First flashes in a new dawn with IBM Big Data & Analytics technologies

Founder, Data-Mania, LLC

At Wednesday morning’s IBM Insight general session, IBM revealed hugely exciting new advancements they’ve been making in big data and analytics technologies. After presenting a use case on how IBM’s G2 Sensemaking engine is successfully being used to stop piracy in Southeast Asian Seas, conference leaders made a groundbreaking announcement about IBM’s new partnership with the social networking platform, Twitter.

Stopping global piracy with IBM’s G2 automated spatio-temporal Sensemaking technology

The day started off with an amazing story about a novel IBM technology that’s being used to intercept and prevent acts of piracy in Southeast Asia’s Strait of Malacca. This software is called G2 Sensemaking and it’s a skunk works effort within IBM that’s been developed for sensemaking on stream, with privacy by design. In G2 Sensemaking, IBM set out to design an application that could quickly evaluate historical, and present, datasets to accurately generate actionable insights or detect anomalies, and then deliver this information in real time to decision-makers for immediate response. The application does this by analyzing large sets of structured and unstructured data that come in an incredible array of formats and sources—including multilingual, geospatial, spatial-temporal, temporal and social data. G2 Sensemaking is designed to scale for massive computing requirements. It’s self-correcting (where present observations have functionality to self-correct earlier assertions). It’s real-time responsive and able to process structured and unstructured data alike. Lastly, it’s domain agnostic.

Singapore Technologies Engineering (STE) has recently adopted and built on top of IBM’s G2 Sensemaking engine, to form a predictive solution for use in preventing and intercepting acts of piracy that occur within Singaporean territorial waters that lie in the Strait of Malacca. Approximately 20 million barrels of oil pass thru this strait on a daily basis, as ships deliver cargo from the Middle East over to East Asia. Pirate attacks have been an increasingly burdensome source of financial detriment to owners of resources that pass through this strait, so STE decided to do something about that.


STE used G2 Sensemaking to develop a maritime domain awareness engine that real-time maps and detects illegal activities by integrating and analyzing historical records, real-time data streams and geospatial satellite data. The solution utilizes space-time boxes, temporal data analysis, spatial data analysis and spatio-data analysis methodologies to detect and alert for piracy activity. With this powerful combination of geo-spatial and temporal data analysis functionality, the solution is able to monitor and report on all sorts of interesting metrics, including:

  • Identity changes or falsifications by vessel crew members that are present in the Strait
  • Suspicious meetings or close passing between maritime vessels
  • Trigger alerts about the presence of high-risk nationalities owning and operating vessels in the Strait

Although STE’s Executive, Col. David Tan declined to provide substantive results, he was happy to proclaim that his US$5 Billion organization awarded G2 the 1st place prize for its Top Innovation Award.


IBM’s hugely exciting announcement

Have you ever wanted to look at refined Twitter data to answer contextually-relevant questions about your business? If so, then you know that the manual method of coding up and analyzing social data can get rather involved and tedious. Although it can be costly to design custom solutions to do this work, it’s even more costly to remain ignorant of social insights. For this reason, IBM was proud to announce it’s recent partnership with Twitter social networking platform. As part of this partnership, Twitter data streams will now be available for live feed directly into IBM cloud-based analytics solutions. This powerful integration makes it easy to make sense of Twitter data from straight within the IBM platform. Although the Twitter streaming feature won’t be available to every IBM Cloud analytics solution, it’ll most definitely be made available within the IBM Watson Analytics platform. This partnership is another revelation in the dawn of a new era at IBM; one where data insight democratization is the core focus and goal of all IBM Big Data and Analytics technologies.


Read more of my coverage of the IBM Insight 2014 event on my blog, Data-Mania, and watch replays of the event sessions on InsightGO.