Is your company's crystal ball clouded by Big Data?
That's the question posed by IBM today as it unveils a new suite of analytics products and services. The IT heavyweight is hoping to entice C-level execs with software and consultancy services that enable day-to-day corporate decision making powered by Big Data.
Dubbed Smarter Analytics Signature Solutions, IBM says the offerings are the result of dozens of acquisitions involving predictive analysis, innovations from IBM Research and "more than 20,000 analytics engagements." Now, IBM is using that work to help businesses combat fraud, improve customer service and achieve new levels of financial visibility.
Unlocking Big Data's value is opening up new frontiers in IT -- and new markets, too. IBM points to a bullish IDC forecast that says businesses will pour $120 billion into analytics hardware, software and services by 2015.
With so much at stake, it's little wonder that IBM is willing to take on Oracle, SAP and SAS in an increasingly crowded Big Data analytics market. Part of IBM's strategy is making companies aware that they are sitting on a goldmine, according to Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of IBM Global Business Services.
"IBM is helping organizations transform Big Data from a threat into an opportunity, one that will be their most valuable natural resource," she states. And it wants organizations to seize those opportunities with a targeted, business-centric approach.
Big Data Fights Fraud, Woos Customers
On the anti-fraud front, the company is targeting government agencies and insurers with fraud detection software that monitors and analyzes business processes, allowing them to identify suspect activity before claims are paid out, for instance. Already, Infinity Insurance is putting the technology to work, slashing the time it takes to detect fraudulent claims from 14 days to 24 hours.
Next is Next Best Action. It combines customer information with signals from social networks and Web click streams to gauge customer sentiment. Armed with that data, it uses real-time analytics to help businesses develop a plan, or "next best action," to improve customers' experiences or win over new customers.
Lastly, there's CFO Performance Insight. IBM believes the software will make it easier for corporations to develop insights from an avalanche of financial information -- and not a moment too soon. According to IBM research, it's growing at a rate of 70 percent each year. CFO Performance Insight provides root-cause analyses, allowing businesses to determine the relationships between financial performance metrics and giving managers a clearer financial picture, ultimately leading to improved planning.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of IT-related websites and as the Green IT curator for GigaOM Pro. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.