1984 – The company was established in 1984 as a partnership of a group of university professors and scientists. Although their research interests were in different areas of quantitative data analysis, they had one thing in common: In order to analyze data from their own research, they each had to develop custom statistical procedures, which were either not available on the market or available only in command-driven, inflexible, and tedious-to-use mainframe (or mainframe-like) programs.
The company started with only five employees; its first products (PsychoStat-2 and PsychoStat-3, designed mainly for natural and social scientists) included menu-driven libraries of flexible statistical procedures integrated with data management. The programs could run with only 64k of memory (yes, 64 thousand bytes, i.e. around 30,000 times less memory than the average computer in 2009), were available in versions for all microcomputer platforms (including Apple II, CP/M, Commodore, and the "new" PC DOS 1.0), and due to their flexibility and ease of use, they quickly gained in popularity.
1985 – StatSoft started to grow rapidly. In 1985 it was incorporated following the release of its first general market product: Statistical Supplement for Lotus 1-2-3 (the first statistics add-on for the Lotus spreadsheet, later released in a stand-alone version as STATS+). In the same year, StatSoft releasedStatFast, which was the very first statistics package released for the newly introduced Apple Macintosh. The program offered a selection of basic statistics and graphs integrated with a data editor and could run even on a 128k Macintosh (that is a Macintosh with 15,000 times less memory than the average Mac in 2009) with a single floppy drive.
1986 – Following the success of the Statistical Supplement for Lotus 1-2-3 and StatFast programs, two new units (the Analytical Graphics group and the Numerical Optimization group) were added to the StatSoft Research and Development Department in the spring of 1986. In this new organizational structure, the work began on a new project: expanding and integrating all existing StatSoft lines of software into a large statistical package - CSS (Complete Statistical System), featuring specialized modules for all areas of statistics in business, science, and engineering.
1987 – In the fall of 1987, StatSoft released the first part of CSS, a comprehensive statistical system featuring advanced memory management designed to overcome limitations of 16-bit computers, low-level numerical optimizations, and custom-designed input/output technology, which were largely responsible for the program's unmatched speed. This first part of CSS (statistics and data management only) included prototypes of many of the unique features of input, output, and analysis control (e.g., Scrollsheets) that were further developed in the subsequent releases of the program and later became trademarks of StatSoft software technology.
1988 - 1990 – In the fall of 1988, StatSoft released a version of CSS featuring the first prototype mechanism of a unique integration between numerical results and graphics - where all numerical output could be interactively visualized in a variety of ways. The new graphical features of the program were so well received by customers that the company decided to expand the Analytical Graphics group of its Research and Development Department and to invest more in the development of the graphics aspects of the system. (A major result of this decision was the new graphics technology introduced in 1991 in the STATISTICA line of software, see below.)
One of the many unique features of CSS was the comprehensiveness and quality of the statistical procedures (that were developed by experts from the respective fields of research or practice). For example, the general ANOVA/MANOVA module featured a version of the well-known Ganova algorithm (written by J.A. Woodward and M.L. Brecht from UCLA); the Quality Control and Process Analysis modules have been continuously updated and improved based on the reviews and suggestions of experienced engineers practicing SPC in various actual production environments. In 1988, the company also released a more powerful program for the Macintosh: MacSS (Macintosh Statistical System).
These years were marked by a steady increase in the popularity and recognition of the CSS line of software. The company received many large orders from major corporations and universities. The demand for StatSoft products overseas also grew rapidly. In 1988, StatSoft of Europe - the first StatSoft international office - was opened in Hamburg, Germany [later incorporated as StatSoft (Europe) GmbH]. At the same time, all R&D resources of the company were devoted to the development of a new, advanced line of statistics software: STATISTICA, which was designed to offer in several areas entirely new levels of functionality not available at that time in any data analysis software. More than 60% of StatSoft revenues were devoted at that time to research and development (more than four times the industry average). In 1990, StatSoft Inc. rejected a major offer from one of the largest software companies, which intended to acquire the STATISTICA technology; StatSoft Inc. decided to remain an independent company.
1991 – The first (DOS) version of STATISTICA (a new, graphically oriented line of statistics software) was released in March 1991. STATISTICA/DOS offered the largest selection of graphics in a single system available on the market and a number of technological advantages unmatched by any other software for any microcomputer or mainframe platform. The program's numerical optimizations of many procedures enabled the users to process extremely large data sets (and designs) on inexpensive PCs; at the same time, most of its accuracy-sensitive procedures featured so-called extended (or quadruple) precision, which can be matched only by arbitrary-precision math programs. Its proprietary input/output technology, coupled with virtual memory management, allowed for the analysis of designs that required as much as 300 megabytes of memory (RAM or active workspace) to be performed on 16-bit operating systems. The program's extremely fast data management could handle an unlimited number of records containing up to 32,000 variables (or up to 8 megabytes) per record. The selection of its graphs, the level of their integration with numerical results, and the on-screen customization and multigraphics management options in STATISTICA/DOS placed it beyond any other software product in its category available on the market. STATISTICA/DOS was one of the most successful vertical market applications. Some of its unique features and user interface solutions have become standards for statistical and analytical graphics software.
1992 – The Macintosh version of STATISTICA repeated the success of its DOS counterpart: Only two months after STATISTICA/Mac was first shipped (in January 1992), the results of a survey of a random sample of 1,000 readers of MacWORLD placed it on the list of the best products in its class (MacWORLD's"World-Class Award" survey). STATISTICA/Mac also quickly gained popularity overseas; for example, it is the first statistical software package for the Macintosh that was available in Japanese.
1993 – The new Windows version of STATISTICA, pre-released in 1993 (version 4.0, see below). Represented the crowning achievement of the Research and Development Department of StatSoft, Inc. This product, which was the result of a three-year large-scale development project, was not merely a "Windows conversion of a DOS program," but the first statistics package that offered true MDI (Multi-Document Interface) handling of the output and took full advantage of Windows' object-oriented technology. Its data, results, and graph windows could be treated as objects and converted into one another in a number of ways. The graphics technology (e.g., proprietary resolution enhancement, smart zoom, and region selection procedures) and its integration with numerical output, the flawlessness of the user interface of STATISTICA, and the capacity and speed of its computational modules all set new standards for numerical and graphical analysis software.
1994-1998 – The reception of STATISTICA - 4.0, 4.5, 5.0, 5.1, '97 Edition, and '98 Edition. The initial release of STATISTICA for Windows (4.0) was followed by releases 4.5, 5.0, 5.1, '97 Edition, and '98 Edition, and they continued to set the new performance, quality, capacity, and comprehensiveness standards for statistics, graphics, and analytic data management software. With each release, the response of users was consistently and overwhelmingly positive. All reviewers of STATISTICA for Windows unanimously evaluated it as the best and most powerful statistics software on the market. Further, even as of this printing, STATISTICA has received the highest rating in EVERY comparative review of statistics software in which it has been featured; in the entire history of the software industry, very few products have ever achieved that record. This includes comparative reviews of statistics software in virtually all major computer journals and magazines that have reviewed statistics software (e.g., PC Magazine, PC World, BYTE), many specialized professional publications (e.g.,Biotechnology Software, Scientific Computing, and periodicals in the area of quality control), articles written by statisticians (e.g., NATURE, Statistical Papers) and users of statistics (e.g., Government Computer News), and also many Reader's Choice Awards based on surveys conducted by the editors.
The American Society for Quality Control (ASQC) catalog of recommended books and software (1996) callsSTATISTICA "the hands-down winner of competitive comparisons by independent firms" (page 71).
In his review of STATISTICA, Harvey Kaye (the author of Decision Power) concluded: "STATISTICA has the best user interface I have seen in a program. (...) The design of the program is remarkable...Five other statistics programs on the market all claim to be the best. Only STATISTICA dares to compare. They give you actual performance comparisons and explain the limitations of each competitor's program. (...) After trying STATISTICA for myself, I can see why they are so confident. This program is a software engineering superstar."
In the summary of a comparative review of statistics packages with graphics capabilities and technical graphics programs, the editors of PC Graphics & Video concluded: "Pure and simple, StatSoft'sSTATISTICA 4.5 is the king of data visualization tools." (August, 1995).
STATISTICA 5.0, which was released in the fall of 1995, automatically configures itself for new 32-bit Windows 95/NT or the older version of Windows (3.1) and features a large number of new statistics and graphics procedures, a word-processor-style output editor of unlimited capacity (combining tables and graphs), and a built-in professional development environment that enables the user to easily design new procedures (e.g., via the included, comprehensive STATISTICA Basic language) and integrate them with the STATISTICA system.
Alan Fridlund entitled his InfoWORLD review of STATISTICA 5.0 "Sophisticated STATISTICA is a slick jack-of- all-trades: Wealth of features easy to access," and concluded: "StatSoft's STATISTICA release 5.0 is a head-turner. It's a statistical package so chock full of statistical analyses, graphs, and helpful features that it's bewildering to behold. (...) STATISTICA has the earmarks of a breakthrough package." (InfoWORLD, October 30, 1995, page 106).
STATISTICA 5.1 was released in the first quarter of 1996 and was followed by STATISTICA '97 and '98 editions. Some of the many new features added to the already comprehensive list in STATISTICA 5.0 were state-of-the-art implementations of Correspondence analysis, Variance components, Classification trees, a powerful development environment (and new functions in STATISTICA Basic), several hours of unique, multimedia training materials, and comprehensive HTML (Internet) support.
ENTER (a leading Polish computer magazine) stated: "It is hard to imagine anything better. This program is simply ingenious."(June '97, p.45). Scientific Computing World (a leading European scientific computing monthly)summarized: "Most statistical software ... are ... serving as a specialist component on a desktop built from standard applications. STATISTICA is likely to reverse this, for those teams that can use it to the full, becoming the central core around which the mainstream desktop reorganizes itself. The review group found that by the end of one project, that spreadsheet and database had been reduced to buffers between STATISTICA equivalents and other desktops. Graphics packages became redundant for project related work, with output going directly to word processor, presentation software or DTP. (...) STATISTICA '97 edition is a massive and impressive toolset that redefines software relationships within a statistics-oriented environment" (June '97, pp. 37-38).
An article entitled "The Program That Can: STATISTICA Pleases Professionals" in the December 1997 issue of Quality Digest evaluated virtually all aspects of STATISTICA Industrial System (STATISTICA 5.1 withSTATISTICA Industrial System) in the most positive terms: "As with all sections, the (QC) tools are solid, well designed, reliable, and comprehensive. (...) The program's capabilities are too extensive to detail in a short review."
In a comprehensive, technical evaluation of the program, two reviewers in the April 1998 issue ofErgonomics in Design had high praise for practically all areas of the functionality of the STATISTICAsystem: "STATISTICA includes a number of special features that are impressive (...) we were most impressed with the level of integration between numerical results and graphics (...) there are literally hundreds of specialized statistical graphs to display your results, and thousands of integrated graphics options (...) Learning to use STATISTICA was equally easy (...) Consulting the manuals or even the context-sensitive electronic manual was not usually necessary (...) Now to the bottom line. Does it do what it claims to do? The answer is an unqualified" (...) The price for STATISTICA is reasonable (...)STATISTICA will most certainly do more than you will ever have a use for, but it's comforting to find a single package that includes procedures that give you what you're looking for."
In a comprehensive evaluation of STATISTICA 5.1 published in the November 1998 issue of Scientific Data Management (Software Reviews), practically all aspects of the functionality of the program received the highest marks. Scientific Data Management called STATISTICA "a very powerful and amazingly flexible product. If anything, it is almost too flexible and you are overwhelmed by choice ... this is a heavy weight package by any definition ... this is an excellent product and provides an amazing range of features and customization with stunning graphics."
For a complete listing and summaries of published reviews, please refer to Journal Reviews ofSTATISTICA located on the StatSoft Website.
At StatSoft, we very much appreciate these extremely positive evaluations of our products in published magazine reviews. However, the most valuable feedback for us are the opinions of the users of our software, because the users put the programs through the most reliable and most valid tests of all: real-world applications. A comprehensive sample of more than 500 comments from users who authorized StatSoft to quote their opinions (representing a wide variety of statistics applications in science, business, education, and manufacturing) is featured on the StatSoft Web site. The next section also includes an authorized report of results of a survey (conducted on behalf of SCIENCE magazine) that provides information on how StatSoft's products are perceived by a randomly selected sample of researchers, scientists, and administrators of science.
1995-1998 – A transition to enterprise computing. Since its first release in 1993, the STATISTICA line of software has dynamically grown not only in terms of its analytic power and comprehensiveness but also its customizability, programmability, compatibility, and connectivity with other applications and especially with other components of enterprise computer environments. Over that period of time, the StatSoft Research and Development department was working closely with its corporate clients and remained as responsive as ever to the evolving needs of the market that started looking for new, "integrative" qualities of software. Significant development efforts and investments were devoted to make STATISTICA the most powerful and easy to deploy analytic tool for enterprise environments, where a tight integration with centralized data warehouses and flexible tools for collaborative work (the groupware functionality) are expected. As a result of this effort, STATISTICA emerged as a leading enterprise application. It offers not only the most advanced and user-friendly analytic tools for the desktop user, but also leverages these tools to the enterprise level with the use of cutting-edge enterprise system integration and high-performance connectivity technologies. The two main lines of StatSoft's enterprise solutions: STATISTICA Enterprise, and STATISTICA Enterprise/QC offer not only the unmatched analytic power of STATISTICA (which provides the front end for these systems) but also virtually unlimited customizability. These systems can either provide stand-alone solutions (with stand-alone data warehouses) or can be seamlessly integrated with existing corporate repositories of data. In the latter case, STATISTICA Enterprise or STATISTICA Enterprise/QC can provide its own (linkable) data warehouse or act as a component of an existing system (e.g., corporate ERP software). STATISTICA Enterprise/QC, which also includes a comprehensive selection of sophisticated SPC (statistical process and quality control) analyses and state-of-the-art data collection/connectivity options, is now successfully managing all quality control and monitoring operations at some of the most modern production facilities in the world.
1999-2000 – STATISTICA – A leader in scalable solutions (from a single desktop to the largest enterprise "collective business intelligence" systems). In 1999, StatSoft unveiled a new generation of enhancements and optimizations to the enterprise and connectivity products, along with new releases of specialized add-on products, including most comprehensive implementations of the GLM (General Linear Models), GSR (General Stepwise Regression), GLZ (Generalized Linear/Nonlinear Models), and PLS (Partial Least Squares) methods available on the market. These powerful modeling tools are integrated with a wide selection of unique visualization techniques designed for both exploration/data mining and hypothesis testing.
The consistent feedback from the users and the market is reaffirming StatSoft's position as an industry leader, offering a broad range of analytic solutions for the entire spectrum of real-life applications - from a single desktop (or classroom) to the largest enterprise computing systems. The STATISTICA line of applications offers the most comprehensive collections of solutions for:
- data analysis and data mining/knowledge discovery
- quality monitoring, control, and improvement
- decision support and appraisal, and
- strategic information delivery, sharing, and proactive broadcasting.
In 1999 and 2000, StatSoft products continue to enjoy not only an unprecedented level of recognition in formal independent reviews and comparisons published by experts, but also a remarkable level of user satisfaction.
In May of 1999, STATISTICA is called "A Carnival of Stats" in SCIENCE, a widely recognized, "top general science journal" read by a broad spectrum of scientists. In his review, author Bruce McCallum summarizes: "STATISTICA maintains the top position among standardized statistical computer programs." He further applauds the program by saying, "Authors cite STATISTICA in the methods section of their papers because of the program's high standards, commitment to accuracy, and technical sophistication for output."
Reviewer Felix Grant evaluated both single-user and enterprise products in the August/September 2000 issue of Scientific Computing World. The author summarizes by saying that STATISTICA "excels in delivering clearly branded intuitive methods, ergonomic appeal, responsiveness and adaptability to a wide range of consumers." Grant calls STATISTICA 5.5 "thoroughly modular, extremely open, and extensively customizable." He claims that STATISTICA possesses "a uniquely intuitive usability which weighs heavily with real-world users" and features "the best onboard large database capability of any product in its market." During this time, StatSoft's enterprise SPC system is also reviewed favorably in various publications and by some of its users both in the U.S. and overseas.
2001 – A New Generation of STATISTICA. The release of STATISTICA 6 marks a new generation of statistical software. STATISTICA 6 is based on the COM architecture and high-end technologies (such as multithreading and support for distributed processing for large enterprise installations) usually not found in such "vertical market" applications as data analysis software. As a result, STATISTICA offers unique functionality and usability features that no other competing product can offer.
Users upgrading from previous versions of STATISTICA enjoyed more new features and enhancements to the program than any other upgrade in StatSoft's 17-year history. In addition to the further refined user-interface, the virtually endless possibilities for customization, and the enhanced options for Web-enablement, that release made STATISTICA the only data analysis software on the market that featured built-in industry-standard Visual Basic scripting that gives programmers access to ALL functionality in the program (i.e., the same as Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word). In the first review of STATISTICA 6, "THE FUTURE IS HERE... Superior Performance, Enhanced Handling, and No Glitches," published just a few months after its release in the July/August 2001 issue of Scientific Computing World, reviewer F. Grant enthusiastically welcomes the new version. After running STATISTICA alongside competing products Grant concludes, "I have become a fan (of STATISTICA), encountering only superior performance, enhanced handling, and no glitches". In the remainder of the review, Grant praises many areas of the program; "Graphics benefit from an impressive range of incremental improvements with new types, more visual and intuitive access selection, enhanced brushing and zooming, style management, and interactive sectioning of 3D constructs. There are new statistical procedures in modeling and data mining, and improvements in a swathe of others. The whole package, never slow on its feet, has gained noticeably in speed and responsiveness."
2002-2007 – Beyond the traditional enterprise computing systems - the new world of distributed, Web-based solutions with powerful data mining tools. StatSoft's relentless pursuit of new, more effective solutions designed to better meet the growing needs of the advanced "information-driven economy" of the 21st century led to the creation of a variety of new technologies and innovative products. StatSoft continued to grow and continued to spend more than 30% of its revenues on Research and Development. Releases 7 and 8 of STATISTICA expanded StatSoft product line in a variety of ways aligned with the growing, specific needs of the world economy - as it continued to rely increasingly on advanced analytics. The selection of data mining tools offered in STATISTICA Data Minerearned it the name of the most comprehensive data mining application on the market (see Reviews). The comprehensiveness of the data mining tools was additionally enhanced by innovative distributed processing technology and support for supercomputer-like architecture where massive, computationally intensive tasks could be executed by clusters of computers over the web. Also, StatSoft became one of one the leading providers of analytic tools for the FDA regulated industries (including pharmaceutical and food manufacturing), offering not only compliant products and services but also specialized solutions, such as a document management system seamlessly built into the StatSoft product line.
Ease of use, effective user interfaces. Companies today tend to have a wealth of data and many knowledge workers - not only those with degrees in data analysis - need to mine these data and identify the valuable patterns they hide. Methods to quickly and effectively harness the knowledge hidden in these data and turn it into actionable results are needed. STATISTICA has added many tools that are easy to use, understand and deploy. For example, to fill the need for an easy path from data to decisions, Data Miner Recipes was introduced in Version 8. The Data Miner Recipe tool offers one click data mining results. The steps of a typical data mining project are mapped to take the user from a data set to a deployable model with minimal understanding of mechanics of data mining. Alternatively, a data mining expert will find Data Miner Recipes a useful, time saving tool as well, since all steps of the project are customizable.
2008-2009 – Broadening the enterprise product line, optimized 64-bit computing, and the inception of StatSoft PowerSolutions, Inc. (a company that helps to produce cleaner energy). StatSoft products and in particular, the server-based enterprise platform continue to expand by adding specialized features to support newly emerging analytic needs, as well as more of new, unique tools. For example, Monitoring and Alerting System was released - an enterprise server-class product that is capable of processing in the background thousands of variables and monitoring complex, interactive patterns between them to predict that process may not be compliant any more with a specific model or may be drifting out of specification limits (before any limits are actually visibly exceeded). Release 9 ofSTATISTICA has upgraded the entire line of StatSoft products to highly optimized 64-bit computing. By the end of the first decade of the 21st century, StatSoft product line is offering a uniquely comprehensive and powerful selection of technologies, solutions, and integration services, including:
- Data analysis tools for virtually any application, including validated installations for the FDA-regulated industries
- Integrated, server-centric analytic applications for all categories of analysts (from advanced R&D statisticians to occasional users and consumers of simple analytic reports)
- Extremely comprehensive applications for predictive and exploratory data mining and text mining
- Server-centric, guided analytic solutions with automated, user/function specific interfaces
- Quality control and improvement applications including a broad selection of tools for implementation of Six Sigma initiatives, "predictive QC" and "QC mining"
- Intelligent, real-time monitoring and predictive monitoring of processes (from remote equipment to the distribution of energy, water, or services)
- Distributed, intelligent data warehousing solutions
- Document management systems - 21 CFR Part 11, and Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliant - fully integrated with analytic solutions
All these categories of applications are built on highly scalable kernels, and they are based on a cutting edge distributed / parallel processing technology that divides the processing load of computationally intensive applications across multiple servers over the web. This supercomputer-like architecture is capable of delivering astounding performance using even very inexpensive computer hardware. StatSoft is now a clearly recognized leading provider of enterprise systems for a broad array of analytic applications, and the only provider of fully web-enabled, comprehensive analytic systems where a complete array of analytic tools can be accessed via thin Client using a Web browser. StatSoft is also the leader in the area of "intelligent" (predictive) systems for monitoring and improving quality, and after the recent consolidation in the industry, StatSoft is currently the largest company in the world that offers QC systems for the enterprise, supported by full-service offices in 20 overseas locations on all continents.
StatSoft enterprise solutions have now been validated in some of the most demanding, mission-critical applications at world leading companies, and in a variety of industries including the manufacturing, chemical, and pharmaceutical sectors of the economy, and many other industries. Some of the largest multinational corporations have now standardized on StatSoft solutions and integrated them deep inside the most sensitive components of their computer infrastructures. StatSoft products are used at so many companies in so many applications, and they helped develop so many products and helped make so many inventions, that it is safe to say that our company is making major contributions to technological progress and overall productivity.
StatSoft Power Solutions - "an alternative energy company" was established in Spring of 2008 as a fully owned subsidiary of StatSoft to provide solution packages designed for utility companies, for optimizing power plant performance and reliability (availability of capacity), and for reducing harmful emissions. Based on over 20 years of experience in applying advanced data driven data mining optimization technologies for process optimization in various industries, these solutions enable power plants to improve their operations by using their existing control systems and equipment, and leveraging existing historical data.
By applying advanced knowledge discovery algorithms, and patent-pending specialized methods for achieving optimized robust performance, this technology enables operators to achieve lower emissions (e.g., lower NOx, CO), greater efficiency, and greater reliability (e.g., by stabilizing critical performance parameters, such as furnace gas exit temperature, etc.) for a small fraction of the cost and in a much shorter time than the hardware-based solutions to the same problems that cost hundreds of millions of dollars and years to deploy. StatSoft PowerSolutions, Inc new patented and/or patent-pending proven methods are applicable to furnaces of various designs, and in particular to fossil-fuel power plants, and technologies ranging from older cyclone -, t-fired, or wall-fired to atmospheric pressure fluidized-bed boilers, and newer coal gasification furnaces, and not are being deployed in other industries that face similar problems (steel production, cement production, paper and pulp industry).
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