The FINANCIAL — IBM on October 26 announced a transformational approach to making the most of data, with the introduction of IBM Insight Cloud Services. Through collaboration with Twitter and The Weather Company, as well as the use of open data sets and business-owned data, IBM Insight Cloud Services can help clients cut through the noise of unstructured data, help turn streaming data into insights and change critical business outcomes across industries such as retail, insurance, and media & entertainment.
The deluge of data that businesses are trying to capture and make sense of – full of noise and uncertainty, and with less and less structured content – is expected to grow even faster with the advent of cognitive systems that learn by linking data to even more data to understand context and uncover new patterns of insights, according to IBM.
To address this challenge, IBM is introducing new cloud-based insight services that take the complexity of combining internal and external data out of the equation by using analytic models developed by IBM. Insight Cloud Services can help find the signals within complex data sets, connect them and delivers insights that businesses can apply directly into their business applications and processes.
Insight Cloud Services help enterprises achieve the benefits of cognitive technology as they learn from a variety of data sets and receive feedback from the outcomes that occur to help them to achieve more accurate outcomes. For example, an insurance company can make the most of data by alerting their customers to adverse weather conditions, potentially reducing claims and improving customer satisfaction.
IBM Insight Cloud Services are accessed in a variety of offerings, including:
IBM Insight APIs for Developers: Four new APIs that developers can access from IBM Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform, to incorporate historical and forecasted weather data from The Weather Company into web and mobile apps; and two APIs that allow developers to incorporate Twitter content –that is enriched with sentiment insights from IBM –from Decahose or PowerTrack streams into apps.
IBM Insight Data Packages for Weather: New bundled data sets from IBM and The Weather Company customized for key industries and available on the IBM Cloud. Built on a variety of weather data feeds that provide everything from real-time alerts for severe weather disasters to seasonal forecasts, the data packages can help insurers use weather data to alert policyholders ahead of hail storms that may cause property damage, help utilities forecast demand and identify likely service outages, help local governments to develop detailed emergency planning in advance of severe weather, and enable many industries such as retail to use data to help optimize their operations, reduce costs and uncover revenue opportunities ahead of changes in weather. Octo Telematics, a leading insurance telematics services provider, is using IBM Insight Data Packages for Weather as a critical input to its driver behavior scoring app, which offer personalized pay-how-you-drive – or usage-based-insurance – quotes based on driver behavior.
IBM Industry Analytics Solutions: A set of pre-built solutions that leverage IBM Insight Cloud Services cognitive techniques to help enable business users to tackle very specific industry challenges. This expands on a set of industry solutions IBM introduced in May 2015 that provide businesses with the ability to generate new types of insights based on customer behavior. IBM is continuing to launch these new solutions to deliver expanded insights for merchandising, demand planning and market profiling by combining data from multiple external sources, such as Twitter, The Weather Company and others. For example, IBM Demand Insights will help analyze the correlation between sales of individual products and weather, events, news, trends, social commentary and other external factors to identify forces that can impact consumer purchasing activity. This solution will provide Retailers and Consumer Product companies with advanced demand signals, enabling them to make adjustments to inventory, staffing and promotions. IBM Market Insights will enable Consumer Product and Media and Entertainment companies to better understand who their customers are and what other interests they may have. This solution will leverage IBM’s advanced analytics to analyze social media commentary to develop rich attributes that define a given customer segment or audience. These insights can be used to optimize advertising spend, improve targeting of marketing campaigns and even enhance content and product development. IBM also announced IBM Behavior Based Fan Insight, a predictive analytics solution which the Ottawa Senators professional hockey club plans to use to better understand fans, increase ticket sales and enhance the in-stadium experience.
“Insight Cloud Services help clients create actionable insights from the noisy reality of the world,” said Joel Cawley, GM, Information and Insights as a Service, IBM. “IBM is applying data science expertise and advanced analytics to exploit external data, find and connect the signals in that data to create new insights, and then deliver these insights embedded in clients’ business processes.”
“The combination of IBM’s deep industry knowledge and cognitive computing capabilities with the powerful, real-time data available from Twitter is changing the way business decisions are made,” said Chris Moody, VP of Data Strategy at Twitter.
“IBM’s cognitive computing platform, integrated with the world’s most-used and precise weather platform, will help businesses and governments everywhere make the best possible weather-related decisions,” said David Kenny, Chairman and CEO, The Weather Company.
Insight Cloud Services are built from a combination of technologies and resources from IBM’s Analytics portfolio, IBM’s cloud infrastructure – SoftLayer, technologies from IBM’s partnerships with The Weather Company and Twitter, and a wide variety of Open Source software and Open Data sources. This service has been tested and proven to support over 15 billion API calls per day with extremely low latency and high availability replicated through global deployments. IBM has converged its deep access to Twitter data, all of current and historical weather data from The Weather Company and over 150 Open data sources to help improve client operations. These initial services will be enhanced over time as more and more data sources are added and data scientists and engineers help address new and emerging client challenges.