Tag: analytics

Financial services spent a bundle on new technology

Clouds over the Old Power Station, OxfordA report by market research firm IDC said financial services giants spent around $114 billion on big data, analytics, cloud computing and mobility this year.

IDC describes this market as the “third platform” and said the four pillars of this temple are mobility, cloud, big data and analytics, and social business.

Karen Massey, a senior research analyst at IDC, said these four elements have “caused a fundamental shift in how financial services are consuming and budgeting for IT and applications”.

Mobility includes hardware like smartphones and tablets;mobile software; and mobile services.

Cloud includes software as a service (SaaS); Platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

Big data and analytics is important to financial service companies because it helps to optimise business, improves compliance and “engages customers by using data driven deision making”.

Big data market to be worth $48.6 billion in 2019

IBM client centre, Montpelier, FranceThe move by many companies to capitalise on the data they “harvest” means that big data technology and services will be worth as much as $48.6 billion in 2019.

That’s according to figures from IDC, which said that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the sector between 2014 and 2019 is 34.1 percent.

All three sectors of the big data market – infrastructure, software and services – will grow over the next five years. Software – that includes information management, discovery, analytics and applications will show a CAGR of 22.7 percent.

All industry sectors are interested in big data but the largest sector is discrete manufacturing, banking and process manufacturing. However, companies with the fastest growth rates include securities and investment services and media.

Companies believe that developing big data and analytics gives them a competitive advantage whichever sector they’re in, according to Jessica Goepfert, a programme director at IDC.

EU probes big data

European flagA report said that banks and insurers in Europe are facing regulation over their use of big data.

According to Reuters, three EU financial regulators issued a statement today saying they would look at the challenges big data poses by potential misuse.

The European Banking Authority, the European Securities and Markets Authority and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority said they would investigate big data to see if use of big data needed regulation.

The speed of computing allied with big data analytics could mean that peoples’ personal security could be compromised by profiling data based on an individual’s profile.

Analysing big data has become important to banks and to other financial bodies because they believe they can make money out of spotting patterns and such patterns could be misused.

IBM claims Watson is the future

Sherlock Holmes and Dr WatsonBig Blue said that its Watson platform is an “entirely new” model of computing because it isn’t programmed and learns.

IBM claimed that in less than in two years the Watson platform now has over 25 application programming interfaces (APIs) available for over 50 technologies, as it introduced new features yesterday.

Those new features include language, speech and vision services as well as more developer tools.

The company claimed its natural language classifier lets developers build application that understand meaning by using its dialogue function.

In addition, Watson visual insights lets developers build apps that will get meaning from social media images and video.

The company also said it has added to its speech to text and text to speech services by adding Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese.

IBM has also put into beta its “knowledge studio” which it hopes will combine machine learning and text analytics in a single tool.

Meanwhile, the company opened a Watson Hub in San Francisco aimed at collaborating with local and Silicon Valley companies.

IBM intros more Bluemix tools

IBM logoBig Blue said it has added a number of new services to Bluemix, it’s platform as a service (PaaS) making it easier to plug additional analytics tools into cloud applications.

The services include IBM Streaming Analytics, which brings analysis of data from thousands of sources on the cloud. IBM said that it dynamically builds out infrastructure.

IBM dashDB is a cloud data warehouse service that provides information management, analytics and business intelligence, and now supports Oracle and Netezza.

Elements of dashDB now include massively parallel processing capabilities, compatibility enhancements, and integration functions with Watson Analytics, R, Cognos, and toolsets including Looker, Aginity Workbench and Tableau. The dashDB suite now integrates with Twitter and Open Data.

The Bluemix catalogue, said IBM, now includes over 100 tools and services related to ppen source technologies and third party services.

IBM makes push into Africa

IBM logoHot on the heels of a visit to Africa by the US president, IBM said it will invest $60 million over the next three years in 20 African countries.

The aim is to expand its Technical Academy to educate professionals in analytics, cloud and big data.

IBM is cooperating with the Kenya Education Network for certification courses for 40 universities in the country.

The courses are being offered free of charge and are intended to give graduate students with entry level IT job skills.

Local academic staff are being supported by IBM scientists as well as an information portal and while the courses are in English, they’re going to be offered in French and in other African languages.

IBM said that by 2017 the certifications will be available to over 35,000 students across the continent.

Smart lighting will slash costs

Street lamps - Wikimedia CommonsInstalling smart lighting that’s connected to the internet of things (IoT) means that municipal authorities and commercial enterprises could save as much as 90 percent on energy costs.

Gartner said smart lighting will grow from 46 million units shipping this year to as many as 2.54 billion units in 2020.

Dean Freeman, author of the report at Gartner, said cutting energy costs by 90 percent is more than just installing LED (light emitting diode) units.

He said there are five elements to smart lighting and those are LEDs, sensors and controls, connectivity, analytics and intelligence.

Prices of solid state lighting have now reached the level where their use is “compelling” he said. With software on a machine, building owners will be able to analyse lighting patterns and so improve the implementation. And if the dashboard is in the cloud, then the lighting can be viewed and controlled from anywhere.

Both North America and Europe are beginning to install systems with remote management of both fixtures and bulbs and networked systems are now a reality.

Seagate signs deal with IBM

IBM logoStorage company Seagate said it will integrate IBM’s Spectrum Scale software with its own ClusterStor high performance computing storage.

According to Seagate, that will make it easier to manage research, computer aided design (CAD), data analytics, financial modelling and other data intensive workloads.

Seagate claims over 17,000 petabytes of ClusterSor have already shipped and that it’s made two million enclosures for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that use it.

But IBM’s Spectrum Scale software lets enterprises manage their storage using software definitions using a single dashboard.

IBM’s Bernie Spang, VP of IBM’s software infrastructure division, said organisations are looking for faster and more cost efficient ways to store, manage and access their data and to provide analytics.

No financial details of the agreement were supplied by either party.

GlobalFoundries becomes an IBM supplier

IBM logoAs we reported yesterday, the US government cleared the acquisition of IBM’s semiconductor business by GlobalFoundries (GloFo).

And today IBM announced that that would mean to its future business.

GloFo will become IBM’s exclusive semiconductor supplier for the next 10 years – so it will make its POWER chips that go into Big Blue servers.

It’s not the end of the story for IBM semiconductor engineers, however. IBM Research will carry on doing semiconductor and material science and that will help the company to continue selling mainframes, storage and POWER systems to aid it in its push into cloud, big data and analytics systems.

IBM said that its semiconductor and material research has delivered important technology including copper chips, silicon germanium and quantum computing.

It’s good news for GloFo. The Abu Dhabi based company, which acts as a foundry to produce semiconductors for its customers, also gains access to leading IBM technology, including its state-of-the-art fabrication plant (fab) in New York State.

IBM teams up with Facebook

IBM logoIn an unlikely alliance between an old time technology company and young blade, IBM said it has struck a deal to work with Facebook.

IBM is letting its marketing cloud clients use Facebook’s advert functions like Custom Audiences and has combined this with its analytics across applications and devices.

IBM thinks that combining Facebook’s advertising technology with its own Journey Analytics, companies can decide which groups of customers – among the 1.44 billion people using Facebook – can be correlated across different channels.

Facebook will join IBM’s Commerce Thinklab – a concept to allow companies to push their brands personalising people that use social networking.

It’s all a bit scary, but marketeers will be able to use Facebook Custom Audiences by combining it with deep analytics from IBM’s own marketing cloud.

IBM’s general manager Deepak Advani appears to believe that companies with brands need to know personalised experiences as a way of “nurturing loyalty”.

Perhaps it’s time for all of us to stop using Facebook before the whole thing gets totally out of control.