Frontline Systems Launches, Full-Spectrum Cloud-Based Advanced Analytics Familiar to Business Users

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Web platform offers easy to use, comprehensive predictive and prescriptive analytics: data mining, text mining, forecasting, simulation and risk analysis, linear, nonlinear and stochastic optimization in a web browser, using a point-and-click interface familiar to hundreds of thousands of business users. Cloud-based Advanced Analytics Cloud-based Advanced Analytics

Other vendors are talking about ‘democratizing analytics’ through easier to use tools, but Frontline has been delivering on this vision for years.

Frontline Systems, developer of the Solver in desktop Microsoft Excel®, has released, a SaaS (software as a service) Azure-based platform that offers business analysts point-and-click tools to create predictive and prescriptive analytics models themselves, without needing expert data scientists or programmers – yet taking advantage of the full spectrum of analytic methods, from forecasting and data mining to simulation and optimization.

Though brand-new in its first release, inherits both the power of Frontline’s full analytics product line, and ease of use from over 25 years’ experience supporting business analysts using these methods in practice. Unlike most optimization and simulation vendors who are still desktop-based, Frontline now offers full-power prescriptive analytics in the cloud, with an interface that’s familiar and immediately usable by Excel users, including generations of MBA students.

Frontline has also released Analytic Solver Platform V2016-R3, a new version of its analytics tools for desktop Excel, to complement Both offerings feature a new Ribbon tab for model, data and account management that makes it easy to use the same models across desktop and cloud.

“Other vendors are talking about ‘democratizing analytics’ through easier to use tools,” said Daniel Fylstra, Frontline’s President and CEO, “but Frontline has been delivering on this vision for years.”

Advanced Analytics Unified from Desktop to Cloud

Frontline’s Premium Solver® and XLMiner® brand names have long histories, related to Microsoft Excel – but today they represent advanced prescriptive and predictive analytics tools, offered in cloud (browser-based) and desktop (Excel-based) compatible versions aimed at business analysts and developers.

Frontline’s Solver for desktop Excel, first introduced with Excel 3.0 in 1990, has been included in over 1.2 billion copies of Microsoft Office and Excel; versions for Excel Online and Google Sheets have been available for nearly three years. XLMiner, originally an Excel add-in created by Cytel Software and marketed by, was acquired by Frontline in 2011, rewritten from the ground up to use Web UI technologies and state-of-the-art analytics algorithms, and launched as a cloud service in January 2016.

Now, delivers an easy-to-use model-building experience for the full spectrum of advanced analytics – data mining, text mining, forecasting, simulation and risk analysis, linear, nonlinear and stochastic optimization – using only a browser. It’s fully compatible with datasets, optimization and simulation models in Excel workbooks, but it doesn’t require Excel desktop, Excel Online or Google Sheets. Business analysts can use it to create single-page web applications from their analytic models, without any programming, using Frontline’s RASON® modeling language and REST API.

User Interface Familiar to Business Users

In a web browser, offers a user interface with a Ribbon and drop-down menu choices, a Task Pane for model analysis and navigation, a spreadsheet-like grid and/or a text editor based on the UI of Frontline’s desktop analytics software, which has been actively used in applications by over 8,000 organizations, and learned by over 500,000 students over many years. The resemblance is sufficiently close that scores of textbooks that feature screen shots and step-by-step instructions based on Frontline’s desktop software can be used immediately with

Using Data and Models from Desktop and Cloud Sources

Loading data sets, query-based summaries, and representative random samples of data from Excel workbooks, SQL Azure databases, and Apache Spark Big Data clusters is a simple point-and-click operation on Not just data, but models in Excel workbook form can be uploaded to, and downloaded from the user’s online account. Users who are learning – via Frontline’s own online courses, or the hundreds of university courses that use Frontline’s analytics software – can easily choose from a dropdown list of 100 example models and datasets, crafted to illustrate ideas in data mining, forecasting, simulation and risk analysis, linear, nonlinear and stochastic optimization.

Forecasting, Data Mining and Text Mining

On, users can explore data using a Chart Wizard, feature selection, principal components, and k-means or hierarchical clustering; create exponential smoothing and ARIMA models for forecasting; perform text mining with latent semantic analysis; apply multiple regression, k-nearest neighbors, and ensembles of regression trees and neural networks for prediction, or discriminant analysis, logistic regression, naïve Bayes, k-nearest neighbors, and ensembles of classification trees and neural nets for classification problems; and use association rules for recommendation applications.

Monte Carlo Simulation and Risk Analysis users can build sophisticated Monte Carlo simulation models, with a Distribution Wizard, 50 probability distributions including compound distributions and automated distribution fitting, 50 statistics, risk measures and Six Sigma metrics, rank-order correlation and several types of copulas, and rich facilities for multiple parameterized simulations with reports, charts and graphs.

Conventional and Stochastic Optimization features powerful optimization capabilities, upward compatible from the Excel Solver – including fast linear, quadratic and mixed-integer programming, and conic, nonlinear, non-smooth and global optimization, using a dozen of the world’s best Solver Engines. Users can easily incorporate uncertainty – using the tools from Monte Carlo simulation – and solve using their models using simulation optimization, stochastic programming, and robust optimization methods.

Easiest-Ever Model Deployment to Web Applications

Where deploying a model in a production application was once a difficult process that often meant rewriting the model in a programming language, models can be prepared for deployment by simply clicking the Create App dropdown menu – which immediately yields a self-contained, working application in a web page, using JavaScript and RASON. RASON models also work readily with C/C++, C#, Java, Python, R and Matlab, and are flexible enough to run on desktop PCs, on-premise servers, or on websites or in mobile apps using REST API calls to Frontline’s cloud service.

Frontline Systems Inc. ( is the leader in analytics for spreadsheets and the web, helping business analyst and managers gain insights and make better decisions for an uncertain future. Its products integrate forecasting and data mining for “predictive analytics,” Monte Carlo simulation and risk analysis, and conventional and stochastic optimization for “prescriptive analytics.” Founded in 1987, Frontline is based in Incline Village, Nevada (775-831-0300).

Excel® is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. Premium Solver®, XLMiner®, Analytic Solver® and RASON® are registered trademarks of Frontline Systems, Inc.

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