IBM SPSS Modeler Review

Extremely easy to use, it offers a generous selection of proprietary machine learning algorithms with advanced tuning capabilities and integration with Python.


What is most valuable?

Extremely easy to use, it offers a generous selection of proprietary machine learning algorithms with advanced tuning capabilities and integration with Python.

How has it helped my organization?

Customer related tasks, such as: lifetime value, acquisition, retention, cross-sell and up-sell, segmentation. Fraud detection, recommender systems, sentiment analysis, and many more.

What needs improvement?

It would be beneficial if the tool would include more well-known machine learning algorithms. However, IBM already started to include several of these algorithms by implementing Python code. Plus, each user is capable of implementing his/her own machine learning algorithm in either Python or R.

For how long have I used the solution?

Since 2009.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is very stable. There were however few instances when too intensive tasks were performed and the tool froze and the unsaved activity was lost. I understood that in the latest version IBM addressed this issue and an automated saving capability of the workflow is available.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The work can be easily scaled even without additional components offered by IBM, but it really depends on each organization. Some research is necessary in order to understand how to bypass those components, but in the end a substantial amount of money would be saved. IBM provides documentation regarding each component that SPSS Modeler could interact with.

How is customer service and technical support?

Based on the licensing purchased technical support is provided and is of great value. IBM SPSS Modeler offers a very comprehensive online documentation too.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I used MatLab before and switched because of the ease of use and continued to use it because of the integration with Python.

How was the initial setup?

To local setup of each license is straightforward. If an organization plans on sharing workflows amongst team members or automate tasks, additional components need to be purchased and set up. I have not used other components provided by IBM, but most likely the setup of those would be straightforward too.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Having in mind all four tools from Garner’s top quadrant, the pricing of this tool is competitive and it reflects the quality that it offers. I am of the impression that the price can be adjusted depending on the plans that each organization has.

With respect to the licensing, there are different options available and it really depends on the needs of each organization. However, I believe the basic licensing is suitable for most of the cases.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I evaluated and tested SAS Enterprise Miner and KNIME.

What other advice do I have?

It is a great tool even for an individual with no or basic predictive modeling experience. Due to the very detailed online documentation and examples that IBM SPSS Modeler provides, even a novice employee can start using the tool and become productive in a short period of time. When it comes to advanced users that prefer to code in Python or R, IBM SPSS Modeler offers the capability to write Python or R code and create nodes for each specific task that can be easily reused just by drawing and dropping the nodes on the canvas.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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