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by Natalie Miller • @natalieatWIS

New cloud-based data services on IBM Bluemix promise fast, relevant insight

Published October 30, 2014


The transformative power of data and analytics was on display at IBM Insight conference in Las Vegas this week. As companies from all over the world shared their stories, Big Blue released a series of announcements on the growth of its big data, analytics, and IBM Watson portfolios.

Data now fuels the insight economy and the boundaries of how organizations work have become more fluid. The three imperatives that are remaking the world are data, cloud, and systems of engagement, explains Bob Picciano, Senior Vice President, IBM Information & Analytics Group.

“Data is the what; cloud is the how; and engagement is the why,” says Piccano. He explains that data is the new natural resource of the world and it is the basis for competitive advantage. Cloud is transforming IT and business processes and paving the way for brand new business value and new business models; and systems of engagement, fueled by mobile and social, is the idea that interaction needs to be systematically managed rather than in piecemeal methods to meet consumers’ expectations for more intimacy and more interaction.

Businesses have begun to change the way they think about data. Gone are the days that interaction with data is a byproduct of business activities. Today, data need to be placed at the center of every business, where those insights drive decisions, fuel interactions, and power processes, says Piccano.

“That’s when real value can be created,” he says. 

At Monday’s IBM Insight event in Las Vegas, IBM announced new data services on the IBM Cloud that are designed to ensure more trusted information can be applied more readily across an organization to give businesses the competitive advantage of applying insight faster.

The new cloud-based services, all available on IBM Bluemix, include IBM Cloudant Local, IBM dashDB, IBM DataWorks, and IBM Watson Curator. IBM Cloudant Local is an on-premise edition of the fully managed cloud database-as-a-service that enables a fluid hybrid cloud data layer that spans private data centers, mobile devices and third-party cloud providers. This ensures customers can easily reconfigure their cloud data platforms over time to optimize the cost, security, reach and performance.

IBM dashDB is a cloud-based data warehousing and analytics service with in-memory technology built-in to deliver answers faster. dashDB keeps infrastructure concerns out of the way of critical and time sensitive analytics. A new integration of dashDB with Cloudant, IBM’s NoSQL database as a service (DBaaS), allows Cloudant clients to embed analytics in their applications with a few clicks.

IBM DataWorks is a set of cloud-based data refinery services that shape, cleanse, match, and secure data. The new services enable business users to find, use and contribute data for analysis; application developers to embed data services into new applications; and IT and data professionals to enable self-service data access and instill confidence to act on the data.

IBM also introduced Watson Curator, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that increases confidence in the delivery of quality content collections and governance for IBM Watson Solutions. For example, an individual insurance risk analyst can quickly review and add context to documents so that many underwriters across the enterprise can get higher quality responses on risk assessments from Watson Engagement Advisor. IBM Watson Curator actively guides subject matter experts—in this case the risk expert—through the entire curation process in order to minimize the time and effort required. This capability improves the relevance and quality of the information used for analytics.

According to IBM, these capabilities will enable organizations to simplify and automate the ability to find, refine and prepare data; warehouse data in the cloud to make it instantly available for analytics; curate unstructured data services to increase the confidence in analytics; and enhance mobile and web applications with embedded analytics.



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