ThetaRay Advanced Analytics Platform

At a glance

Product Advanced Analytics Platform

Company ThetaRay 

Price Varies based on customer requirements. 

What it does Big Data analytics platform. 

What we liked The product's flexibility was impressive. 

The bottom line Whether you're detecting fraud or threat hunting on your enterprise, this really is a must-have analysis tool.

Here in the SC Lab, we like Big Data – not the Big Data hype, but the real thing. Big Data means that there needs to be high volume, variability, velocity and veracity. It's nice if you can limit your collection to structured data, but that is not always possible. However, even if you can maintain structured data, the structure is sure to change – so that “variability” piece still is there. If, as well, you can reconcile yourself to the fact that it really doesn't matter what the data is about, it's still just bits and bytes as far as the analysis tools are concerned.

The challenge, no matter what the nature of the data is, is to find anomalistic indicators – outliers, if you prefer – that can tell you something about what is going on in the dataset. When you have high volumes of data that are changing rapidly, you have a challenge that is far beyond the ability of a human to keep up and deal with problems in near real time. Identifying potential problems, then, is what it means to be a Big Data analytics tool. 

Take the seven algorithms that ThetaRay has developed – based on years of academic research – and you have something that can be applied to the problem, at least one would hope for that. As it happens, your hopes would be realized in the ThetaRay Advanced Analytics Platform. Although this tool evolved out of the cyber world, it has done yeoman's duty identifying fraudulent financial transactions, problems in the aircraft and space industries and several other applications.

We had a bit of difficulty getting our heads around the fact that it doesn't matter what the data are as long as they're related in some way, are structured and there is a lot of it. The product consumes structured data – database, spreadsheet, whatever – and simply starts applying its algorithms to the calculations. Once the number-crunching is done, the presentation is provided on a clean, easy-to-understand user interface. The UI looks a lot like the dashboards with which we are familiar and comfortable. 

Once you have the big picture the drilldown starts. The first drilldown takes you to a bubble chart that shows those elements that you need to know about. It's a sort of high-level view of the topic of a particular indicator on the dashboard. The bubbles represent anomalous features and, initially, only the top ones are displayed. However, you can show everything if you wish. We are fans of the 80/20 rule that says 80 percent of your problems are caused by the top 20 percent of the trouble-makers. 

This is a very good tool, even if you are not a Big Data analytics maven. As any good tool is supposed to do, this one makes your job easier and, perhaps, even doable when it might not otherwise be. You don't have to know what's under the mathematical covers, you just need to know your environment and what your data represent. From that point, just let ThetaRay Advanced Analytics Platform do its thing and you can reap the rewards. We love that kind of tool! 

Peter Stephenson, technology editor

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