first time I saw Project Passau which demonstrated amazing abilities for easily predicting future trends.
Microsoft has been offering Data Mining in various ways: through numerous versions of the Data Mining add in for Excel, through Data Mining Models in Analysis Services and also through third party tools like Predixion Software. Well, apparently there’s more coming from the Microsoft Labs. What the Microsoft consultant showed us was the ability to enter Excel and look at a graph showing the data as a trend. Through dragging the trend line forward he could see the future demand over time and even choose to see effects of seasonality. Through another drag of the data he could limit the data for the forecast and see how that affects the new demand line. There was also a way to choose the acceptable range of values (the standard deviation). As it’s all still in part of the Microsoft Labs, I didn’t find a lot of documentation about it and most links were actually on a twitter post about Project Passau.
Thing is, the municipality isn’t really going to go into the cloud so quickly on account of governmental restrictions so I don’t see most of those capabilities applied here any time soon :(. Still, Project Passau is supposed to go public in a few weeks and I recommend you check it out.