In the current edition of Analytics, a cross-brand team from IBM (Irv Lustig, Brenda Dietrich, Christer Johnson and Christopher Dziekan) explain IBM's view of the structured data analytics landscape . Key to this model are three categories of structured data analysis: 1. Descriptive Analytics : A set of technologies and processes that use data to understand and analyze business performance 2. Predictive Analytics : The extensive use of data and mathematical techniques to uncover explanatory and predictive models of business... [More]
There's a growing battle in the location-based services business between Foursquare and Facebook. Foursquare, with its past emphasis on gaming and status building (who wants to be the mayor of the local laundromat?) is now focusing on a more functional aspect: helping people decide where they should go next. According to a report in Brandweek (backed up by this article on a recent job ad ), Foursquare sees offering recommendations as its chance to avoid being squeezed out of existence by Facebook, who, with over 500 million users, is the... [More]
Christopher Hosford over at BtoB Magazine ran an interesting piece on IBM's foray into the field of marketing automation focusing on the recent spate of acquisitions here at IBM. I thought it would be worth expounding on how each of these acquisitions fits into the notion of a holistic marketing automation solution - using an example that hopefully most of us can relate to: internet retail.
Internet retailers use web analytics to explore which parts of their site are most effective, which channels are driving most visitors... [More]
Decision management expert and consultant James Taylor was 'cornered' recently at the IBM IOD conference and asked to explain the present and future of business analytics. An eloquent speaker and veteran in this field, James does a great job of highlighting the current growth and energy in this space, some of the confusion this has engendered, and the questions you should be asking yourself in determining whether analytics are right for you: He also highlights three critical issues on which I'll share my viewpoint: Where can analytics be... [More]
Recommendation engines are all the rage. Whether it is in the realm of social commerce (see IBM Coremetrics Intelligent Offer ) or in location-based social applications like Foursquare . As the attention span of the browsing population shrinks below that of your average goldfish, so the need to create razor-sharp, perfectly honed navigation systems increases. There’s a demand on publishers to use whatever information they have to provide a more contextualized browsing experience. That’s all well and good, but have you ever looked at a... [More]
Let's start with the obvious: this is the opinion of one mere human. Someone who would fail miserably at the US quiz show Jeopardy: it's that 'start-with-the-answer' approach that just screws me up every time. Not being a native of this soil, I claim it's just not part of my DNA. But an IBM supercomputer called Watson (which was indeed conceived on US soil) appears to be performing awfully well at the contest and as such is causing a lot of media attention, much of it centered around the whole field of artificial intelligence (AI) and IBM's... [More]
The big news today from the IBM IOD Global Conference and Business Analytics forum is the unveiling of Cognos 10 .
The most common feature brought up on news sites and blogs is the ability Cognos 10 opens up to access business intelligence on a mobile device: be it a Blackberry, iPad or iPhone. Bloomberg picks up on a case study from the car rental industry :
"Hertz Global Holdings Inc., the largest car-rental company, will gather survey data from customers via text messages, and use IBM’s software to analyze responses. Employees... [More]
SPSS have put out a case study showing how the Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO) switched from using Excel spreadsheets to IBM SPSS Statistics to optimize those decisions an energy utility provider has to make: capital planning, utility rate setting, power purchases, emissions tracking and more.
Given that energy requirements: supply, demand, price can shift on an hourly basis, tracking these across the 3,000 power nodes CIPCO provides is no trivial matter. As CIPCO's Lisa Sell points out, "IBM SPSS Statistics gives us the power... [More]
Crisis management is generally a costly business. Switching gears away from your forward-thinking strategy and pulling in resource to deal with issues not on the radar can really stymie growth and efficiency. Especially in the IT management space. In the past, the role of the IT manager was largely reactive: as soon as a problem occurs, they would have to jump in and manage the crisis. This was, and continues to be, a costly exercise for IT departments - often costing organizations millions of dollars annually. Investment in predictive... [More]
Techcrunch recently reported that Google (as the owner of YouTube) is looking at the purchase of Twitter-based movie recommendation site Fflick. Judging by the Fflick site today, this is more than just idle rumor: What are the implications for YouTube? On the one hand it signals a more concerted effort from the beefy video sharing site to play nicer with the other social networks in the playground (or at least hold hands with Twitter whilst working out a relationship with arch-rival Facebook). It could mean we see the kind of functionality... [More]
Business analytics can play an increasingly important role in academia these days. Recently we heard about how business intelligence could be used to locate students in need of further assistance by mining data on lecture attendance and course performance . This week we see a press announcement detailing how Canada’s McMaster University is using business analytics to make its buildings greener . So how exactly does the technology help reduce operating costs and cut greenhouse gas emissions? On the one hand, a series of sensors, actuators and... [More]
A wonderful case study came out last week of how Sequoia Hospital is using business analytics software to inform heart surgery doctors on when to operate and what is the best post- and pre-op care option.
The hospital is using IBM SPSS predictive analytics software to sift through heavy data spanning healthcare databases, medical precedents and real-world medical cases:
"For instance, the software revealed that an anticoagulant drug often given to patients after a heart attack dramatically increases the chances of serious... [More]