On pervasive surveillance and sharing: "I don't see any counter force to the forces of surveillance and self-tracking, so I'm trying to listen to what the technology wants, and the technology is suggesting that it wants to be watched. What the Internet does is track, just like what the Internet does is to copy, and you can't stop copying. You have to go with the copies flowing, and I think the same thing about this technology."
On utopias: "Every new technology creates almost as many problems that it solves. For most people that statement would suggest that technology is kind of a wash. It's kind of neutral, because if you're creating as many problems as it solves, then it's a 50/50 wash, but the difference in my protopian view versus, say, a neutral view is that all these new technologies bring new possibilities that did not exist before, including the new possibility of doing harm versus good."
Does tech cause more problems than it solves? "Most of the problems we have today are technogenic, meaning that they were created by technology in the past. Most of the problems in the future are going to be created by technologies we're creating today. Technology is a means of producing new problems. It's a means of producing new solutions, but the fact that we have a choice between those two is what tips the balance very, very slightly in the favor of the good for the long term."
On the next 20 years: "Now we think about the future of the Web, we think it's going to be the better Web; it's going to be Web 2.0, but it's not. It's going to be as different from the Web as Web was from TV. I think in that next stage it's also going to be a very frontier-like situation where there is openness; There is lawlessness. There are land grabs; There is a sense in which the great uncertainty and new wealth and the resistance of the established players trying to bend things in their direction."
On managing our use of technology: "It's important that we understand that the proper way and the best way and the most efficient way for us to manage and regulate and control our technology is not by surrendering it and giving it up, relinquishing it or prohibiting it. The primary way we want to do this is by engaging with it, being constantly vigilant and working with it, using it, and it's through use that we can actually steer it."
On new ways to win: "Technology is increasing the number of races in which you can win. There are more and more niches and more and more places in which the technology creates new ways in which one can win. There isn't a finite number of winners, there's an infinite number of winners as long as you're not trying to win someone else's race. The way everybody can become a winner is to continue to increase the number of ways to play, even though you have these winner-take-all phenomena."
On big data: "We used to rearrange atoms, now it's all about rearranging data. That is really what we'll see in the next 10 years...That's what these networks are going to do. They're going to release data from language to make it machine-readable and recombine it in an infinite number of ways that we're not even thinking about. But to do that will require a set of tools that we don't have right now."
On where technology begins: "And so I look at the network of all the technology in the world, past and present, as forming a system that seems to have its own urges and tendencies. Like any kind of a system, it will have certain ways that it's biased to, and those biases are inherent in the system. It doesn't really matter which humans are living or not; it's a systems bias. The question I've been asking myself is, what are the biases of this system of all the technologies in the world together?"
What IS technology? "It's anything that's being produced by our minds, and that would include not the individual works of art but the technologies of art, painting and symphonies. These were all, in some senses, technologies, they are products of our mind and not just a personal expression but something that's useful, and so intangibles like a calendar are a technology. Software obviously is a technology. Infrastructures like roads and a library, these are technological inventions, and so it's a very broad definition. I would suggest that in the future when we have robots and AIs, the inventions that these minds will make will also be technologies. That's what technology is."
You have a client success story to share about an IBM solution - we know you do! We'd like to hear it and, if you give us 15 minutes of your time at Pulse 2014, we'll give you a $20 Thank You voucher to spend at the IBM Logo Store.
If your an IBM client* stop by the Reference Lounge at Pulse to kick back, relax, meet colleagues and tell your story. The lounge is our way of saying thank you- take advantage of all it has to offer:
Network with other clients and relax with a beverage or snack
Sign up as a new IBM Client Reference, update your current story, or participate in a case study interview and receive your gift voucher. To secure an interview slot, sign up at the Reference Lounge Welcome desk
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Follow Client Reference Lounge happenings throughout the conference on Twitter: @pulsereference
I arrived in Singapore this week for the IBM InterConnect 2012 Conference, and I already have some travel tips to share with those who are also making this journey.
1. Remember your travel adapter. Some of my hotel's electrical outlets work for my electronics, but many don't.
2. You can find an ATM right outside of customs at the airport. You'll want cash if you want to tip the cab driver or hotel staff. Using an ATM saves you fees associated with the Currency Exchange counters at the airport.
3. There are plenty of cabs outside of the airport, and the cost to the hotel is about $20-30 Singapore dollars.
4. The hotels around the conference often make you pay for a second device to access wireless. I chose to have wifi on my laptop as opposed to my phone or tablet, for instance. However, near the InterConnect Conference, you'll have free wifi compliments of IBM.
5. The Hard Rock hotel is closest to the conference. The staff at the hotel keep insisting that I need to take a shuttle, but it's only a 5 minute walk from the Equarius hotel, where I am located, and I enjoy the exercise. :)
6. My hotel doesn't offer hair conditioner for guests. They say it's in the shampoo itself. NOT!
7. I recommend using Skype while you're here. The cost for phone calls is much cheaper.
8. It's common courtesy to hand and take things such as business cards, bills, credit cards and more to people with both hands here in Singapore.
9. There's a great app called, "Your Singapore Guide" that you can download. It gives great advice and tips on how you can get discounts.
10. Visit the Gardens at the Bay. I really enjoyed the Cloud Forest (gorgeous!), but I could've skipped the Flower zone. Much of the Flower zone is filled with cactus and plants we have all over Phoenix. I didn't need to fly half way around the world to see that. ;) We took a short walk to the Marina Bay Sands (the hotel that looks like it has a ship on the top) from the Gardens at the Bay. Only after paying about $20 for a ticket to the top, we saw the FourSquare tips that tell you that you can go to the top for free if you say you want to have a drink at the bar on the top. The drinks are upward of about 18 Singapore dollars.
One more wrap-up post to write, but before I dive into my notes on that one, I thought I'd get this one up, pronto. Here, without further delay, are 10 ways to discover all that is IBM Cognos 10. Feel free to indulge in any or all of them to unleash intelligence in your own organization.
1. Give us a call. If you've already seen the simulcast, watched the demo and read the white paper, this is the next logical step. It's also the next logical step if you don't want to do any of those things and just get down to business. Our proverbial representatives are standing by to assess your analytics needs and suggest the best starting point. Our North American toll-free number is 1-866-601-1934 and you can find a full list of contact numbers here.
2. Watch the new features demo. You'll see the new unified BI workspace, collaborative capabilities and mobile BI. You'll also see how other new features drive better business outcomes for a range of user types across your organization. See it now.
3. Download our new Cognos 10 White Paper. You'll discover why insights and agility are two essential attributes of successful organizations and how IBM Cognos 10 enables both of these for individual contributors and for organizations as a whole. Get it now.
4. Download our new Business Analytics White Paper, too. You'll read how IBM Business Analytics is building �analytics-driven� organizations that overcome data silos, rigid structures, fragemented perspectives and other barriers to better business outcomes. Download.
5. Download our new book,Business Intelligence Strategy: A Practical Guide for Achieving BI Excellence. Representatives from The Nielsen Company, Johnson & Johnson, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and The Boeing Company discuss proven, real-world techniques to build your business case, demonstrate value and drive user adoption. Get the book.
6. Sign up for one of 100 live worldwide events. Now that Cognos 10 is quite literally out of the box, we're taking it on the road and around the world. If you couldn't make it to Business Analtyics Forum in person, these events are your best chance to get up-close and personal with Intelligence Unleashed. Find your event.
7. Sign up for one of our virtual events in North America or EMEA. IBM Cognos 10 can also come to you. These interactive sessions feature a keynote presentation by our own Harriet Fryman and breakout sessions that let you interact with our product experts. North American audiences can click here. Audiences in EMEA can click here.
8. Bookmark our Cognos 10 Microsite. You'll find detailed information on how IBM Cognos 10 provides you the freedom to think, connect with others and simply do. Plus, learn about the innovative new features in the IBM Cognos platform and go deep into any capability you choose. Go there now.
9. Watch the replay of the launch event, complete with countdown, explosions and business analytics on the iPad. Watch now.
You may have noticed by now that the very point of IBM InterConnect 2012 is to CONNECT. This is no secret. The conference title itself may have given it away. While it's always great to watch an event broadcasted through video. This is no match for actually attending the event in person and making old-fashioned face-to-face connections.
At InterConnect 2012, networking is built right into the conference through the exchange sessions, 1 on 1 meet ups with IBM executives, meet the experts in the Solution Center, and SmartSite peer connections.
While at the conference, I also highly encourage you to visit the Social Media Lounge. Below are the top 10 ways to make the most out of networking at IBM InterConnect while in the Solution Center.
I�ll be attending Government Forum and hope to see you there. For those of you who are attending, here are 10 things you can do to prepare:
1. Follow me on Twitter. I will be tweeting updates throughout the conference, along with information about smarter government, what I am learning and what others are learning from me. I�ll be using the #IBMGF tag.
2. View our demo, Analytics for Smarter Government, and find out how IBM Cognos and IBM SPSS solutions give leaders the trusted information they need to improve programs and services, lower risks and achieve better government outcomes.
3. Tune in to the big picture. IBM Business Analytics solutions can help you tackle challenges around cyber security, customs and immigration, crime prediction and prevention, performance management, traffic congestion, tactical defense data and more.
4. Think about how your organization uses social media. Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, is the Forum�s keynote speaker. He�ll discuss how governments use social media to interact with citizens to improve services and drive better outcomes.
Once again, IOD offers an abundance of learning opportunities to help you increase your product knowledge, sharpen your professional skills and get the information you need to solve problems or move your project forward. I've scanned the Business Analytics Forum Guide (BA Forum being a major component of IOD 2011) to highlight 10 ways you can leave Vegas better equipped to turn insight into action. Some of the opportunities are located in the EXPO, others are breakout sessions that you'll need to schedule in your Agenda Builder.
1. Play in the Usability Sandbox: Share your experience to shape product direction. Test-drive new prototypes and meet with our usability experts in small-group design review and feedback sessions. You'll also have the chance to vote on and prioritize use requirements. This year's sessions include Dashboarding (BGN-1545), Mobile BI (BGN-1549). Advanced Data Modeling (BGN-1550) and Social Networking Analytics (BGN-1554). See page 67 of the Business Analytics Forum Guide for a full list.
2. Learn to better navigate IBM Support: New this year, our "Navigating IBM" drop-in area lets you talk one-on-one with subject matter experts who can guide you through the programs, processes, policies and systems you need to use for Support and Training. We've geared these sessions to focus on increasing your satisfaction with demonstrations and discussions focused on online support and knowledge resources, searching and enrolling in training, Web IDs and IBM Customer Numbers (ICNs) and using the support request tool. You'll find it in the EXPO.
3. Drop in on our Demo Theaters: These 30-minute sessions help you lean more about topics that might not be covered in full breakout sessions. Join our product managers as they guide you through new solutions and little-known product features in IBM Cognos 10, IBM Cognos TM1, IBM SPSS Decision Management and more.
4. Labs! Labs! Labs!
Our Hands-on Labs feature experienced professional instructors providing classroom-quality training. Each three-hour session takes you on a deep dive directly into a specific product to give you a greater understanding of its features and potential. Many of the nearly 20 sessions at this year's event were suggested by last year's attendees. Titles include Foundations of Predictive Analytics: IBM SPSS Statistics (BGN-3469), New Self-Serve Reporting Capabilities in IBM Cognos BI (BGN-3632) and Advanced Generated SQL Concepts and Complex Queries (BGN-3696). See page 63 of your Business Analytics Forum Guide for the full list and be sure to add these sessions to your Agenda Builder.
Our Products Lab lets you test drive our products at your own pace and on your own schedule with step-by-step instructions and direct input from product experts who are always on-hand. You'll find it in the EXPO and you can drop in any time.
Also in the EXPO, our Services and Education Lab lets you explore our training options, discover our new new approaches and work one-on-one with our consulting services team. Discover how to share your knowledge with your team back home with Web-based training courses, self-paced virtual classroom options, IBM Cognos embedded learning videos and instructor-led online training. Drop in whenever, no need to book.
5. Take advantage of pre-conference training: Get a head start on the conference with two full days of hands-on training specially priced for Forum attendees. This year's sessions include Professional Report Authoring (B51C9), Automated Data Mining (0ACG2), Data Management and Manipulation (0G5C9) and Authoring Reports with Multidimensional Data (B51C1). See page 18 of your Forum Guide for more.
6. Get certified for free: Save up to $600 by taking three IBM Software Certification exams at no charge, and take as many more as you'd like for 50 percent off the normal fee. Certification exams are available throughout the conference and a full list of certification exams is available here.
7. Boost your business leadership skills in our Business Leadership Forum: It's an industry-specific program for executives, managers and decision-makers. We've put together a rich curriculum of customer case studies, panel discussions and industry solution overviews focused on resolving key business challenges. Choose from 34 sessions exploring operational efficiency, customer and financial analytics, risk and compliance. Session titles include "How Banks Can Improve Customer-Centricity with Advanced Customer Customer Profitability Analytics" (LFM-2609), "Driving B2B Sales with Predictive Analytics" (LSA-2268), "Fighting Fraud in Government Services" (LGV-1999) and "Getting Business Value from IBM Watson" (LSA-3008). See page 54 of your Forum Guide for a full list.
8. Have lunch with your peers: Our "Birds of a Feather" lunches let you discuss your challenges, strategies and successes with people just like you in a relaxed and informal setting. This year's topics include BI and Cloud Computing, Professional Report Authoring, Predictive Analytics, Statistics and Support. Our Industry Lunches let you discuss the challenges you're facing and the strategies you're using to resolve them. Whether you're in Banking, Retail, Healthcare or Manufacturing, these lunches are also a great way to reconnect with friends and expand your network with new contacts. You'll find a list of sample topics and customer attendees by industry on page 16 of the Forum Guide.
9. Talk to Support: Schedule time with an IBM Cognos or SPSS technical product expert for 30 minutes of one-on-one attention to resolve your toughest technical challenges. These experts have deep expertise within and across our Business Analytics product portfolio, so nothing is off-limits. Just be sure to indicate the issue and/or product you'd like to discuss. Previous topics have included Integrating BI with Active Directory authentication, Recommendations for fail-over while building cubes and Predictive modeling tips, techniques and best practices.
10. Schedule a workshop: This year's event offers a wide range of in-person and interactive workshops. You'll work in small groups with experienced IBM subject matter experts to boost your Analytics Quotient (BAW-3805), explore a Business Intelligence Competency Center (BAW-3808), or become a Value Integrator in Finance (BAW-3807). You'll also have a chance to meet Tim O'Bryan, author of the new Proven Practices blog. A full list of workshops is on page 60 of your Forum Guide.
There are now only 12 days to go until the first cross software event for IBM UKI - Business Connect 2013! I am leading Team Social on the day, which means every brand at the event will be active on a range of social channels and we hope that you will all join us in getting Social!! Make sure you don't miss out by registering here now -http://bit.ly/BCSOCIAL.
The day will be packed full of interesting and informative sessions, with the hot topics being Social Business (the brand I work for!) Mobile, Smarter Analytics & Big Data, Smarter Commerce, Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure and Security - you can see video invites from a few of the UKI executives of these topics here -http://bit.ly/1b8feYy.
There are also some great keynote speakers lined up. In the morning we have:
·Steve Smith - VP, Software Group - IBM UKI. Steve began his career with IBM in 1993 in London, UK. Since then he has held a series of sales leadership positions in IBM most recently as Vice President Enterprise Sales for Europe.
·David Stokes - Chief Executive-IBM UKI. David leads IBM's overall business and is responsible for a workforce of around 20,000 people.
·Craig Hayman - As GM, Craig leads IBM's strategy for delivering high value, integrated industry solutions that enable quantifiable business outcomes for clients in the areas of marketing and commerce, enterprise content management and security, and operational services
Then the closing session will be given by Ben KayRugby World Cup winner, 2003; six-time Premiership and two-time European Cup champion as well as an IBM Ambassador. One not to miss I am sure you will agree!!!
There will be a tech expo at the event as well, where attendees will be able to talk to some of our fantastic Business Partners about the products the solutions - the latest list of partners can be found here - http://ibm.co/16BxdBB
Our main Twitter handle for the day is @ibmsoftwareuk - so make sure you follow us there for the all the key moments and quotes throughout the day.
I also want to encourage everyone to get involved on Vivastream - http://www.vivastream.com/events/ibmimt-businessconnect-uk which we will be using for the first time at an IBM UK event. Vivastream will allow people to network more effectively before, during and after the event. The platform tells you "Who to Meet" based on your interests, profile, and skills, and helps you connect and interact with other like-minded peers and experts. You can register for Vivastream and participate even if you are not able to attend on the day.
Remember there is still time to register here -http://bit.ly/BCSOCIAL. You can join in the conversation on the day using #IBMBCUKI. If you would like to know more, feel free to tweet me @RSwindell.
If you can't attend on the day, I would love to hear what you think of the sessions that are being live streamed from the event (http://www.livestream.com/ibmuk) via the social channels mentioned above. You can always ask us a question via Twitter using #IBMBCUKI and we will do our best to get it answered during the day - hopefully via the live stream!
But for those that can attend, I look forward to meeting you on the day!
Each year, IBM awards the title of Distinguished Engineer (DE), one of the company's highest technical honors, to the company's top technical experts who demonstrate strong potential for continuing technical contributions. This year, 69 experts have been appointed Distinguished Engineers, Twelve of them are from IBM Software.
DEs are integral members of their units' executive teams, demonstrating leadership across the company by consulting with management on technical and business strategies and their implementation. They also act as career coaches and mentors to attract, nurture and develop technical talent for IBM. Congratulations to this year's DEs from IBM Software:
Ingo Averdunk, Markt Schwaben, Germany: in recognition of his exceptional technical contributions to Integrated Service Management. His ability to develop innovative solutions, lead challenging technical projects and enable significant business growth, even in complex customer environments, is outstanding. His understanding of business issues mapped to technical solutions provides targeted customer and market insight for the development and product management organizations, improving dramatically the customer's solution experience. Ingo�s approachable nature coupled with his unique experiences makes him a much sought after individual for projects globally.
Roland Barcia, Leonia, New Jersey, USA: Roland is the Software Services recognized leader in the area of Programming Models, Web 2.0, and Mobile Technologies. He excels in helping clients to exploit these technologies to successfully deploy mission critical solutions. Besides working directly with customers, Roland is a leader in authoring books and articles, in building and delivering consultant training, in driving features required by clients into IBM products through collaboration with development, and in driving and creating conference content.
Jason Roy Gary, Clermont, Florida, USA: in recognition of his exemplary accomplishments and contributions to IBM's collaboration business, including strategy, product development, customer engagement, talent growth and industry leadership in standards. Jason has an extensive track record of engaging deeply with customers and partners and bringing his learning back to influence and shape IBM Collaboration software.
Dr. James R. Giles, Yorktown Heights, New York, USA: in recognition of his outstanding technical leadership in stream computing and big data over the last decade. Jim re-architected and rebuilt the research prototype into an enterprise-ready stream computing platform, InfoSphere Streams. InfoSphere Streams has played an extremely important and visible role in IBM�s leadership within Big Data, Analytics, and Smarter Planet. As a key part of our Big Data strategy, the technology that Jim and his team have created allows clients to continuously analyze vast amounts of data, taking advantage of new sources of data such as social media for �just in time� insights.
Robin Grosset, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: in recognition of his technical leadership in business analytics performance and data access in support of the Cognos Business Intelligence product and other SWG products such as InfoSphere Cubing Services. Robin works at the forefront in Business Analytics technology innovation and is known within the Analytics community as the foremost expert in OLAP data processing techniques. His leadership has guided a set of key enabling technologies that underpin the Cognos analytics platform. As a Distinguished Engineer, Robin will have an expanded leadership in interactive analytics with a focus on performance and scale of data analytics
Grant J. Larsen, Littleton, Colorado, USA: for his leadership and contributions driving product strategy with a focus on patterns and asset management. Grant started his career in IBM Rational development where he worked with the OMG to define the Reusable Asset Specification (RAS) and set the strategy around patterns for reuse. This strategy is now an industry standard method used to improve efficiency and lower software development cost.
John Metzger, Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA: for his role as VP of Product Strategy and Chief Architect of Netezza products. This covers a decade long role beginning with the founding of the company to the current Twin Fin Product. These products defined a new market category, the Data Warehouse appliance, that has become a dominant force in the Data Warehouse space.
Tien Nguyen, Oakton, Virginia, USA: in recognition of his leadership with SWG solutions delivery in the Federal sector. Tien created multiple IBM Software solutions from his service engagements that led to new services assets and IBM products. Tien also provides subject matter expertise in Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Case Management.
Rosalind Radcliffe, Durham, North Carolina, USA: Rosalind has led the effort to extend Rational Team Concert (RTC) to support Enterprise platforms. She has been involved in every aspect of creating this offering - from team creation and training, to architecture, design, packaging, licensing, development, test, service, and customer service engagements. Rosalind is the go-to person for Collaborative development when System z is part of the client's environment, and has been an integral part of the largest customer successes.
Dr. Shepherd Shi, Austin, Texas, USA: to accelerate and drive the overall performance and scalability work for the Tivoli product portfolio. He will be the Tivoli focal point for performance and scalability related topics and consultancy. Shepherd has more than 20 years of development experience in high-performance and scalable software systems. He is an accomplished technical leader in solving complex software product performance and quality issues and helping customers to get the best performance based on the workload, hardware and software environment.
Michael Sporer, Marlborough, Massachusetts, USA: for his role as VP of Hardware Technology for Netezza products. Michael has been with Netezza since 2001 and has played a central role in the overall hardware and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) design in every product the company has produced. These products defined a new market category, the Data Warehouse appliance, that has become a dominant force in the Data Warehouse space.
Andrew Trossman, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Andrew�s appointment to DE recognizes his outstanding contributions in cloud computing, delivering a �high scale, low touch� platform upon which virtual systems can be provisioned very rapidly (in seconds instead of minutes), in high scale (10,000+ per hour measured in the labs), and with very low admin overhead (capacity can be added simply by plugging in new blades). Andrew�s newly defined DE role will be focused on continuing that delivery track record but converging the multiple divisions into a single approach.
We�re one week out from the start of Information On Demand 2012, where Jason Silva will challenge you to �Think Big� about the opportunities, innovations and improved outcomes for your own organization that you�ll discover at the largest conference in the IBM Software event calendar.
The articles and blog posts below should give you a head start. I've drawn them from a wide range of sources, but they all sit at a happy intersection of big data, analytics, professional development and organizational change. These topics will no doubt dominate the main stage and breakout sessions during our four days together. Happy reading!
How do YOU feel about the potential of big data?
A new Pew Internet/Elon University survey measured current opinions about the potential impact of human and machine analysis of newly emerging large data sets in the years ahead. While 53% of those surveyed predicted that the rise of Big Data is likely to be �a huge positive for society in nearly all respects� by 2020, 39% of survey participants said it is likely to be �a big negative.
�The analysts who expect we will see a mostly positive future say collection and analysis of Big Data will improve our understanding of ourselves and the world,� said researcher Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center�s Internet & American Life Project.
�They predict that the continuing development of real-time data analysis and enhanced pattern recognition could bring revolutionary change change to personal life, to the business world, and to government.�
Quantified communities: Coming soon to a neighborhood near you?
Over on Project Syndicate, tech watcher and blogger Esther Dyson makes a case for �Quantified Communities.� An evolution of the nascent �Quantified Self� movement, Dyson sees communities to take their data into their own hands to measure, analyze and improve outcomes across a range of essential services:
I predict (and am trying to foster) the emergence of a Quantified Community movement, with communities measuring the state, health, and activities of their people and institutions, thereby improving them.
Just consider: each town has its own schools, library, police, roads and bridges, businesses, and, of course, people. All of them potentially generate a lot of data, most of it uncollected and unanalyzed.
That is about to change.As with the Quantified Self, the tools for collecting and analyzing data about everything from public health to potholes in roads, real-estate prices, school attendance, and more are beginning to emerge. Indeed, many independent data-analysis software tools and Web sites provide data that can be filtered for local information and presented with useful visualizations.
The positive message is that digital progress is, in my view, the best economic news in the world today. And I'll go one step further: it's the most important business story in recent times.
I believe that when the full impact of the computer is assessed, it will turn out to be about as big a deal as the steam engine. And the steam engine was a very, very big deal indeed. It touched off the Industrial Revolution, which changed the world, for the better, as nothing has before or since.
With Big Data we can now begin to actually look at the details of social interaction and how those play out, and are no longer limited to averages like market indices or election results.
This is an astounding change. The ability to see the details of the market, of political revolutions, and to be able to predict and control them is definitely a case of Promethean fire�it could be used for good or for ill, and so Big data brings us to interesting times. We're going to end up reinventing what it means to have a human society.
CIOS: Boost your people skills to increase your influence
As geeks, we don't like to trespass on other people's interior experiences and subjective reality. That's the realm of emotions, and we don't do emotions. We don't like to talk about them, think about them or attempt to make others feel them. And strategizing about how to make someone feel a certain way seems wrong.
But we can't influence our business partners without understanding their interior experience. Geeks have become reasonably good at understanding business processes, but we rarely consider the human experience of inhabiting those processes. Without stepping into other people's worldview, we have no hope of gaining influence.
There�s strong demand for data scientists, people who know how to deal with one of today's most popular technology topics, Big Data. That�s the huge trove of raw information that�s now available thanks to the explosion of social media, sensors and other sources.
The U.S. Department of Labor forecasts that the number of analytics-based jobs will grow by more than 20 percent between now and 2018 � far outstripping most other categories. At a time when so many recent college graduates are underemployed or searching for jobs, analytics offers the promise of a great career at the cutting edge of technology, business and social change
Programming and development abilities top many employers' most-sought-after-skills lists, as big data and mobile-platform development jack up demand to new levels.
Wall Street firms, for example, are searching hard for programmers with a side of database skills, according to employment recruiter eFinancialCareers, which specializes in financial gigs. When the site posted its top 10 skill searches for the summer of 2012, programming languages and databases were at the top "by a wide margin," a company statement reported.
Several novice programmers who signed up for a free machine-learning class on Coursera have gone on recently to win predictive-modeling competitions. Maybe it�s not that hard to mint new data scientists after all.
Instead of asking, "How can we get far more value from far more data?" successful big data overseers seek to answer, "What value matters most, and what marriage of data and algorithms gets us there?"
The most effective big data implementations are engineered from the desired business outcomes in, rather than the humongous data sets out. Amazon's transformational recommendation engines reflect Bezos' focus on superior user experience rather than any innovation emphasis on repurposing customer data. That's real business leadership, not petabytes in search of profit.
Big data: The management revolution
In a similar vein, Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson present two examples of how big data, harnessed in the right way, can lead to dramatic business transformation. One uses big data to create new businesses, the other to drive more sales. It�s worth noting that both examples feature established companies, not Silicon Valley upstarts:
We expect companies that were born digital to accomplish things that business executives could only dream of a generation ago. But in fact the use of big data has the potential to transform traditional businesses as well. It may offer them even greater opportunities for competitive advantage (online businesses have always known that they were competing on how well they understood their data). As we�ll discuss in more detail, the big data of this revolution is far more powerful than the analytics that were used in the past. We can measure and therefore manage more precisely than ever before. We can make better predictions and smarter decisions. We can target more-effective interventions, and can do so in areas that so far have been dominated by gut and intuition rather than by data and rigor.
Predictive analytics quantifies what every winemaker instinctively understands: that change in any one area affects the entire vineyard-to-bottle process. The links between these different areas are complex and diffuse, but the deep data analysis of platforms like IBM�s Cognos TM1 can give us strong correlations and models upon which to base our decisions.
We may not be able to entirely predict the future, but we can use data analysis predictions to answer the �what-if� questions that determine Delegat�s profitability and international standing, helping us become smarter winemakers and business leaders.
Leadership is about change, but what is a leader to do when faced with ubiquitous resistance? Resistance to change manifests itself in many ways, from foot-dragging and inertia to petty sabotage to outright rebellions. The best tool for leaders of change is to understand the predictable, universal sources of resistance in each situation and then strategize around them.
1.It�s a convenient way to learn what IBM means by Smarter Systems. IBM defines smarter systems as fully-integrated hardware, software and services optimized for particular workloads. The Virtual Event keynote features a terrific presentation by industry analyst Merv Adrian, who very clearly explains what we mean by a �workload,� and how workload-optimized systems can mean faster time-to-value, improved performance and lower short- and long-term costs. Adrian does a terrific job of translating technical concepts into plain English (without lapsing into marketing-speak).
2. It gives you access to a HUGE store of educational resources. Eighteen (18) analyst papers. Six (6) e-books. Sixteen (16) IBM technical white papers. That�s a very partial list of what you�ll find in the Virtual Event�s Resource Center, which is packed with media and information related to Smarter Systems in general, and the individual IBM technologies from which Smarter Systems are composed. You would have to fill a whole mess of separate registration forms to get this information otherwise, but you get access to all of it when you register for this one Virtual Event.
IBM today announced that it received a record 6,478 patents in 2012 for inventions that will enable fundamental advancements across key domains including analytics, Big Data, cybersecurity, cloud, mobile, social networking and software defined environments, as well as industry solutions for retail, banking, healthcare, and transportation. These patented inventions also will advance a major shift in computing, known as the era of cognitive systems.
�We are proud of this new benchmark in technological and scientific creativity, which grows out of IBM�s century-long commitment to research and development,� said Ginni Rometty, chairman and CEO, IBM. �Most concretely, our 2012 patent record and the two decades of leadership it extends are a testament to thousands of brilliant IBM inventors -- the living embodiments of our devotion to innovation that matters, for our clients, for our company and for the world.�
IBM's record-setting 2012 patent tally was made possible by more than 8,000 IBM inventors residing in 46 different U.S. states and 35 countries. IBM inventors residing outside the U.S. contributed to nearly 30% of the company's 2012 U.S. patent output.
From 1993-2012, IBM inventors received nearly 67,000 U.S. patents. The company's 2012 patent count exceeded the combined totals of Accenture, Amazon, Apple, EMC, HP, Intel, Oracle/SUN and Symantec.
IBM's record 2012 patent output featured inventions that are reshaping how companies are applying technology in today's world of a Smarter Planet and those that are laying the groundwork for the new era of cognitive systems. These include:
U.S. Patent #8,275,803: System and method for providing answers to questions - This patented invention was implemented in the IBM Watson system and describes a technique that enables a computer to take a question expressed in natural language, understand it in detail, and deliver a precise answer to the question.
U.S. Patent #8,250,010: Electronic learning synapse with spike-timing dependent plasticity using unipolar memory-switching elements - This patent relates to algorithms and circuits for efficiently mimicking the learning function of a brain's synapses and lays the foundation for a non-von Neumann computer architecture. IBM is working on a cognitive computing project called Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE), which aims to emulate the brain�s abilities for perception, action and cognition while consuming orders of magnitude less power and volume without being programmed.
U.S. Patent #8185480: System and method for optimizing pattern recognition of non-gaussian parameters - This patent describes a technique for dealing with and recognizing patterns in fast growing, large data sets of complex information, such as understanding of spoken phrases or processing satellite data to predict locations of traffic jams.
Yet volume alone doesn�t tell the whole story," writes IBM Chief Innovation Officer Bernard Meyerson. "What good are a pile of patents if they don�t change the world? That�s why we set our research priorities and make our investments with the goal of producing maximum global impact."
Today, we�re focused on a new era in Information Technology that is now in its early stages, but one that will continue to roll out over the next two decades. We call it the era of cognitive systems. We believe that the benefits of this new era will arrive sooner and stronger if companies, governments and universities adopt a culture of innovation that includes making big bets, fostering disruptive innovations, taking a long-term view and collaborating across institutional boundaries. That last part is crucial. What�s needed is radical collaboration�large-scale efforts to find common cause and share resources, expertise and ideas across the borders between companies and institutions.
Innovation isn�t about �me� anymore�one person, one company, or even one country. It�s about �we.�
Software is expected to drive nearly half of IBM's profits by 2015 according to its 2011 Annual Report. In her first Letter to Shareholders, new CEO Ginni Rometty ushered in IBM's second century by highlighting record revenue, profit, free cash flow and earnings per share. "Our strong strategic positioning, solid balance sheet, recurring revenue, robust profit streams and unmatched global reach give us confidence that we will achieve success in the next five years, as we have during the past decade," she wrote. I've extracted some highlights below. The full report is available here.
$107 billion in revenue, up 7 percent from 2010
$21.6 billion in operating pre-tax income, up by 9 percent (a record)
$16.3 billion in operating net income, up 9 percent from 2010
$13.44 operating EPS, up 15 percent from 2010 and the ninth consecutive year of double-digit growth
$16.6 billion in free cash flow, up for the ninth straight year
$18.5 billion returned in share repurchases and dividends
Operating pre-tax income margin of 20.2 percent, up for the ninth straight year and up 10 points since 2000.
Business mix changes drive growth
IBM continually changes its business mix toward higher-value, more profitable technologies and market opportunities and is "well on track" toward meeting its 2015 RoadMap Goal of $20 operating EPS. Software drove 44 percent of IBM income last year; by 2015, that figure is expected to reach 50 percent. Rometty outlined four specific growth plays that will drive growth into the future:
1: Growth Markets. Revenue for Growth Markets Unit was up 11 percent at constant currency for the second year in a row. Growth markets contributed 22 percent of IBM�s geographic revenue in 2011, up from 11 percent in 2000, and IBM expects them to approach 30 percent by 2015.
2:Business Analytics. Analytics business grew 16 percent for the year. Having spotted early the emergence of �big data,� IBM built the world�s leading analytics software and consulting practice, and we are translating it into powerful new capabilities, which enable our clients to identify, manage and even predict outcomes that matter to their success. Sign up for next Tuesday's Smarter Analytics Leadership Summit to see where we're going next.
3:Cloud. IBM has helped thousands of clients adopt aspects of cloud computing, where IT resources are virtualized, highly automated and accessed by self-service. Our cloud revenue in 2011 was more than three times the prior year.
4:Smarter Planet. All of this comes together in our solutions to build Smarter Planet systems, transforming systems such as supply chains, retail, energy, transportation, telecommunications, food and water. It includes the successful establishment of large new market categories, such as Smarter Cities and Smarter Commerce. Smarter Planet revenue grew by almost 50 percent in 2011.
"The next decade holds enormous promise for IBM, most importantly because of what it holds for business and society at large," writes Rometti. "We are uniquely positioned to deliver the benefits of a vast new natural resource�a gusher of data from both man-made and natural systems that can now be tapped to help businesses and institutions succeed in an increasingly complex and dynamic global economy."
Like Deep Blue in 1997, IBM took on Watson as its latest Grand Challenge � the ambitious research projects that push science in ways not thought possible. Should they succeed, as did Deep Blue, they reveal new insights into the power of computing, showcase the expertise of IBM Researchers and open new avenues of business and technological innovation.
For this Grand Challenge, IBM chose the scientific field of Question and Answering (�QA�). In building Watson, IBM researchers were to build a computing system that rivals a human�s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence.
It wouldn�t be easy. And it would be would be tested on prime-time TV.
The Jeopardy! format provided the ultimate test of Watson's abilities. As anyone who�s watched the show could tell you, the game�s clues involve analyzing subtle meaning, irony, riddles and other complexities of language. Humans are good at this, computers are not. Plus, the questions could touch on any conceivable subject, and Watson was limited to what its creators put into its memory.
Building Watson involved asking many additional challenging questions: What semantic technologies would be needed to understand unstructured data? How do you build a system based on information as opposed to transactions? How do you build a system that can learn instead of being programmed?
Over a period of four years, they fed Watson mountains of information, including text from the World Book Encyclopedia, Wikipedia and books from Project Gutenberg. All told, Watson held the equivalent of about one million books worth of information. The team also wrote (and rewrote) the algorithms that let Watson break down each question into its key components and assess its confidence in each of the potential answers. To power Watson, they chose a cluster of Power 750� computers�ten racks holding 90 servers, for a total of 2880 processor cores running DeepQA software and storage. Then, through 55 sparring matches with former Jeopardy! champions, they tested and tweaked, tested and tweaked, tested and tweaked.
New frontiers of analytics
I wrote about Watson a lot. Specifically, I was interested in what it meant for business analytics. There�s something beautiful � and no doubt valuable to a business � about data that comes in neat and tidy rows. Sadly, little about business is either neat or tidy. Now, a full 80 percent of an organization�s data is unstructured; volumes are growing at an exponential rate. Organizations need to understand not only at what their internal systems are telling them, but what their customers, partners and the market is telling them, too. The problem is that their computing systems aren�t set up to handle this new reality. If Watson could interpret the twisted logic of a Daily Double and answer with confidence, the analytical possibilities for interpreting and unlocking the business value of unstructured data would be endless. If you could use language, you could use Watson.
Like a knife through butter
The Jeopardy! Challenge aired over two days starting on February 14 and for those two days I marveled as Watson ran through the categories like a hot knife through butter. By the end of the first day it had accumulated $35,734 to Rutter�s $10,400 and Jennings� $4,800. By the end of the game, Watson had racked up $77,147, besting Jennings' $24,000 and Rutter�s $21,60. IBM donated the $1M grand prize to charity, with equal donations to World Vision and the World Community Grid. Likewise, Jennings and Rutter donated half of their winnings ($300,000 and $200,000, respectively) to charities of their choice..
Afterwards, Jennings would observe: [T]here's no shame in losing to silicon [...] After all, I don't have 2,880 processor cores and 15 terabytes of reference works at my disposal�nor can I buzz in with perfect timing whenever I know an answer. My puny human brain, just a few bucks worth of water, salts, and proteins, hung in there just fine against a jillion-dollar supercomputer. Jennings was also surprised to learn that he was, in fact, the actual inspiration for project:
Watching you on Jeopardy! is what inspired the whole project," one IBM engineer told me, consolingly. "And we looked at your games over and over, your style of play. There's a lot of you in Watson." I understood then why the engineers wanted to beat me so badly: To them, I wasn't the good guy, playing for the human race. That was Watson's role, as a symbol and product of human innovation and ingenuity."
Putting Watson to work
The lights had barely dimmed on the studio before discussions turned to commercial applications for Watson. In keeping with its Grand Challenge, IBM chose healthcare, and announcedIBM Content and Predictive Analytics for Healthcare at last October�s Information On Demand (IOD). At the press briefing, newly appointed IBM GM of Watson Solutions Manoj Saxena said IBM chose healthcare first because of its ability to make a direct improvement in peoples� lives: �Watson has tremendous potential for applications that improve the efficiency of care and reduce wait times for diagnosis and treatment by enabling clinicians with access to the best clinical data the moment they need it."
Consider the stats:
There are 12,000 diseases in the world; some take years to diagnose and treat.
The volume of medical information doubles every five years.
81 percent of doctors spend five hours or less per month reading medical journals.
One in five patients suffers from preventable readmissions, which represent $17.4 billion of the current $102.6 billion U.S. Medicare budget.
Watson will transform for the better the way healthcare is administered, delivered and paid for, said Saxena. Watson's ability to analyze the meaning and context of human language, and quickly process vast amounts of information to suggest options targeted to a patient's circumstances, can assist physicians and nurses, in identifying the most likely diagnosis and treatment options for their patients.
It�s been fascinating for me to follow Watson�s progress from game show contestant to business solution. Watson adds another important dimension to the interplay between technology and humanity. In focusing on healthcare out of the gate, we saw the mission of IBM reflected once again � not only to make a profit, but to make a difference. On a smarter planet, Watson may soon be an indispensable asset to the medical profession, making a positive difference in the lives of thousands of patients.