Posts Tagged ‘business intelligence’
I was all set to write a closer examination of statistician and blogger Nate Silver’s most recent election predictions, a ramp up to during which he was lambasted by a garden variety of mostly conservative voices for either being politically biased, or establishing his predictions on a loose set of statistical shingles.
Only to be informed that one of my esteemed colleagues, David Pittman, had already written such a compendium post. So hey, why reinvent the Big Data prediction wheel?
Here’s a link to David’s fine post, which I encourage you to check out if you want to get a sense of how electoral predictions provide an excellent object lesson for the state of Big Data analysis. (David’s post also includes the on-camera interview that Scott Laningham and I conducted with Nate Silver just prior to his excellent keynote before the gathered IBM Information On Demand 2012 crowd.)
I’m also incorporating a handful of other stories I have run across that I think do a good job of helping people better understand the inflection point for data-driven forecasting that Silver’s recent endeavor represents, along with its broader impact in media and punditry.
They are as follows:
As Forbes reporter wrote in his own post about Silver’s predictions, “the modelers are here to stay.”
Moving forward, I expect we’ll inevitably see an increased capability for organizations everywhere to adopt Silver’s methodical, Bayesian analytical strategies…and well beyond the political realm.
Techno DJ futurist Jason Silva (formerly of Al Gore’s Current TV) kicked off the Information On Demand 2012 event here at the Mandalay Bay Arena by telling us all to “Think Big.”
Though I’d known this was the conference theme, I didn’t realize how big big was until the small, but limber, Silva gave his big presentation.
As he kickstarted the event with a blend of hyper animations and visualizations reeling behind him on a huge video screen in post-MTV fashion, I wanted to stop him and explain that to talk about big things so rapidly would allow a lot of his big ideas to disappear into the ether and to just slow downnnnn.
Jason’s look at the big picture was an interesting one, wherein he described a world that was “hyperconnected,” where we extended sensors into everything…on planes, bridges…even our conference IDs for IOD!
But Silva’s utopian vision could easily merge into a dystopia, if proffered without regard to some of the more realistic and mundane issues presented in a Big Data universe.
Small, and petty human concerns like agendas, and greed, and lack of privacy, and bias, and the other nasty little buggers which make us human.
So, though I wanted to go along with Silva’s optimistic joy ride snowblind to those considerations, someone has to be the buzz kill at this emerging Big Data party and explain there are some very real and concerning issues that will need to be dealt with, none of which Silva seemed even to allude to.
But, as techno joy rides go, his was fun even as it went by in the blink of an eye.
Once he blinked, it was IBM Software vice president Robert LeBlanc who really set the stage for the week’s tidings, explaining to the gathered audience of 12,000+ in the Mandalay Bay arena how smarter analytics would be required in the new era of computing.
As always, Leblanc started with some facts: Like how Big Analytics is what’s driving innovation and market growth in IBM’s recent CTO study.
How “technology factors” has risen to the top of the CEO agenda as the number one issue during the study’s last six years.
And how it’s no matter what part of the world you inhabit or what industry you’re in…all and everywhere will be impacted by the need for smarter analytics. This kind of transformational change is a movie we’ve seen before, first with transaction processing in the 1960s, with Internet-enabled e-business in the mid-1990s, and now, the move towards analytics becoming foundational to computing.
Two IBM customers provided two very different, yet compelling, views into this future, one they’re each already living.
ConocoPhillips principal scientist Dr. Phil Anno explained how his organization is utilizing big data analysis to maximize the economic performance of petroleum extraction in the Arctic (and prevent damage to their drilling rigs by shifting ice flows!)
Keith Figlioli, senior VP with Premier, a U.S.-based healthcare IT provider, explained how they’re using IBM technologies to drive substantial costs out of the U.S. healthcare system (he explained that 30 cents on every dollar is wasted on unneeded care and fraud in the U.S.)
Also in the opening general session, we heard from Inhi Cho Suh, VP of Information Management at IBM, who gave an excellent, if quick, summary of the three PureData systems options.
Deepak Advani, who gave an excellent flyover of how big data analytics is bringing about the rapid integration of structured and unstructured data, also highlighted www.analyticszone.com, where you can download some free tools for conducting your own personal analytics.
As the general session concluded, I scooted on over to the day one press conference, where I heard some opening comments from IBM senior vice president Steve Mills.
Mills explained how IT economics laid the red carpet for big data, that it wouldn’t have been possible had the economics of hardware, in particular, been driven down to such an affordable level so as to enable these higher performing systems required for big data analytics.
Mills also highlighted the fact that smarter analytics is a delivery of the real promise of information technology, that now customers are “buying outcomes, and time to value,” as opposed to systems and processes, and that it made sense for them to invest in such projects.
More on the actual announcements as details emerge…
In the era of big data, organizational leaders will be distinguished by their ability to make decisions — big and small, strategic and tactical — based on a comprehensive view of the world around them.
Yet this is not a one-time or one-size-fits-all exercise. Each organization’s analytical journey is quite different.
The proper use of analytics will change how organizations are structured, how daily operations are managed and where new investments are made to create value.
A recent study from Nucleus Research found that companies realize a return of $10.66 for every dollar they invest in analytics.
To help organizations better understand how smart they are with analytics, IBM has released a free online self-assessment tool, “Analyze Your Analytics.”
The assessment is based on a study by the IBM Institute for Business Value surveying more than 4,500 executives, managers and analysts in multiple industries worldwide.
It only takes minutes to complete and provides respondents with insight into how well an organization aligns, anticipates and acts on information, compared to its industry peers.
After completing the assessment, respondents will receive a numeric score and customized recommendations based on the responses, job roles and their organization’s business objectives.
These recommendations will help organizations weave analytics into the fabric of their business and culture, with focused efforts on key business areas and objectives, including growing, retaining and satisfying customers, increasing operational efficiency, transforming financial processes or managing risk, fraud and regulatory compliance.
Get started here to analyze your analytics.
This morning at Information On Demand 2011, IBM introduced new software for the healthcare industry to help health care providers and payers improve patient care and reduce costs.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, one in five patients suffer from preventable readmissions, which represents $17.4 billion of the current $102.6 billion Medicare budget. Beginning in 2012, hospitals will be penalized for high readmission rates with reductions in Medicare discharge payments.
The new software offering uses content analytics similar to what is found in IBM’s Watson technology. IBM today introduced new software for the healthcare industry to help health care providers and payers improve patient care and reduce costs. The new software offering uses content analytics similar to what is found in IBM’s Watson technology.
Seton Healthcare Family is the first client to adopt and use the technology, called “IBM Content and Predictive Analytics for Healthcare.”
The solution will allow healthcare organizations to extract relevant clinical information from vast amounts of patient data to better analyze the past, understand the present, and predict future outcomes.
Calling Dr. Watson
By combining IBM’s Watson technology with industry solutions offerings, Seton intends to focus the new content and predictive analytics solution on the root causes of hospital readmissions, and ways it can decrease preventable multiple hospital visits.
Most healthcare organizations are drowning in data but are challenged to gain reliable, actionable insights from this information. In fact, more than 80 percent of an institution’s data today is unstructured. In healthcare, this is in the form of physician notes, registration forms, discharge summaries, documents and more is doubling every five years. Different from machine- ready data, this content lacks structure and is arduous for healthcare enterprises to include in business analysis and therefore is routinely left out. As a result, millions of patient notes and records often sit unavailable in separate clinical data silos. This content contains valuable information, but there’s historically been no easy way to analyze it.
IBM Content and Predictive Analytics for Healthcare enables doctors and healthcare professionals to go far beyond traditional search and analysis of unstructured data. They can advance diagnosis and treatment by accurately extracting medical facts and understanding relationships buried in large volumes of clinical and operational data.
The IBM solution transforms raw information into healthcare insight quickly by revealing trends, patterns, deviations and predicting the probability of outcomes, allowing organizations to derive insight in minutes versus weeks or months, or not at all. As a result, healthcare professionals can find more effective ways to care for high-risk patients, provide safer patient care, and develop new models for reimbursement for quality care.
Powered By POWER
The new IBM solution gives clinical and other knowledge workers and executives several ways to interact with analyzed information including searching, exploring, mining, monitoring and reporting. It delivers a set of proven technologies that meet the rigorous standards and requirements of the healthcare community.
The software is also compatible with IBM’s Health Integration Framework, which means healthcare organizations can realize more value from existing information system investments such as data warehouse, business intelligence, master data management and advanced case management.
IBM is offering new content and predictive solution services through its Business Analytics and Optimization initiatives, which includes a new center of competence for UIMA-based text analysis solutions. This center of competence draws on resources from IBM Global Services, IBM Software Lab Services, and the IBM jStart emerging technology team.
IBM Content and Predictive Analytics for Healthcare is optimized to run on IBM Power Systems, which are designed for high throughput and complex analysis of structured and unstructured data. Built on the foundation of IBM POWER7 processor technology, Power Systems are available at many different price points and can be tailor fit for purpose and rapidly deployed for a broad range of customer environments with leadership performance, ease of management and efficiency.
For more information go here. IBM Content and Predictive Analytics for Healthcare.
Well, today’s U.S. jobs report for the month of August was a drag. The number of net new jobs added?
But, there’s some goods news on the horizon, in particular the retail industry.
That is, of course, if you buy an analytics-based forecast recently produced by IBM.
Its retail forecast indicates that apparel sales are expected to post year-over-year gains during the fall shopping season, with especially big increases in sales of children’s apparel.
These findings, of course, have substantial ramifications for retailers preparing for one of their most important seasons of the year.
So how did IBM arrive at this forecast? First, it relies on historical data and sophisticated analytics software developed by IBM to analyze both long-term trends and seasonal peaks.
IBM consultants use such predictive techniques to help retailers, manufacturers, and other IBM clients improve performance by addressing complex issues of supply and demand.
These techniques also aid in planning product mix and new store locations.
In producing the forecast, IBM applies analytics technology to economic data gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The children’s apparel category stands out during this three-month period. It is expected to total $2.659 billion, representing a 11.1% increase over the prior-year period. Women’s apparel, men’s apparel and footwear are all expected to post increases over the same period last year as well.
The sales projections for August, September and October 2011 are in the following chart (numbers in millions of dollars):
The following chart contains actual sales figures for August, September and October 2010 (numbers in millions of dollars):
The projected year-over-year change in sales for the three-month period is summarized below:
The forecast indicates that for Men’s Apparel, September sales will be up 10.5% over the 20-year average. For Women’s Apparel, September sales will be up 2.15% over the 20-year average.
“This indicates that consumers are rotating between categories,” said IBM retail analytics leader Michael Haydock. “Adults are holding back on purchasing for themselves during their back-to-school shopping for the kids. But once the kids are in school, moms and dads will be looking to treat themselves. This category rotation, which became prominent after the economic downturn began in 2008, seems to be persisting.”
Haydock noted that it is important for retailers to understand these trends and adjust advertising, staffing and inventory accordingly to meet fast-changing demand.
He also highlighted the fact that disposable income, as reported by the U.S. Commerce Department, continues to be healthy this year, perhaps indicating pent-up consumer demand.
You can learn more about IBM’s Business Analytics and Optimization here.
How did it get to be Monday so quickly?
Well, it’s here now, and I guess we just have to deal with it.
A quick congrats to David Toms for winning the Crowne Plaza Colonial PGA tourney in Ft. Worth, Texas, over Rapture weekend. The end of the world may not have appeared, but boy did Toms’ putter show up.
For diehard golf fans, the Colonial is a special golf tournament, celebrating the life and career of one of the greatest golfers ever, Ben Hogan, who was born in nearby Stephenville and who won the Colonial five times (the last time in 1959). Hogan died in Ft. Worth back in 1997.
Toms, who lost The Players Championship in a playoff last week, came back this week in Ft. Worth swinging (literally!) to beat Charlie Wi and a diverse field to get his name etched on the Colonial Wall of Champions.
I, for one, am glad Toms came back to win, as I was not really eager to see the world end suddenly, particularly during the weekend of such a classic golf tournament.
But the world can end in different ways, particularly with all that voluminous data floating around out there that’s so difficult to keep track of.
On Friday, IBM unveiled some new software and services to help clients with their “big data” needs.
Why this now? Consider the fact that 83 percent of 3,000 CIOs surveyed in IBM’s 2011 Global CIO Study said that applying analytics and business intelligence to their IT operations is the most important element of their strategic growth plans over the next three to five years.
Specifically, IBM announced new, patented software capabilities to analyze massive volumes of streaming data with sub-millisecond response times and Hadoop-based analytics software to offer scalable storage to handle tens-of-petabytes level data.
IBM also announced 20 new services offerings, featuring patented analytical tools for business and IT pros to infuse predictive analytics throughout their IT operations.
You can read more about this announcement here.
And go here to get the bigger view on bigger data.
I don’t know how much more effective these new tools will be in predicting the next ending of the world, but I’m pretty confident they can help companies make more sense out of all those endless information streams overwhelming them.
IBM has released its most recent study of more than 3,000 global CIOs.
The Global CIO study, last conducted in 2009, includes a range of interesting sound bytes, but here’s the lead: 60 percent of organizations are ready to embrace cloud computing over the next five years, a figure nearly double that of the 2009 study.
What explains that doubling of interest in cloud computing? As the amount of information companies and consumers generate increases, companies are seeking simple and direct access to data and applications that cloud computing delivers in a cost-efficient, always-available manner.
Also, though early cloud deployments typically began in an intra-departmental paradigm, use has now become more common between organizations and their partners and customers.
From a global perspective, seven out of 10 CIOs in the U.S., Japan, and South Korea, and 68 percent in China, now identify cloud as a top priority. In 2009, CIO interest in cloud computing hovered at around a third in these countries.
The Business of Business Intelligence
The latest CIO study also found that more than four out of five CIOs (83 percent) see business intelligence and analytics as top priorities for their businesses as they seek ways to act upon the growing amounts of data that are now at their disposal.
Mobile computing was also a central theme, with nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of CIOs seeing mobile computing and mobility solutions as a game-changer for their businesses.
Among some other trends IBM discovered in this year’s study:
- Analytics and business intelligence hold the most interest in the chemical and petroleum, consumer products, and healthcare industries, with CIOs from each of those industries citing it as part of their plans to increase competitiveness over the next three to five years.
- Mobility solutions were identified most in the travel (91 percent), media and entertainment (86 percent), and energy and utilities (82 percent) industries.
- Risk management is a top issue in the finance and banking industries, where more than 80 percent of CIOs said they are focusing their attention.
- Simplification is a key issue for CIOs, as more than 80 percent said they plan to lead projects to simplify internal processes.
- A wide array of innovative methods and tools are being sought to turn “big data” into real, actionable information. This ranges from master data management (68 percent) to client analytics (66 percent), data warehousing and visual dashboards (64 percent) and search capabilities (59 percent).
The report also highlights a number of recommendations, ranging from strategic business actions and use of key technologies that IBM has identified that CIOs can implement, based on CIO feedback from the study.
The full 2011 CIO Study and interviews are available here.
About the IBM 2011 CIO Study
IBM’s 2011 study, the definitive study of trends among chief information officers, is the product of face-to-face interviews with CIOs from diverse organizations in 71 countries, 18 industries and organizations of every size.
The study, titled “The Essential CIO,” reinforces the increasingly strategic role that CIOs are playing as leaders of innovation and growth. The study is being released in IBM’s centennial year as the company marks the historic role it played in both establishing the need for CIOs in the 1950s and 1960s — the early days of business computing — and elevating the position over the ensuing decades to give a voice to IT in the C-suite.
IBM and Netezza today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement for IBM to acquire Netezza, a publicly held company based in Marlborough, Massachusetts, in a cash transaction at a price of $27 per share (or approximately $1.7B).
Netezza will expand IBM’s business analytics initiatives to help clients gain faster insights into their business information.
The acquisition, which is subject to Netezza shareholder approval, applicable regulatory clearances and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The rate and pace of data is accelerating the IT opportunity around information and analytics. A recent Global IBM Study revealed that 83 percent of CIO’s identified analytics as a top priority.
The combined strengths of IBM and Netezza are a key differentiator at a time when organizations of all sizes are looking to gain more insight from their business information. Netezza is a leading provider of high-performance analytics in a data warehousing appliance that can be up and running in a matter of hours, handling complex analytic queries 10 to 100 times faster than traditional systems.
The simplicity, speed and ease of deploying Netezza appliances brings analytics directly into the hands of business users within every department of an organization such as sales, marketing, product development and human resources.
The existing relationship between IBM and Netezza reinforces the combined value to clients. Today, Netezza designs and develops its appliances on IBM systems technology and combined with IBM software powers many applications within organizations.
The two companies have been strategic partners for many years focused on workload optimized systems that deliver integrated systems, software and storage for analyzing vast amounts of complex data.
“IBM is bringing analytics to the masses. We continue to evolve our capabilities for systems integration, bringing together optimized hardware and software, in response to increasing demand for technology that delivers true business value. Netezza is a perfect example of this approach,” said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Software and Systems. “Netezza strongly complements our business analytics capabilities and client base. Together, we have the opportunity to quickly leverage the technology and accelerate the offering.”
Today, more than 350 clients across a variety of industries have adopted Netezza. These companies include eHarmony, Neiman Marcus, Time Warner, Estee Lauder, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, United HealthGroup, Nationwide Insurance, Sapporo, NYSE Euronext, Virgin Media and others.
The simplicity of deploying Netezza appliances makes this technology ideal for the needs of high-performance analytics, requiring minimal administration and IT skills, and enables clients to run complex data queries within days of deploying the solution.
“Our vision of an appliance-based Intelligent Economy aligns very well with IBM’s Smarter Planet strategy. Netezza appliances set the standard for performance and simplicity in data warehousing and analytics,” said Jim Baum, President and CEO of Netezza. “Our customers choose our appliances for their fast time to value and how they simplify analytics against big data. Together with IBM, we are looking forward to extending our capabilities to a much broader market.”
For example, with Netezza appliances, NYSE Euronext has drastically cut the time it takes to load and extract massive amounts of historical data so it can run analytic queries more securely and efficiently, while reducing runtimes from hours to seconds.
Virgin Media, a UK provider of TV, broadband, phone and mobile services with millions of subscribers, uses Netezza across its product marketing, revenue assurance and credit services departments to proactively plan, forecast and respond to the effect of pricing and tariff changes enabling them to quickly respond with competitive offerings.
The acquisition expands IBM’s information and analytics offerings, including services available through IBM’s Business Analytics and Optimization Consulting organization. Today, more than 6,000 IBM consultants are dedicated to analytics.
In the last four years, IBM has invested more than $12 billion in 23 analytics related acquisitions. In IBM’s second-quarter of 2010, IBM’s analytics business grew 14%.
Following the close of the acquisition, IBM intends to integrate Netezza within IBM’s Information Management software portfolio.