Turbotodd

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

Posts Tagged ‘south africa

IBM Business Analytics: Preventing Fraud, Predicting Profits

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Scott Laningham and I are starting to think about repacking our suitcases and preparing to head back out on the road, this time across the pond to Madrid for the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit May 22-24.

In Madrid, we expect to hear quite a bit about IBM’s investment in the analytics space, but that doesn’t mean we have to wait to visit the Prado to relate some interesting details about business analytics.

Specifically, predictive analytics that can help companies across the span of industries to prevent fraud.

Here’s a sound byte you may not have yet heard: Did you know that insurance fraud has reached an estimated $80 billion per year in the U.S. alone??

And in South Africa, the rate of short-term insurance fraud is about 15 percent of all premium costs.

And yet, we’ve also found that organizations that effectively apply predictive analytics are 2.2 times more likely to outperform their peers.

One such client of IBM is Santam, South Africa’s leading short term insurance company, which has saved $2.4 million on fraudulent claims in the first four months of using IBM business analytics software.

This new analytics solution has not only enhanced Santam’s fraud detection capabilities, however — it has also enabled faster payouts for legitimate claims.

In partnering with IBM, Santam’s claims division developed a new operating model for processing claims, depending on varying risk levels. IBM’s predictive analytics software has enabled Santam to automatically assess if there is any fraud risk associated with incoming claims and allows the insurer to distribute claims to the appropriate processing channel for immediate settlement or further investigation, which in turn optimizes Santam’s operational efficiency.

In turn, Santam is able to reduce the number of claims that need to be assessed by mobile operatives visiting the customer or claim site, resulting in further considerable cost savings for the company.

IBM: Investing In Analytics, Predicting Results

In the last five years, IBM has invested more than $14 billion in acquisitions. With investments in SPSS, Clarity, OpenPages, i2 and Algorithmics, and others, IBM is building business analytics solutions providing clients with capabilities for managing fraud, risk and threat. In addition, IBM has assembled almost 9,000 dedicated analytics consultants with industry expertise, and created a network of eight global analytics solution centers.

The Santam project also illustrates IBM’s leadership in analytics in Africa. IBM is also actively laying the foundations for a major presence throughout the African continent, with offices in more than 20 African countries, where the company is assisting businesses and governments in building strategies, expertise, solutions, frameworks and operating procedures to help improve performance.

You can learn more about Santam here, and their new predictive analytics solution in the video below.  You can learn more about IBM business analytics solutions here.

Remote Kickoff

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World Cup 2010 kicked off in Johannesburg, South Africa, this afternoon (our morning here in Texas).

I’m out of the office for a few days, but I couldn’t let the first game between Mexico and South Africa go unheralded, so hence this quick post.

It was an exciting first match that (don’t read any further if you don’t want to know the score!) ended in a 1-1 draw.

Later today, it’s France and Uruguay, and tomorrow the U.S. and England play their first match (as do Argentina-Nigeria and Korea Republic-Greece).

As mentioned in a prior post, there’s plenty of means by which to follow the action in the digital realm.

And if you don’t care anything whatsoever about following the beautiful game in 2010…well, I just feel sorry for ya!

Meanwhile, back at the remote sensing ranch, I also wanted to share some news emerging from the 2010 Sensors Expo & Conference.

IBM announced a new software development kit called “Mote Runner” there that’s going to provide an open and programmer-friendly platform to connect sensor and actuator motes within a wireless sensor network.

Motes, which are also known as wireless sensor nodes, gather sensory information like temperature, movement, or light and then communicate that data across a network of wireless sensors.

With the cost of transistors ($0.00001 each) plummeting as density increases, companies and governments are working to take advantage of transistor-rich wireless sensor networks and analytics to:

  • Enhance understanding of the internal and external systems that support and impact their businesses
  • Improve the behavior and performance of business and societal systems
  • Make better, more informed decisions in real-time by applying analytics to data captured from sensors
  • Learn about situations occurring in business and societal systems as quickly as they happen

However, many wireless sensor networks used to monitor and react to physical or environmental conditions are proprietary and difficult to program.

This ultimately limits the ability of companies, governments and universities to take advantage of them, and Mote Runner was designed to address these challenges.

For example, Mote Runner could help a building management company deploy sensors throughout a high rise building. The technology would:

  • Enable the company to develop applications for the sensors that provide the ability to monitor equipment, room temperature, water systems and more
  • Allow the company to simulate where the sensors would be positioned throughout the building and test how they would communicate
  • Provide the company with the ability to reprogram the sensors remotely once they have been placed throughout the building

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Dr. Thorsten Kramp, computer scientist at IBM Research in Zurich, holds a MEMSIC IRIS wireless sensor mote programmed with IBM Mote Runner

“Sensors play an important role in interconnected systems and are critical to helping business leaders understand both what is happening in a system, and what will happen next,” said Charles Lickel, vice president for IBM Software Research about the Mote Runner technology.

“IBM is focused on empowering our clients to use sensors to instantly monitor constantly changing dynamics and apply analytics to understand and act upon these dynamics. Enabling clients to easily program and use sensor networks is core to creating smarter systems, and the new developer tools we are unveiling today will advance our clients’ ability to drive new intelligence into their businesses.”

Software systems are the centerpiece of smart grids, for example, integrating multiple independent products and complex systems to perform their critical functions.

Smart meters, smart appliances and smart homes, all containing embedded software, will be interconnected with numerous back-end software applications to create significant new value for consumers, businesses, and the public.

Available on IBM alphaWorks

To encourage exploration, the Mote Runner software development kit is available free of charge for non-commercial use to universities and students and available as a 90-day evaluation trial for corporate users on the IBM alphaWorks website at www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/moterunner.

Free support is provided on the IBM alphaWorks website.

Written by turbotodd

June 11, 2010 at 4:22 pm

World Cup Digital

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If you’re a fan, I don’t have to tell you what’s coming up in South Africa starting Saturday June 11th.

If you’re not a fan, you probably don’t care, anyhow.

But you should.

Because I expect this is going to be the largest demonstration of global social media in the history of mankind.

Seriously.

I’m talking, of course, about the World Cup futbol championship being hosted this year in the great country of South Africa.

Once again, my tickets didn’t show up in the mail, but that’s okay, because back to my previous point, this will be the most covered sporting event, or event of any kind, ever when it comes to the social media.

Hyperbole, dear Turbo, you say?

Well, let’s start with the estimated 1B+ expected “watchers” around the globe (I suspect that number is too conservative, but it’s a good starting point).

The World Cup is, after all, the biggest sporting event in the world, bar none.

In 2010, there will be 32 teams from countries around the globe competing for the World Cup championship.  In 2006, during the last World Cup (it’s hosted every four years), social media as we know it today was nascent.

There was no Twitter until about the time the tournament started, and only in September of that year did Facebook open up fully to the public.  YouTube was still a wee lad.

Facebook now has over 400M users, Twitter over 150M, and who knows how many YouTubers are out there.

So, what’s my recipe for following the action?

Well, in these United States, for starters get yourself a big screen TV, access to ESPN, and a DVR.  Some games will logically appear in U.S. primetime, but for others you’ll want to watch the DVR replay at your convenience.

Which means you’re going to have to carefully watch and possibly hedge your social media habits.

The last thing you want to do is find out the U.S. beat England in the opening round of Group C (Hey, it happened in 1950 in Brazil, and I can certainly wish it to happen again!).  Or, whomever your favorite team might be.

Which means you’ll need to carefully keep track of the schedule, so you know which of your teams is playing when, and instigating your own self-propelled social media blackout until such time as you can watch that replay without some Twit ruining it for you!

For my money, the World Cup Schedule iPhone/iPad app (V. 1.1) was key.  I think it cost me $.99 U.S. cents and gives me a full view of the groups and playing calendar (up through currently scheduled games, as well as mid-tourney games the teams for which will be decided in the first two weeks).

I also downloaded the 2010 FIFA World Cup application from ESPN (see screenshot below), which also provides schedules, as well as team and venue overviews and a countdown clock (as of this writing, we’re 8 days, 19 hours, 55 minutes, and 28…27…26…seconds away from the first kick).

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If you are a highlights junkie, your iPhone or iPad won’t be complete without the “100 Best Soccer Goals” application (also $.99 U.S. cents).

Once downloaded, don’t forget to watch Roberto Carlos’ “Best Goal Ever” during a France/Brazil Tournoi de France match in 1997, a free kick in which the ball bends it into the net way beyond David Beckham.

Of course, let’s also not forget the official FIFA Web site, fifa.com, which is also intending to interact with a number of key social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook.

And I’m sure there are a gazillion other resources that I don’t yet know about.

The key is this: Find the ones that work for you, get them ready in advance of the tournament, and be prepared to talk trash to your friends around the world throughout the tournament.

As to who the winner is…well, the U.S. is generally given around 80-1 odds to win.

Though I’ll certainly be rooting for them (and give it up, we do have one of the world’s greatest goalkeepers in Tim Howard), I have a feeling the winners this year are going to be either Brazil or Spain.

But why should you listen to me, I’m an American!

What in the world do I know about soccer???

Written by turbotodd

June 2, 2010 at 6:23 pm

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