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Getting Started with Predixion Insight Developer Edition

Nov 26 2012

You may not be aware that just a few weeks ago we released our Predixion Insight Developer Edition.  I have to say I’m happily surprised at the amount of uptake and attention this release had generated, with new users coming on board and adopting Predixion Insight as their predictive platform of choice.



Predixion Insight Developer Edition is a completely free version of our Predixion Insight Enterprise that is licensed for development, testing, and evaluation purposes.  This is the exact same service that we deploy in the cloud and with our enterprise customers – you get the whole enchilada that you can deploy right on your desktop or laptop.

Since Predixion Insight is a server product the pre-requisites and installation can be burdensome to the non-technical crew.  If that describes you, and you still want to use Predixion Insight for dev, test, and eval purposes, you can use our cloud service – again, for free – under the same restrictions.  Since it is a hosted service, you won’t get the full flexibility of the enterprise platform, but all of the Office-integrated analytical functionality will be at your disposal.  Subscribe to the cloud service here.

If you are technical enough to install some server-type software, then read on.


One of the great value of Predixion Insight is how easily and naturally it integrates into the Microsoft BI stack.  This means that in order to set up Predixion Insight, you will have to have a hefty bit of that stack installed first.

In a categorized list here is what you will need – many components can be used via evaluation editions.

An Operating System, one of:

  • Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate 64-bit
  • Windows 8 Pro 64-bit
  • Windows Server 2008 64-bit
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit (eval)

SQL Server, one of:

  • SQL Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Edition (eval)
  • SQL Server 2012 BI Edition (or higher) (eval)

Microsoft Office, one of:

  • Office 2007
  • Office 2010 (eval)
  • Office 2013 (eval)

Optional Office Add-ons (for Office 2010)

Predixion Insight Download

  • Installation Package (link) (make sure to click the “like” button!)


I recommend that you install all the prerequisites prior to installing Predixion Insight.  Typically a default installation of any of the components is suitable, but the installation of SQL Server has some specific requirements.  In order to run Predixion Insight, you will need the SQL Server Database Engine Services and the SQL Server Analysis Services components.  For SQL Server Analysis Services, you need to install it in Multidimensional and Data Mining mode – again, this is the default.  Importantly, the database engine and Analysis Services instances need to share the same instance name.  Yet again, this is the default, but for all of you who have already customized your installation, you may need to fix things up.  (You may also want to install SQL Server client tools and SQL Server Integration Services as well, but these have no impact on your install)

There is also a trick to installing Office 2013 if you want the 64-bit version (of course you do!).  The installer for Office 2013 only installs the 32-bit product!  In order to install the 64-bit version you have to run a separate installer which is located in the x64 directory of the installation media.

Once you have all of the prerequisites installed, installing Predixion Insight should be rather straightforward.  The installation procedure will install the Predixion Insight server components as well as the Predixion Insight portal and the Predixion Insight client for Excel.  If you have installed the prerequisites using default settings, you Predixion Insight should install without changing any settings.  If there are any additional prerequisites based on your particular system configuration, the installer will either try to install those pieces automatically if possible, or will let you know about what pieces are missing.

One piece that could be tricky is selecting the right version of the Predixion Insight client for Excel, since you need to know the precise version (2007, 2010, 2013), “bitted-ness” (32 or 64), and, for Office 2010, the version of PowerPivot (2008 R2 or 2012).  The installer does a best guess choice for you and disables obviously wrong choices, so it’s not that stressful and if you get this wrong, you can fix it later.

Other than that, the installer will ask you for a license key, which you can acquire directly from the installer (it takes you to our web page) – and then you’re done.

First Run

The first time you run Predixion Insight you should go to the thin client portal.  This portal is an end-user and management portal for Predixion Insight.  You can get there by following the linkhttp://localhost/predixionweb (clicking this link before installing Predixion Insight will get you nowhere).  At the Predixion Insight portal, you can activate your local account by clicking on the link provided (and see that you have no models or anything yet) and check out all of the management pages for the Predixion Insight Enterprise server for which you just installed a developer license.

The next thing to try is to run Excel.  The first time you run Excel after installing Predixion Insight you will be prompted to download and install the Predixion Insight Addin – actually it’s the “rest” of the Addin that is installed directly from the server.  Once this happens you will see the Insight Analytics and Insight Now ribbons inside Excel.

Cool Things to Try

Now that you’re up and running with Predixion Insight Dev Edition you should try building some models and performing some analyses.  The included sample workbook provides some data sets with which to try some of the features, but I encourage you to try your own.  Once you have built a model, use the View tool to launch our interactive viewers to understand and interact with the model and add some comments.

Next, become the envy of all your friends by publishing your model to a shared collection.  Use the management portal to grant privileges to use your Predixion Insight server to a colleague (you can also use a group), and then use the Publish tool in the Insight Analytics ribbon to create a new collection, publish your model, and assign permissions.  View your model in the new collection, create a permalink to a view you particularly like (click the info button), and email to all your friends!  Instant collaborative predictive analytics!

 If You Get Stuck

If for any reason you get stuck in the installation process – do not despair – the entire Predixion development staff is eager to hear of your travails (and your triumphs!).  Post your issues on ourforums and we will get right on the issue.  Please feel free to post in the forums for any reason related to the usage of the product – if there’s a feature you want more information or even just to bounce ideas of the dev team – it’s your connection to us so feel free to use it.

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