IBM Analytics Day at the 2016 U.S. Open golf tournament

Insight and collaboration with cloud and data technologies

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Global Client Reference Manager, IBM

Whether you are a golf fan or not, this year's U.S. Open golf tournament was arguably one of the best in recent years. The event was held at historic Oakmont Country Club and featured all the elements fans love—a tough course, a great leader board, and an eventual winner in Dustin Johnson, who redeemed himself from last year's near-miss.

I was fortunate to attend the U.S. Open, joining IBM and many clients for IBM Analytics Day at the U.S. Open, which was held on Wednesday, June 15th. The focus of the day centered on how IBM is helping customers embrace the new economy where insight and collaboration are the basis for creating value in practically all roles and industries.

Leading companies are disrupting the status quo by using data to inform business strategy and create new business models that fuel growth—no more business as usual. To continually identify and act on opportunities, organizations must use knowledge and context to inform virtually every system, process and customer touch point.

Organizations are maximizing the use of open source and cloud technologies alongside on-premises investments to speed innovation. They are embracing new cloud-enabled consumption models while helping ensure data privacy, security and sovereignty.

Clients attending IBM Analytics Day at the U.S. Open were treated to more than just some great golf. Thad Vorozilchak, IBM Cloud Data Services Executive and Kevin McIntyre, WW Client Success Leader led an excellent panel discussion entitled "Grow. Differentiate yourself. Build what matters."

Panelists included: Shiv Sehgal (RSG Media), Vince Walden (Ernst & Young), Bob Burkhart (Nationwide), and Amrish Chaubal (IBM).

Shiv Sehgal of RSG Media illustrated how his company is leveraging IBM Cloud analytics applications giving their clients new insight never before possible. The consolidation of data and a central analytics engine in the cloud help the company take new apps to market quickly, creating a new, recurring source of revenue with relatively low costs. In fact, moving to the cloud significantly reduced RSG Media’s TCO while enabling the faster creation of new products. See how RSG Media is making this happen.

Vince Walden of Ernst & Young showcased how E&Y uses big data and analytics to combat fraud and mitigate risk for its customers. Learn more about how EY built a big data platform based on IBM InfoSphere BigInsights which allows them to stream in multiple data sources, ingest and analyze this data to provide their clients with insights to identify potential risks in a much better and faster manner.

Bob Burkhart of Nationwide highlighted how Nationwide is protecting what matters most—sensitive customer data using IBM Box and cloud data technologies. Security is paramount at the insurance giant, but policies were strangling collaboration. See how Nationwide is leveraging Box thanks to its granular administrative controls. Plus, learn why productivity is up, paper use is down by 67 percent and Box saved Nationwide $150,000 on meeting software.

Finally, Amrish Chaubal shared with the audience his work with Watson. Chaubal garnered a ton of attention from the crowd through his great interactive opportunity to try and stump Watson with some golf trivia.

Throughout the panel chat attendees were shown that no matter the scale of their need, no matter the industry regulations they need to cope with, a methodical, solutions-focused approach to cloud data is possible. While the path is not always an easy one, the consensus from the panel was with IBM, the transformation to the cloud is one business transformation worth undertaking.

Following the panel discussion there was a very lively Q&A session, where attendees could have their questions answered by the distinguished panelists.

The afternoon concluded with lunch and then an opportunity to see IBM's cloud, data analytics, mobile and security technologies in action. Fans at this year's U.S. Open were able to track their favorite golfers around the U.S. Open course at any given time thanks to an updated version of the tournament mobile app powered by IBM. The primary enhancement is the app’s locator feature, which will not only display an interactive map for tracking player locations, but also a PlayCaster feature that will forecast a player’s future location based on current scoring and pace-of-play data. Real-time scoring and enhanced statistics will help keep fans around the world informed and up-to-date.

Fans traversing the course were able to locate points of interest and amenities such as restrooms, concessions and wi-fi zones, all thanks to the IBM-powered app using advanced technologies and innovations, including predictive data analysis supported by the IBM Cloud.

IBM Analytics Day at the U.S. Open was more than just an excellent venue for clients, it was a showcase of just how IBM's clients are leveraging insight from existing data to improve experiences for customers and end users, while doing so in a cost-effective, secure, and scalable cloud or hybrid-cloud structure.

Learn more about IBM Analytics and IBM Cloud Data Services