The data scientist’s guide to IBM BlueMix

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If you are crunching, munching and re-purposing  data at your day job, solving business or social problems, you are a data scientist—no matter what your title says. (And chances are good that very soon, you will have the title, too.) The data science buzz is powerful right now, but also confusing. It requires a good combination of mathematics, statistics and software engineering skills to create a powerful outcome from a billion records, which in their raw form are just called data and have no value.

Enter Codename: BlueMix.

This week, IBM announced the open beta of the next generation IBM platform, called BlueMix, at IBM Pulse 2014 in Las Vegas. BlueMix is the solution for enterprise developers who want to leverage the power of a scalable, secure cloud platform in a quick, efficient way. With BlueMix, you can compose an application and get started coding your front-end in minutes.

BlueMix is a product of IBM Design, a new product-focused group formed in IBM to create a highly user-centered experience. It utilizes IBM Design Thinking, keeping in mind that you as a developer or a data scientist would like to use technology to explore and create a prototype easily so that you and your potential customers can evaluate your next billion dollar idea and based on that, you can keep improving.

IBM BlueMix data scientist

The goal of the BlueMix is to enable you to turn your idea into the next billion dollar business.

(Related: IBM leads with Codename: BlueMix at Pulse 2014)

To build an idea, it starts with a line of code. BlueMix was designed with the user in mind. Let’s say a fictional person named Spencer has an idea to create a unique algorithm to predict a customer’s loyalty and churn in a subscription-based service business. Our economy is 80 percent services-based and whether it is mobile phone service, cable service, rent-a-tuxedo or online flowers—you name it, they rely on customer subscriptions and customer loyalty. Before you try to sell your idea to your customers and venture capitalists, you need to be able to build an application prototype quickly and rapidly without thinking about IT investment.

BlueMix is open for you. As soon as you join us in beta you are presented with a list of application runtimes and services that you can use to get started with building your dream app. Whether you are building a mobile app or a web app, BlueMix has everything you need under one platform.

BlueMix data

Going back to fictional Spencer’s idea, he finds various data services that are available for him, but IBM BLU Acceleration for Cloud service is something that catches his attention and as he reads the overview he knows this is what he is looking for to build his predictive analytics prototype.

Spencer can now complete the following steps:

1. Create the application – Spencer finds out that he has quite a few runtime services available to use. Since he is a Java developer and he has written predictive analytic algorithms in Java, he chooses to add a Liberty for Java runtime service as an application.

2. Add a service – He then adds BLU Acceleration service to his application. Magic happens under the cover and he now has access to a world class columnar hybrid in-memory database technology that is ready to use. He does not have to configure or tune anything. It is ready to load data and start getting business insight.

3. Explore the service – He explores the BLU Acceleration service to check out its capabilities and make sure it provides everything he is looking for in a solution. He quickly browses IBM Cognos Business Insight reports and R samples, and in few clicks he figures out that he could load his own data and start plugging in his code.

4. Develop and deploy in the cloud – Spencer loves his Java Eclipse environment, but another thing that catches Spencer’s attention is the ability to develop and deploy code directly from JazzHub, a cloud based development platform. But he understands that if he wants to keep using his local Eclipse environment then he can still use it with the Cloud Foundry Eclipse plug-in and push his code to BlueMix with a mouse click. He then wraps his own customer churn algorithm around few lines of Java code and pushes it to the BlueMix cloud.

At the end of 45 minutes, fictional Spencer is able to bring his novel idea into action without spending a dime. Check out an example of his app out at He is sharing his code online with his colleagues and friends at JazzHub. He now recognizes that he is much more productive and can develop and deploy an enterprise grade analytic application without help and support from any IT staff in just a few minutes. Thousands of developers like Spencer have been trying out BlueMix beta. Have you used BlueMix yet? For more innovative ideas and resources check out IBM developerWorks Labs.

Check out more coverage from IBM Pulse 2014Frank Bauerle: Does cloud computing drive business agility?Allan Tate: Three ways IBM Pulse 2014 exemplifies our times

Rob Phippen: Integration and cloud: A new chapter in a long story

Sarit Sotangkur: Five key takeaways for developers

Rakesh Ranjan: The data scientist’s guide to BlueMix

Angel Luis Diaz: IBM to sponsor Cloud Foundry Foundation

Michael J. Fork: IBM leads with Codename: BlueMix

Steve Strutt: Standing room only at Open Cloud Summit

Ron Kline: Hybrid cloud is here (and its future is dynamic)

Program Director, Cloud Deployment and Service Reliability Engineering for IBM Cloud Data Services

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