IBM offers SMBs analytics as a service

IBM Corp. is pushing the pedal on big data analytics, including a focus on analytics-as-a-service for small to mid-sized businesses.

The company announced new acceleration technology for its portfolio of big data software at its Information on Demand conference in Las Vegas Oct. 23, including a new IBM Digital Analytics Accelerator aimed at chief marketing officers. Based on Netezza (analytics software) and Unica (marketing software) technology, the new offering can derive insight from web traffic, customer emails and social media to run more efficient marketing campaigns.

IBM also says is has enhanced the analytics capabilities offered through its SmartCloud platform. IBM also announced new features to its InfoSphere Streams software, designed to help communications providers analyze data moving across their networks faster. The tool can measure network performance, customer behaviour on social media and geospatial information.

IBM’s Z-series hardware includes a faster way to process analytics.

IBM InfoSphere BigInsights, a platform based on Hadoop that can be used to analyze unstructured data, is also getting a speed boost with an improved ability to capture relevant information from social media, the company said in a press release. The software will also now include a data federation tool called Data Explorer that will provide visual representations of data relationships.

Typically meant for an enterprise market, IBM is opening up access for SMBs to the platform over the cloud. Through its Analytics Answers service, IBM customers will plug in their dat and ask questions – for example you may plug in your customer transaction data and ask who your most loyal customers are. The service is a part of IBM’s Smart Cloud subscription service.

IBM speakers at the conference also touted what they said are the ultra-fast database queries now possible with DB2 Analytics Accelerator V3, launched a few weeks ago. Bolted onto IBM Z-series boxes, “what this gives you is the best of both worlds,” said Curt Cotner, an IBM fellow and its vice president and CTO for database servers.

Short-running queries can be run locally on DB2 for zOS, but when the data starts to grow to millions of rows, it will automatically be routed to a Netezza box, he said.

The result, he said, is getting results “up to 2000 times faster than doing the same thing on zOS and of course, at a fraction of the cost.”


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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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