Wolfram|Alpha (W|A) is launching a new fee-based service named Wolfram|Alpha Pro. In today’s highly competitive environment, you may wonder why W|A would ask people to pay for what many think should be free. Read on: you may decide to willingly open your wallet when you see what’s available.
Since Wolfram|Alpha launched in 2009, I’ve often wondered if the company would allow users to use their extremely powerful computing infrastructure to analyze their own data along with data sets available on the open web.
Well, they have and that’s what Wolfram|Alpha Pro is all about. As I wrote a few week’s ago, I’m a frequent W|A user and long-time admirer of the company and it’s founder, Stephen Wolfram. I think they’ve scored again.
The service has an introductory rate of $4.99/month with a reduced rate of $2.99/month for students. The company offers pricing for the enterprise. So, what does this initial launch offer?
Wolfram|Alpha Pro: Key Features
- Ability to Analyze Your Own Datasets Input of upload a data set and let Wolfram’s technology automatically recognize and analyze the data. For example, a timeline of your email, your credit card expenses, or a data set obtained from Data.gov.
- Data in more than 60 file formats can be uploaded and analyzed. From an XLS spreadsheet to an HTML document to the audio in a WAV file. Image files (in many formats) can also be analyzed. As you would expect, many science and math formats are also included.
- Access to extended keyboards like the one available with the Wolfram|Alpha mobile apps.
- Visualized and interactive results using the CDF (computational data format) that Wolfram launched last July.
What’s not available today is the ability to publish and compare, comment on or share results. According to Stephen Wolfram, these options are forthcoming.
I’ll can say now that while some of what Wolfram|Alpha Pro has to offer might not be for everybody today it very likely will be in the future as the amount of data available to analyze (personal data and publicly available datasets) continues to skyrocket.
In other words, Wolfram|Alpha pro is getting in on the ground floor of personal data analysis with a powerful but at the same time very easy to use tool that will appeal to everyone as data analysis moves out of the lab and office and into just about everyplace else.
Postscript by Barry Schwartz: On February 8th, Stephen Wolfram posted more details about this Pro offering on their blog.