IBM eyes vertical applications for big data

Summary:Steve Mills, IBM's senior vice president in charge of software and systems, said most companies are thinking vertical applications with their big data pilots.

IBM on Monday rolled out a series of industry specific big data tools as it aims to court everything from telecom carriers to healthcare providers to small and mid-sized businesses.

At its Information On Demand and Business Analytics Forum, the company combined the acquired assets of Vivisimo and Unica as well as its internal tools into packaged analytics platforms. For instance, IBM's InfoSphere BigInsights software now includes social media analytics and data federation features via Vivisimo.

Steve Mills, IBM's senior vice president in charge of software and systems, said most companies are thinking vertical applications with their big data pilots. "Most industries are looking at applications specific to their domain," he said.

Mills added that 2013 is likely to see more big data pilots than 2012, but production systems will also be launched more frequently. "2013 will have a lot of pilots, but don't discount the production side," he said.

Among the targeted big data niches:

  • Healthcare. The company launched Patient Care and Insights, an application that sucks in health records from hospitals, physicians and insurers. The software then models outcomes and treatments and automates workflow and paper processes.
  • Marketing. IBM rolled out an analytics accelerator aimed at chief marketing officers. The tool, which runs on IBM's Netezza and Unica, is aimed at gauging consumer sentiment.
  • Telecom providers. IBM's InfoSphere Streams software is designed to analyze wireless data in flight so carriers can optimize networks. T-Mobile's Christine Twiford noted on ZDNet's recent TechLines panel that the carrier was running a few streaming pilots with IBM. The streaming software was initially used in the financial services sector.
  • SMBs. IBM has rolled up a big data packaged application called Analytic Answers. The idea is that IBM ingests a smaller company's data and provides answers through a cloud interface. Mills said the effort is designed to give SMBs as well as large enterprise pilots an avenue to try big data tools.
  • Finance. IBM launched Disclosure Management software, which is designed to take finance reporting data, notably regulatory, compliance and performance reporting and roll it up into a spreadsheet format.

More:  30 big data project takeaways

Topics: Big Data, TechLines

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Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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