I belong to several LinkedIn BI professional groups, the most notable of which is Advanced Business Analytics, Data Mining and Predictive Modeling, capably run by Vincent Granville. The ABADMPM discussion that I've been following most closely of late is Which data mining/analytic tools have you used in the past 12 months for a real project? And, I must admit, I've been pretty surprised by the direct responses to that question and also by the results of polls of the same inquiry commissioned by AnalyticBridge, The Social Network for Analytics Professionals, and KDNuggets, The Data Mining Community's Top Resource.

When I first looked at one of the polls, I was taken back by the selection of forced-choice categories. First of all, industry heavy IBM SPSS was not identified as a distinct choice, but instead lumped with Weka and Oracle. I would have set up Oracle and SPSS as separate choices and perhaps included Weka with Other Open Source. In addition, I would have added S-Plus and SQL (non-Oracle) as separate categories. What I might have missed, though, turns out to be the most selected choice of all: Excel.

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