While I’m usually deep in the trenches discussing the nuances of the developer’s construction kit (for example BlueMix) I do have an appreciation for the business user of technology. In fact, I focused on marketing research as an undergraduate without any real goal of delving into computer science. Sure, we used a number of different statistical software packages as a part of coursework, but wow, they were some of the least user friendly, least elegant packages you have ever seen. In all honesty, the usability and interface of these packages facilitated my departure from marketing research into product marketing.
The world is now changing in a better way for the line of business
This week IBM announced a number of new offerings on the cloud, one of which being the IBM Cloud Marketplace. It was designed to be an easy access, technical shopping mall for all users (business through IT and development) to access solutions and technologies on demand.
Within the space of big data there will be over 15 big data and analytics services and solutions on the marketplace but I want to highlight some of the more business-focused solutions that are a part of this cloud marketplace.
For statistical analysis (from marketing through data science):
- SPSS Data Collection: Author and manage surveys online, by phone or through face-to-face survey projects.
- Social Media Analytics: Understand and act upon the social media impact of products, services, markets, campaigns, employees and partners.
- SPSS Analytical Decision Management: Enables the application of predictive analytics to everyday business problems. SPSS Analytical Decision Management (shortly renamed to SPSS Modeler Gold) to combine predictive models, simple rules and scoring to automate, manage and optimize high-volume decisions.
For performance management:
- Concert: Provides a collaborative user experience across performance management solutions by blending social, mobile, dashboard, reporting and analysis capabilities to help optimize team-based decisions. Concert is enabled for TM1.
- Cognos Disclosure Management: Provides a secure, collaborative, enterprise-scalable reporting and process automation solution that enables users to merge enterprise data with focused narrative analysis in a controlled, auditable environment.
For sales performance management (formerly Varicent)—a suite of offerings including:
- Cognos Incentive Management Compensation: Helps organizations to automate the process of administering, calculating, reporting and analyzing variable-based pay programs.
- Cognos Quota Management: Enables sales professionals to more efficiently plan, manage and distribute quota assignments that meet revenue expectations and increase sales performance.
- Cognos Territory Management: Enables clients to set up and process territory assignments and sales crediting. Also helps to ensure that the sales coverage and deployment model are aligned with corporate objectives and incentive compensation plans.
And also, Algo Risk Services: Algorithmics is a portfolio of cloud-based offerings designed for business to gain transparency into their financial risks. For example, Algo Risk Services on the cloud offers hedge funds, asset managers, pension funds and other buy-side organizations access to a web-based portfolio construction, risk management and reporting service.
To net this all out, the first wave of big data and analytic solutions on the IBM Cloud Marketplace takes a big step in the right direction to serve up analytic applications that business users are demanding. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times social media analytics comes up in conversations with marketing professionals. Now these marketing professionals will be able to have access to the solution in the cloud, when they want it, as they need it, along with all of the other aforementioned solutions.
This portfolio of big data and analytic solutions will just continue to grow over time. Add to this that IBM’s business partners will also be adding to and expanding the marketplace (including: Internet of Things, cloud integration and facilitating hybrid clouds) and this site will be become a primary resource for modern organizations around the globe.
The statistical and analytical apps that I used back in the day are thankfully long gone. Business users and analysts now have the choice to select what tools they need, when they need them. With the advent of technologies such as SPSS Analytic Catalyst and Watson Analytics, we are empowering the line of business user and analyst to call and visualize data and trends within that data in the way that they feel most comfortable. I hope that this road to usability and functionality continues, making analytics more tangible and digestible to the masses.