IBM Makes Big Data a Top Priority

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty sees “big data” services as a strategic mandate for both IBM and their customers in 2013. Leveraging Big knowledge, analytical data tools, and services will enable customers to mine vast troves of information to make better and faster decisions.

“It’s certainly everything around big data and analytics,” Rometty said in a brief interview recently when asked about IBM’s priority in 2013. She made the statement after a speech in front of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, where she emphasized that data will give companies and governments a competitive advantage.

“I want you to think about data as the next natural resource,” said Rometty. Data-based insight helped reduce crime by 30 percent in Memphis, Tennessee, and correctly predicted the outcome of swing states for President Barack Obama’s campaign, she said.

For IBM, the capabilities are helping it break into new overseas markets and sell services covering a wider range of tasks. These include operations activities such as traffic management, utility monitoring systems, and weather monitoring, and payroll management. About 80 percent of growth is coming from outside the U.S., she said.

IBM increased its 2015 sales forecast for data analytics to $20 billion recently, that is an increase from an earlier goal of $16 billion.

 Revenue from the category in 2010, when IBM first set he goal, was approximately $10 billion. Since 2005, IBM has spent more than $16 billion on 35 acquisitions to boost its analytics capabilities.

According to IBM, each day, organizations and individuals create nearly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. This data generation rate produces so much data that nearly 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data for example comes from devices such as sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, purchase-transaction records, and cell phone GPS signals.

 

Using Big Data to Monitoring Workers Activities

Businesses are using analytics to track individual employee performance and treat customers based on personal preference, she said. That means they don’t have to make as many blanket assumptions.

“You will see the death of the average,” Rometty said.

Analytics also will help companies fight the mounting threat of cybercrime by predicting where the next attack might happen, Rometty said. She appealed to countries to work together on a data-based strategy, instead of individual legal approaches.

“If every country tries to regulate this themselves, you will have a standstill and a great vulnerability,” she said.

Companies such as IBM are beefing up employee expertise in the fast growing trend of data consultants. These are data specialists with insights on how to help businesses make sense of the explosion of various data sources. These include data from Web traffic or social network comments, as well as software and sensors that monitor shipments, suppliers and customers. Companies are fast learning that they can mine the data for insights that help guide them to important decisions, trim costs and lift sales. 

 

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Bill has been a member of the technology and publishing industries for more than 25 years and brings extensive expertise to the roles of CEO, CIO, and Executive Editor. Most recently, Bill was COO and Co-Founder of CIOZone.com and the parent company PSN Inc. Previously, Bill held the position of CTO of both Wiseads New Media and About.com.

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