There’s a remarkable trend in the analytics industry right now. Many analytics vendors are suddenly claiming to do it all. But, in fact, they are really just scrambling. They’re publishing roadmaps and promising they’ll soon develop compelling new features that dramatically enhance their business intelligence systems. They’re announcing plans for data management, cognitive underpinning, machine learning, big data scalability, cloud and hybrid cloud deployments, and more—all things the IBM analytics suite does now.
Leading, not playing catch-up
This trend flatters IBM because vendor after vendor is saying they’re excited to be adding capabilities that IBM already offers. Yes, business analytics is still evolving rapidly. But, IBM is leading the way, connecting capabilities that other vendors don’t even offer yet.
Consider the case of Motivate. Motivate operates Citi Bike NYC along with bike share operations in Chicago, Boston and elsewhere. For bike sharing to work, it takes analytics: to assess where people are using bikes and how to allocate resources. Moreover, there are the usual personnel, revenue and efficiency considerations on the business end. What’s special about Motivate is that their raw ridership dataset is publicly available. As a result, many of the hottest data discovery vendors are playing with it.
An IBM team applied the IBM analytics suite to this well-known dataset. The result was a whole new level of insight and a transformation in how Motivate runs its business.
By combining the bike use data with weather data from The Weather Company, we could see how ridership numbers fluctuated in different weather conditions. The correlation between cold temperatures and low ridership numbers seems straightforward, but that’s misleading.
It wasn’t just time of day and season that predicted ridership. We uncovered a complicated set of variables that included temperature, humidity, dew point, community characteristics and more.
With a sophisticated model that mapped to historical data, we were peered into the future and predicedt future use patterns. Our team reached out to Motivate and shared what we’d done. And, they were impressed enough to become IBM customers.
Motivate with analytics
Because it can combine so many different kinds of data, the IBM Analytics suite is able to provide answers that go well beyond simple (often misleading) correlations. The suite incorporates a machine learning layer so the predictive model gets more accurate and sophisticated over time. Instead of requiring regular audit and validation, the system monitors and improves its own performance.
So, with IBM Analytics, Motivate can go beyond asking “Where were the most bikes used last week?” and instead get the answers to:
- “What kind of ridership numbers and distribution can we expect next week?”
- “What factors drive ridership in a particular community?”
- “How can we make sure we have the right bikes in the right place at the right time?”
Analytics suite for all
The IBM Analytics advantage is more than underlying technology and data management, though. It’s also about making data analysis and results available to people with virtually any technical skill level in a managed environment, wherever they happen to be. Think about an analytics suite that:
- Automates visualizations and generates reports and dashboards you can easily understand and share
- Reveals what’s happening in your business right now and what you can expect to happen in future
- Uses machine learning to continually validate, update and refine predictive models
- Identifies questions you might not even have thought of asking
In addition, the IBM analytics suite transforms organizations in all kinds of industries and organizations. Sales, manufacturing, logistics, software, marketing, retail, industry, government can all benefit from sophisticated, comprehensive, accessible analytics.
The bike sharing example is great, but it’s not the only one
At Analytics University, Marc Altshuller, IBM General Manager, Business Analytics, took the stage to expound on the value of the IBM Analytics suite and to tell a much broader story. You can catch the recording of the keynote, which include his message here. And, visit us online to learn more about how business analytics can help you fuel creativity, find new opportunities, and turn insight into action.