Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘information agenda’ Category

Live @ Information On Demand 2012: Big On Business Analytics

with one comment

Day two of Information On Demand.

Note to self: Bring a hot water boiler next time. Check bathroom for Bengali tiger.  Pack a vaporizer.  And bring some 5 Hour Energy Drinks.

Oh, and be sure to wear comfortable shoes.

Today, I missed the general session, as I was in my room preparing a presentation and also tuning in to the Apple webcast where CEO Tim Cook announced the new iPad Mini, among other products.

IBM Business Analytics general manager Les Rechan explains to the audience how over 6,000 clients and prospects have now taken the “Analytics Quotient” quiz since it went live last year.

But I did make it down to the Business Analytics keynote, led by IBM Business Analytics general manager Les Rechan, and I was glad I did.

The session started with a motivating video featuring a number of IBM customers on the vanguard of using business analytics to improve their businesses.  When Les came onstage, he first highlighted several of IBM’s BA “Champions,” clients from around the globe who were in the “Advanced” category of business analytics.

Les’ birds-eye view centered on the Analytics Quotient, a self-analyzing quiz IBM created and released for customers last year. About 70 percent of the 6,000+ respondents year-to-date indicated they are in the “novice” or “builder” categories, and only 30 percent in the “leader” or “master” categories.

Where IBM can help move the needle is through a variety of resources Les pointed out, including the Analytics Zone, as well as through enablement services and training.

He also highlighted a new book, “5 Keys To Business Analytics Program Success,” a book recently published that features a number of IBM business analytics customer success stories (written by them!).

Over 70 percent of respondents to the IBM “Analytics Quotient” online exam find themselves in the “novice” or “builder” categories, indicating there’s plenty of upside yet in pursuing basic business analytics capabilities across a great diversity of organizations.

Michelle Mylot, the Business Analytics team’s chief marketing officer, then came onstage and pointed out that those organizations that integrated analytics into the fabric of their businesses are the ones that drive the most impact.

She highlighted a number of key areas around which IBM’s business analytics team has been increasingly focused, including social network analyis, entity resolution, decision management, and operational analytics.

Doug Barton, whose interview I’m attaching below at the end of this post, came on stage and gave a brilliant presentation that should provide financial analysts everywhere (including CFOs and all their staffs) incentive to run directly to their nearest reseller and purchase Cognos Disclosure Management.

It’s difficult to describe a demo, but basically, Doug presented a scenario where a company was preparing to announce its earnings and, rather than operating from a plethora of disparate spreadsheets, he demonstrated how Cognos Disclosure Management could create a symphony of collaboration as a CFO prepared for a quarterly earnings call.

Isolated spreadsheets and PowerPoints became integrated narratives of the earnings statement, where an update in one part of the report would magically alter the performance graph in another.

Pure financial geek magic. Doug, take it away in our Q&A below.

Live @ IBM InterConnect 2012: Deepak Advani On Big Data Analytics

with one comment

Deepak Advani, vice president with IBM’s Business Analytics organization, owns strategy and development for products in the business intelligence and predictive analytics arenas.

Deepak Advani has had a rich and storied career, starting out with IBM before later becoming chief marketing officer for Lenovo, then returning to the IBM fold to focus on the massive information management opportunity.

In particular, on business analytics, and how the improved utilization of technology for analyzing big data can help companies drive desired business outcomes.

Deepak owns the strategy and development for IBM’s Business Analytics products and solutions group, and his portfolio includes products for business intelligence, predictive analytics, risk analytics, social media analytics and financial performance management.

At IBM InterConnect recently in Singapore, Deepak sat down for a chat and explained how organizations should go about tackling the business analytics opportunity. He also provided some insight into the PureSystems PureData announcement, as well as to how organizations can more effectively utilize social intelligence data.

Thinking Big @ Information On Demand 2012

leave a comment »

Nate Silver, author of the blog “FiveThirtyEight,” will be one of the featured keynote speakers at this year’s IBM Information On Demand 2012 event in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 21-25. Silver correctly predicted the results of the primaries and the U.S. presidential winner in 2008 in 49 states through his statistical analysis of polling data, and at IOD will explain how to distinguish real signals from noisy data as well as how predictive analytics is used in politics.

That annual festouche and gathering of all things data is just around the corner.

Yes, that’s right, it’s almost time for IBM Information on Demand 2012.

So in order to start the drumbeat, I wanted to take a few moments and point you to some useful resources as you prepare to make your way to the Bay of Mandalay, and to optimize your time on the ground in Vegas.

First, the new (and official) IBM Information on Demand blog, which you can find here.

The blog includes easy access to some of the social media channels that will be covering the event (including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube).

Of course, never forget the official IOD hashtag, #ibmiod, where you’ll be able to follow the endless stream of tidings leading up to, during, and after the event.

The blog also has links off to the IOD 2012 registration engine, as well as to the IOD SmartSite so you can start thinking about your IOD calendar now (I do NOT advise waiting until the last minute…talk about information overload!)

We’ve got some exciting guest speakers this year, including Nate Silver, statistics blogging extraordinaire who first found fame with his “FiveThirtyEight” blog, which is now part of The New York Times family of media properties.

Silver analyzes politics the way most of us should be analyzing our business: Through data…and lots of it.

His analysis of political polling data is unparalleled, and in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Silver correctly predicted the results of the primaries and the presidential winner in 49 states.

His recent book, “The Signal and The Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail — But Some Don’t,” explores the world of prediction, “investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data.” Silver tackles some of the big questions about big data, so we’re very excited to have him join us in Vegas for IBM’s own big data marathon event.

At this year’s event, we’ll continue our trend of including tracks for specialized areas of interest, including forums for Information Management, Business Analytics, Business Leadership, and Enterprise Content Management.

And, of course, you’ll be able to find Scott Laningham and myself down in the EXPO center, where we’ll be talking to and interviewing many of the IBM and industry luminaries on the important data-related topics being discussed at the event.

Speaking of data, this will be my seventh IOD in a row, so I’m looking forward to seeing many of you once again.

Meanwhile, keep an eye here on the Turbo blog for future IOD-relevant posts.

Information On Demand 2011: Steve Mills On Big Data

leave a comment »

Greetings from the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center in Viva Las Vegas, Nevada.

Steve Mills explains to the Information On Demand 2011 audience why "Big Data" will require new ways of working but also bring organizations new and valuable insights.

I’m pretty sure I saw Elvis in the hallway yesterday, joined by Marilyn Monroe, and they were taking pictures with IODers.

My mom would have been proud (Elvis used to write on her arm after shows at the Louisiana Hayride), but I was too busy getting my fill of big data.

Speaking of which, BBC presenter Katty Cay returned in this morning’s general session to remind us of some big data statistics, including this one: There are now over 34K Google searches per second!

And in our Information On Demand polling overnight, the most popular name at IOD 2011 was tomorrow’s keynote speaker and Moneyball author, Michael Lewis.  We’re all looking forward to his discussion with Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane.

And I, of course, will continue to root on my Texas Rangers as they go 3-2 in the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Now, enter Steve Mills on the big stage at IOD to tell us more about Big Data.

In his keynote session, Mills explained that we’re all living in a world where the reality is that the art of the possible has only been improving with the advent of new technologies.

Scott Laningham and I interviewed IBM senior vice president and group executive, Steve Mills, on a range of info management related topics, including Watson and "Moneyball." You can view this and other interviews from IOD 2011 at http://www.livestream.com/ibmsoftware

Mills recalled the days when he had to pick up extra RAM — all 128KB of it — to pick up from Endicott, NY, to deliver to IBM customers in Albany.

Nobody talks about data or RAM in terms of “Ks” anymore — these days, we’re talking petabytes.

The challenge, Mills suggested, is that we can now turn all that additional data into useful information, to hone in to identify patterns and relationships and what the data could be telling us.

It’s like mining for gold, Mills went on, but there’s a lot of dirt and rock you have to remove to get to get to the “vein.”

Mills explained that though data is increasing in volume, it’s also metamorphosing in a way: Data is no longer a static thing, but that increasingly we’re dealing with “data in motion.”  Think about traffic data, or sensor outputs from pipelines — the stream is never-ending, so the data is always moving.

There’s also the issue of variety we have to contend with, Mills explained: We’re dealing in all kinds of data types, from audio to video, and certainly no longer just numbers and text.

The big data challenge, then, is how to take advantage of all the possibilities, including high performance hardware and rich bandwidth, and pull together comprehensive solutions to enable governments and businesses to deal effectively with this new volume.

Watson, the IBM computing system that won the “Jeopardy!” match earlier in the year, is a good example of how all these different capabilities can come together. It included big data technologies like Hadoop, as well as DB2, language understanding, and an alert system that allowed Watson to iterate and improve. It was a system of elements brought together to target a specific problem.

Which is exactly what we’re doing with our customers, Mills explained.

Take Catalina Marketing, a supermarket chain that deployed real-time analysis of current transactions and past purchasing history to trigger printouts of customer specific offers — that’s some 300 million retail transactions per week, and some 195 million shipper households and 400+ billion market-based records!

The solution: IBM Netezza, which allows them to do real-time database analytics.

Or Banco Bilvao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), which deployed IBM Cognos Consumer Insight based on IBM InfoSphere BigInsights and Apache Hadoop to analyze internet and social media sentiment (5.8 terabytes of data) about the bank.

Mills went through several more examples, and his message was this: No problem is the same.

There is a constant need for customization, which IBM solutions can provide.

But, patterns do emerge and you can deal with them creatively, and it does require a very broad range of technical capability up and down the line.

“Let’s have a great big data day,” Mills concluded.

Blogger’s Note: Read this blog post by Steve Mills to learn more about the opportunities and challenges presented by Big Data.

Information On Demand 2011: Let The Interviews Begin!

leave a comment »

Scott and I are well into our Sunday afternoon interviews, and we’ve had a couple of great sessions already discussing key themes emerging both at the conference and in the broader information management landscape.

We discussed the opportunities and challenges brought about by predictive analytics, and the unique requirements for establishing an effective information governance regime, and how to sell it into your organization.

Keep an eye for those interviews on our LiveStream channel, which you can reach at www.livestream.com/ibmsoftware

Also, remember you can follow all the action via the social media, including via the Twitter hashtags #iod11, #iod2011, and #iodgc2011, and as well on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/ibmbusinessanalytics.

If you want to drink from the information firehouse and see the full social media stream, visit ibm.co/iodsocial.

Information on Demand 2011: Big Data, Bigger Insights

leave a comment »

Greetings from Viva Las Vegas, Nevada.

The CNN Republican debate is long over, the media circus is over, and the information gatherers for IBM Information on Demand 2011 are arriving en masse.

My Webcasting partner-in-crime, Scott Laningham, and I arrived here yesterday mostly without incident. We scoped out the situation, and decided that the Mandalay Bay Race and Sports Book was the perfect venue to sit down, have a burger, and watch the third game of the World Series.

Since baseball and data are going to be an underlying theme in Michael Lewis and Billy Beanes’ keynote about Moneyball later this week, it only seemed appropriate.

And though my Texas Rangers ended up taking a beating, we did witness some new data added to the baseball history books: The Cardinals’ Albert Pujols tied Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson for the most home runs struck in one game of a World Series, the magic number three (to be precise, the Babe did it twice).

And though you may never be able to fully predict the specific outcome of a single baseball game, Billy Beane and his Oakland A’s team proved that you can use past player performance statistics to help build a better team, one that could compete with the “big money” teams.

Okay, so if past prediction can help prove future performance, where does that leave we Information On Demanders for this 2011 event?

Let’s start with the business benefit, which in these tough times are necessary for even the most profitable of enterprises.

IBM studies have demonstrated that the performance gap between those leaders and the laggards and followers is widening: Organizations that apply advanced analytics have 33% more revenue growth and 12X more profit growth.

That ought to get some executive attention.

But we’re also seeing some major shifts in the external environment. Information is exploding. We’ve now got over 1 trillion devices connected to the Internet, and we’re expecting 44X digital data growth through 2020.

And yet we’re also finding that business change is outpacing our ability to keep up with it all: 60% of CEOs agree they have more data than they can use effectively, and yet 4 out of 5 business leaders see information as a vital source of competitive advantage.

So what’s the remedy? Well, those flying in to Vegas have taken the first step, admitting they have a problem (No, not “The Hangover” type problems — you’ll have to talk to Mike Tyson about those).

No, successful organizations are turning all that data into actionable insight by taking a more structured approach through business analytics and optimization (BAO).

They’re embracing it as a transformational imperative, and demonstrating that they can improve visibility throughout the enterprise, enhance their understanding of their customers, and fostering collaborative decision-making while providing those key predictive insights and optimizing real-time decision making.

So, like a good baseball player, or manager, your job over the next several days here in Vegas is to do a few key things, and do them well.

Focus, keep your eye on the ball and on the topics most important and relevant to you.

Listen, including both in the general sessions and individual tracks, but also in those all important hallway conversations — you never know what you might learn.

Participate, particularly in the social media. We IBMers and our key partners want to hear from you, and we’re only a Tweet away. Use conference hashtag #iodgc2011 to speak up, as we’re listening in return.

Commit, to the actions coming out of the event that you think will be helpful to you and your organization, and to bring those business and technology goals into becoming a reality.

And one other thing…have fun! Whatever happens in Vegas may not stay in Vegas…it may even end up on Facebook…but that shouldn’t stop you from having a good time and learning a lot this week.

As for Scott Laningham and myself, we’ll be blogging and covering key sessions, and “livestreaming” from the Expo floor. Stop by and say hello.

IBM Industry Summit: Ginny Rometty On The Business Evolution Towards A Smarter Planet Agenda

with 4 comments

At the kickoff sesion of this morning’s IBM Industry Summit, IBM senior vice president of sales, marketing and strategy, Ginny Rometty, articulated a vision for organizations around the globe on how they could practically execute against the smarter planet agenda.

IBM Senior Vice President Ginny Rometty guides the IBM Industry Summit audience as to how companies can navigate their way to smarter business in the "new normal."

But first, she helped to rearticulate the problem statement through an example many may have already forgotten, the rice shortage crisis from early 2008.

Rometty explained she was traveling in Asia, and befuddled that in this day and age there would be a run on rice.

Once back at her office, she polled several colleagues from IBM Asia, and asked them what they thought was the cause of the shortage: Market speculation, climate change, growing demographics, what? In truth, it was all these things, but the “system of systems” had been overrun by its own complexity.

And ironically, a report released over a year later from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture stated that 2007-08 had been a record crop for rice!

Too much complexity, indeed.

There were huge inefficiencies in the vast distribution and supply chain system for rice, and not unlike the global financial crisis, it was those inefficiencies and interconnectedness that led to the rice riots to occur in the midst of the greatest rice crop in years.

With that as the backdrop, and the problem statement established, Rometty then began to explain what organizations around the globe must do if they wish to embrace the complexity of such “systems of systems,” and start to capitalize on the new opportunities they present.

Because this one example was emblematic of broader, but common challenges facing the world: All the systems that govern our businesses are really interconnected.

Also, companies everywhere have started to realize the increasing costs of their longstanding inefficiencies.

Which leads to the third understanding: We have to change. This is clearly not sustainable.

Rometty mentioned a study which revealed that since the global crisis hit, one-third of all CEOs have been replaced (Monster.com, anybody?)

To respond (and keep their jobs), CEOs must start to focus their energy on productivity and structural change, continued Rometty.

“You’re going to either take a market, or make a market.”

Therein lies the promise and the aspiration of a smarter planet. It really is a new way of thinking about your business and its opportunity in the world.

So how as a business do I get started on this concept of a smarter industry, Rometty asked?

Rometty answered the question by outlining the fact that IBM has done over 600 engagements around the globe, and half were done with partners like those in the room here in Barcelona.

Rometty then fully hit her stride and outlined for the CEOs and partners gathered in the room the three general phases people go through as they move towards a smarter business:

  1. Instrument to Manage
  2. Integrate to Innovate
  3. Optimize to Transform

The first step is simple: Understand the performance of your business by instrumentation.

You can’t know how fast you’re driving if your car doesn’t have a speedometer.

That’s why IBM has related this idea of embedded technology (RFID, sensor data, etc.)  To bridge the digital and analog world, we have to instrument, measure, and then manage it.

As an example, Rometty mentioned a Vietnamese seafood company which uses RFID sensors to monitor, from trawler to market, its fish catches to ensure quality control, manage inventory, and prove the premium value of its catch.

Second, companies must integrate to innovate. Organizations must be willing to evolve and adapt horizontally, across all their systems and structures, so that they can then be prepared to apply business analytics more effectively.

Rometty mentioned Toyota, which built an industrial waste efficiency project that the company spun off as a separate business unit, Ecomanage Network Corporation, to help other manufacturers facing the same waste management challenges.

Rometty also mentioned how supercomputing capability has evolved during the past decade. We’ve gone from Deep Blue, a supercomputer playing a chess game (but one with ultimately finite moves) to “Watson” (named after IBM’s founder, Thomas Watson), the new supercomputer learning how to play against humans with infinite possibliities in the “Jeaopardy” TV game show.

The host provides the answers, Watson has to come up with the questions.  Watson’s currently in training against other humans, but Rometty indicated that “She’s learning quite fast.”

Much laughter in the audience before Rometty moved on to the third step: Optimize to transform.

Now that you’ve built a foundation using instrumentation and new analytics, you can now move on to the art of the possible: Optimizing your system towards a specific business goal.

Predictive analytics is very different from the “looking backwards” model businesses have historically depended on.

The next decade, argued Rometty, will be one of predicting the future before it happens.

Unless you think she was now on to soothsaying, Rometty mentioned the Singapore Land Transit Authority, where technology is helping Singapore predict bus arrival times at a 98% accuracy rate, and helping commuters understand bus seat inventory via their mobile devices.

So what’s required to pull off this transformation, Rometty asked?

Three things. Leadership featuring an analytics based-culture. Systems thinking. And new forms of collaboration.

With regards to analytics, it’s actually simple to say (harder to do): Get your company and its people to move from guessing about your business via HIPPO (Highest Paid Person in the Room) and gut judgment, to one based on facts and trusted data that yields action.

Two, don’t get caught in the rice shortage paddy! Develop a culture of systems thinking so your organization is more adept and able to respond to unexpected crises, no matter their orientation.

And three, build a culture of collaboration. Your partners, your suppliers, your customers, all are key constituents in a supply chain of new ideas and possibilities for your business, but only if you facilitate and tap into their expertise and insights.

Pioneering companies which rethink their business systems and models, reinvent their outdated processes, and leverage analytics effectively moving will be poised to move beyond the “new normal” and instead realize new growth and outcomes for their companies.

%d bloggers like this: