Tag: analytics

Smart city connections rise over a billion

Internet of ThingsEven though there’s little in the way of standards for the internet of things (IoT), the revolution is already here, according to research published by Gartner.

In a report released today, Gartner said that 1.1 billion connected things will be used by smart cities this year but that figure will soar to 9.7 billion by 2020.

But a significant number of connected things this year will be down to so called smart homes and smart commercial buildings – right now the share is 45 percent but the percentage will reach 81 percent by 2020.

Gartner said most of the money will be spent from the private sector. It released figures which showed that public services and in particular healthcare are lagging behind other sectors including transport and utilities.

For the home, connected devices include smart LED lighting, such as Philips Hue lights, healthcare monitoring, smart locks, and sensors that detect things as diverse as motion and carbon monoxide. The highest growth will be in smart lighting – in 2015 there will be only six million units shipped but that will grow to 570 million units by 2020.

Major applications in cities include IoT deployments for parking, traffic and traffic flow. And the UK is leading the way in the field.

Commercial IoT applications will span multiple industries and firms specialising in analytics will see a rise in revenue as big data generated by the billions of devices will represent challenges for the industry.

IBM teams up with Twitter

ibm-officeBig Blue is very busy with its cloud data services and data analytics and today has penned an agreement with Twitter aimed at enterprises and developers.

The deal means IBM will deliver cloud data services with Twitter built in – meaning that companies can use analytics to mine meaningful data from the flood of tweets that hit cyber space every day.

IBM described Twitter as unlike any other data source in the world because it happens in real time, and is public and conversational.

IBM claims it can separate the signal from the noise by analysing tweets with millions of data points from other data that is public.

The deal means that developers can search explore and examine data using its Insights for Twitter service on Bluemix.

The company said it can also analyse Twitter data by configuration Biginsights on Cloud and combine the tweets with IBM’s Enterprise Hadoop-as-a-service.

It has already given 4,000 of its own staff access to Twitter data.


Hitachi Data Systems targets telco big data

server-racksThe IT division of Hitachi said it has started to sell an analytics package aimed at telecom service providers.

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) said that its Live Insight for Telecom is aimed at giving providers real time information into networks, services and application level performance.

This, HDS claims, will let them predict network activity using both real time and historical data in parallel

Analytics is big business now – for example IBM is betting the farm on big data and the cloud.

So companies like HDS are claiming their products will reduce subscriber “churn”, lower the operational costs and give them new sources of revenue.

HDS claims that are close to seven billion mobile subscribers worldwide, with 78 percent of households in the developed world connected to the web.

But, it continues, even though telco providers can access tens o

Stevenson made a rocket for Intel’s bottom line

lal303543Digging among the rubble of Intel’s financial results you can’t help be struck by the ability of CIO Kim Stevenson whose department managed to make the company an absolute fortune in 2014.

Stevenson’s global IT budget was just over $1 billion to provide IT for more than 106,000 denizens – which would be expected to be a black hole on Intel’s balance sheet.   However she managed to generate over $351 million in revenue for the semiconductor maker.

What she did was explain to the accounts department, how her department saved the company money by using the technology that it did.  Speaking to CIO Journal she said that it was important to let the company see behind the curtain and understand how value is generated.

Last year, Intel cut IT spending to 2.3% of revenue from 2.5% in 2012. The company also reduced the number of data centres globally down to 61 in 2014 from 87 in 2011.

Stevenson built several analytics projects which were designed to make the company more efficient, for example the first one involved helping salespeople become more efficient in outbound calls to resellers. The IT team got input about what a sales win looked like and created a probability model based on machine learning. It told the salespeople which resellers to call, in which order.

In 2013, Intel moved a few salespeople over to the new system and after the first quarter, they discovered that those people were five times more productive than their peers, she said.

Then her team helped the sales people change the conversation to tailor specific discussions to the reseller’s interest. In 2014, this initiative accounted for $76.2 million in revenue for Intel.

The company also used analytics to help business management teams make critical decisions related to pricing, such as when to raise or lower product prices and when to use rebates. The IT organization worked for two years to create a data model to help the company better manage prices and inventory. Part of that included a recommendation engine that helped salespeople bundle and cross sell products. Intel has set a $1 billion goal over four to five years to increase revenue.

It all paid off. In 2014, the first year, Intel increased revenue by $264 million. “We did a little better than we thought,” said Stevenson.

ITC intros high speed analytics

Pic Mike MageeITC Infotech said that it has introduced an enterprise analytics system that lets users more easily access high speed data analytics.

The product, called ZEAS (Z Enterprise Analytics Solution) uses a graphical user interface to analyse big data with the minimum of coding.

The product supports Hadoop open source technology and ITC claims that it will let enterprises analyse big data five times faster than its’ competitors’ offerings.

It also claimed that data analysis projects that would have taken months for experienced Hadoop developers to implement can now be done in weeks.

ZEAS also includes a data operation centre that gives enterprise grade access controls, monitoring and alerting mechanisms for data management.

The company introduced the offering at the Strata+Hadoop World conference held in San Jose this week.

ITC Infotech is a subsidiary of $7 billion company ITC that provides services to global customers. It targets the banking, financial services and insurance sectors.

Internet of Things promises analytics boom

Internet of ThingsThe growth of devices with internet protocol (IP) capabilities will generate a boom in big data and analytics revenue.
That’s the prediction from ABI Research which said in a report that integrating, analysing and storing data from the internet of things (IoT) will be worth as much as $5.7 billion this year.
That figure will expand over the next five years and represent a third of all big data and analytics revenues, the research outfit predicts.
Analyst Aapo Markkanen said that trying to make sense of data from machines and sensors has its own challenges, including deep domain expertise in analysis and time series databases held in storage.
That is leading to the birth of many startups aiming to exploit a gap in the market.
Some existing vendors including Datawatch, Informatics, Software AG and Splunk are ready for the IoT world.


IBM intros big mainframe

IBM Z13Big Blue said it has built a mainframe which is the most powerful and secure system ever.
The Z13 can churn 2.5 billion transactions a day,  and includes embedded analytics.
IBM said the system took five years to develop costing $1 billion, includes 500 new patents and is a collaborative venture with over 60 of its customers.
The machine allows real time encryption of mobile transactions that uses some of these patents.
The Z13 embedded analytics allows it to give real time insights on transactions including fraud protection.
IBM said that the Z13 also includes the fastest microprocessor in the world, is twice as fas as Intel microprocessors and 300 percent more memory.
The Z13 also includes native support for Hadoop and includes improvements to the IBM DB2 analytics accelerator.

Saudi to spend $37 billion on IT

Flag of Saudi ArabiaIncreased adoption of the hybrid cloud model by Saudia Arabian enterprises and organisations mean spend in the country on services and IT will hit $36.95 billion next year.

IDC said that of that spend, IT services will represent the biggest chunk as chief information officers (CIOs) begin to look to hybrid cloud systems.

Other areas which will drive the IT spend up include mobility, analytics and social networking, said IDC.  Abdulaziz Al-Helayyil, a regional director at the market intelligence compan, said: “The expanding use of applications, mobile devices, social media, and other technologies will result in an explosion of data within many Saudi organisations.”

That means many will also spend on storage infrastructure, data mining and analytics.

Saudi Arabia has a “smart city” initiative and government bodies, telecoms companies on others will look  to different methods to achieve their IT goals.

It’s estimated that there will be 16 million smartphones in the country by the end of next year, with a 28 percent in LTE device shipments.

Saudi Arabia has a polution of over 27 million people. Its estimated GDP for 2013 was $927.8 billion.

Fashion designers get fingered by big data

Wikimedia CommonsThe use of analytics and big data has demonstrated how style trends surge through the industry, according to researchers at Penn State University.

Heng Xu, a professor of info science and tech at Penn, said a team of researchers analysed a large number of words and phrases from fashion reviews.

Xu said: “Data analytics are becoming more available for finding patterns, establishing correlations and identifying trends”.  He said: “It is being applied to many industries and fields, from health care to politics, but what we wanted to see is if data analytics could be used in the fashion industry.”

Her team extracted keywords and phrases describing silhouettes, colours, fabrics and other data from designers’ collection and then created algorithms to rank the designers and find out their influence.

Fashion designers can be sceptical about big data and analytics because they consider themselves to be artists.  But the team said it had found fingerprints that could be related to individual designers.

“Buying from leading designers is expensive, but if you had information on what design elements were beginning to trend, it might help you buy the latest fashion more inexpensively,” Said Xu.

The team believes the analytics will help them to discover who the next big fashion designer could be.

Shoppers face full on technology blast

highstreetCompanies using technology to track and attract shoppers mean the number of retail deployments by the end of this year has risen 100 percent compared to 2013.

This year, most deployments were in clothing, grocery and shopping malls using information like customer analytics, offers, product search and navigation.

But next year burger joints and coffee shops are expected to take up smartphone applications.

ABI Research senior analyst Patrick Connolly said: “We are seeing growth across all major technologies, including BLE, Wi-Fi and audio, with 2015 being an important year for handset based location, sensor fusion, magnetic fields and LED.”

Most deployments so far have been in the USA but that’s set to change next year and in coming years, without any single company having a dominant market share, he said.

“In 2015, we also expect to see camera analytics companies like ShopperTrak, Irisys and Brickstream playing an increasing role as they expand their offerings into BLE, Wi-Fi and in-store analytics,” he said.

Internet of Things “is already here”

Internet of ThingsA report commissioned by Verizon suggests that rather than being science fiction, the Internet of Things (IoT) is already here and producing business results.

Verizon commissioned the Harvard Business Review to conduct a report and that suggested the IoT is already here in the shape of connectivity, cloud computing, and miniaturisation of sensors “making it possible” for over 10 billion devices to be networked.

Nevertheless, HBR’s Analytic Services surveyed 269 business leaders and says the number of deployments is still relatively small.

While estimates say that IoT could add 10s of trillions of dollars to GDP in the next 10 years, HBR says defining it goes way beyond wearable devices, smart meters and connected cars.

The survey, conducted last September on early IoT adopters, concludes those using it were doing so to improve customer services, increase revenues from services and products, better using assets in the field, and picking up additional data for analytics.

Applications include asset tracking, security, fleet management, field force management, energy data management and “condition based monitoring”.

There are challenges to adopting IoT that include pivacy and regulatory compliance.  HBR said most legislation and industry regulations predates the use of IoT.  Managing the sheer amount of data will also be a problem, and finding people with skill sets capable of using IoT data.

The report said in healthcare, Varian, a manufacturer of medical devices, says the IoT meant a 50 percent reduction to repair connected devices.  Pirelli is using the IoT to manage data from sensors embedded in its Cyber Tyre range.  And Ford’s Connected Car Dashboards programme collects and analyses data from cars to better understand driving patterns and behicle performance.

Indian software market grows again

flaggThe accession to power by the “business friendly” BJP party in India has resulted in the software market starting to grow again.

That’s according to a report by market intelligence firm IDC, which said during the first half of this year, the market grew by 10.7 percent, compared to the first half of 2013.

IDC thinks the market will continue to grow in the next five years with a compound annual growth rate  (CAGR) of 10.5 percent.

Areas of growth include mobile application development and device management, security software, systems software and engineering applications.

Shweta Baidya, a senior market analyst at IDC, said that large and small to medium enterprises want to curb capital expenditure and move into the cloud.

Virtualisation and cloud players like Vmware, Salesforce and Red Hat generated good business, and database and analytics companies including Teradata, Oracle, Qlik and others saw double digit growth.

IDC provided a pie chart which shows market share in the region.


Where big data is headed

John Dee and Queen Elizabeth the firstAs predicted here, now is the time for predictions for 2014. And the latest seer to gaze into his dark John Dee style speculum is Mario Faria, from ServiceSource.

Fario says many companies have experimented with big data stuff during 2013 and tried pilots. The crunch time will be when these pilots start to show a return on investment.

And next year, he says, the phrase big data will yield to analytics because it’s not about collecting data but to capture, analyse and act in the here and now to stay cmpetitive.

Fario’s job title is Chief Data Officer and he explains that this function is the janitor of data but also an evangelist and will engage in 2014 with the board of directors. No doubt the board of directors will engage with chief data officers too.

Unlike the Harris poll we published earlier, which shows a degree of insouciance about wearable stuff, Fario thinks that Fistbit, Nike devices and Google Glasses will be part of our everyday life.

But ultimately, everything is down to the quality of data because if its not reliable any amount of analysis will not deliver results. He says that data quality is a  money maker.

Hadoop makes the enterprise grade

cloud 2An IDC survey commissioned by Red Hat indicates Hadoop is reaching critical mass in the business world.

According to IDC, 32 percent of those surveyed already deploy Hadoop; 31 percent will deploy it in the next 12 months and 36 percent indicated they would deploy it in the future.

And the use of Hadoop is not just for analysing big data.

IDC said that 39 percent of the respondents use NoSQL databases such as Hbase, Cassandra and MongoDB, and 36 percent said they use MPP databases such as Greenplum and Vertica.

While businesses use Hadoop for analysis of raw data, 39 percent of the respondents use it to put “if-then” modelling for products and services.

The IDC survey also showed that many businesses use alternatives to HDFS such as Big Blue’s Global File System, EMC’s Isilon OneFS and Red Hat Storage – that is GlusterFS.

Big Blue’s Big Data Lab reveals the Big Unknowns

ibm-officeEver had the feeling there were things afoot that were unknown to you? You’re not alone. But fear not, for the good folk of IBM have pulled a Big Blue Rabbit out of the Big Data Hat for you.

The world’s favourite international business machines have opened a new lab called the Accelerated Discovery Lab. One of the most remarkable things about it might even be its name, which – unlike so much of what goes on in the technology sector – seems related to what it does.

The lab will offer “diverse data sources, unique research capabilities for analytics such as domain models, text analytics and natural language processing capabilities derived from Watson, a powerful hardware and software infrastructure, and broad domain expertise including biology, medicine, finance, weather modeling, mathematics, computer science and information technology,” said IBM, presumably just before it passed out. Don’t forget to breath, dear.

By making it possible for organisations to take their data and mix it with these vast and disparate data sources, the Accelerated Discovery Lab will make it possible to start to identify hitherto unknown relationships among the data.

That could be to find seasonal patterns in purchasing behaviour that go beyond the obvious, such as people buy ice cream and shorts in summer. Or it could be combining social media insights with psychology data in an attempt to create meaningful customer profiling. Or it might be finding statistically robust segmentation that takes you further than ‘our target market is men in the 35-50 age bracket.’

At the moment, analysing Big Data can mean relying on a fairly manual approach to the massive amounts of data, gathered from a broad variety of channels. Whether you’re a business or a researcher, this is a testing and expensive process with precious little in the way of meaning or value waiting for you at the end.

There is obvious appeal in being able to accelerate that process.

“If we think about Big Data today, we mostly use it to find answers and correlations to ideas that are already known. Increasingly what we need to do is figure out ways to find things that aren’t known within that data,” said Jeff Welser, Director, Strategy and Program Development, IBM Research Accelerated Discovery Lab.

And to think how people laughed at Donald Rumsfeld when he said something not too dissimilar.