How cloud and analytics are helping drive digital transformation

Vice President, Cloud Data Services & Analytics Platform, IBM

Many organizations today have digital transformation at the center of their corporate strategy. At the heart of this transformation is the ability to develop actionable insights. The key is to gain smarter, more accurate insights faster than their competition and then translate that insight into action for the business. 

What is needed to achieve insights? Obviously data - not just your organization’s internal data, but external data sets such as weather data, social data and other open data sets that are freely available. And this data needs to be fluid so it is accessible at any time, from any location, and in context for the specific user.  

So what is new, what is changing in this space? If you look at the data and analytics market, you will observe there is a shift from point, discrete products to unified, cloud-based analytics platforms. At the top of the list when considering analytics on the cloud is the notion of a unified platform that enables collaboration and provides fast, simple access to data. Different roles involved in delivering insights from business users and analysts to data scientists and engineers should be able to easily collaborate.

The IBM cloud data and analytics platform delivers a set of composable services for data professionals to build data-driven solutions deployable in the cloud as a business process within web or mobile applications, or data products.

A unified platform helping to deliver collaboration and access to all data

IBM is helping to enable transformation with a cloud data and analytics platform that intends to delivers end-to-end analytics capability in the cloud, including powerful tools for:

  • Facilitating collaboration across data scientists, business analysts, data engineers and application developers
  • Accessing all types of data—structured or unstructured—from multiple sources, existing on premises or in the cloud
  • Putting data in context and making it easy to find with an intuitive shop for data experience embedded in all tools
  • Taking IBM advanced analytics solutions to wherever the data is on many platforms 

The IBM data and analytics platform is built on several key design principles, including: 

  • Open, composable, and built on open source with Apache Spark at the core
  • Fluid data and analytic models to drive collaboration and consistency 
  • Cloud-first, but not cloud only, available on multiple platforms
  • A platform that is dynamic and elastic to manage capacity of services at scale, ingest data at high speed and low latency support for distributed and mobile applications
  • Self-service access to data and analytics 

How do these design principles manifest themselves? John Thomas, Director of IBM’s Competitive Project Office looks at the components of the IBM cloud and data analytics platform through a cloud-based analytics scenario for the retail industry in his blog post, “End-to-end analytics on the cloud.”

A new experience for data professionals 

Although IBM’s cloud data and analytics platform leverages a portfolio of specific tools, it is really about the overall experience. Imagine being able to shop for the right data as easily as you shop for your next mobile phone and use new open source technologies, such as Spark, MongoDB and Redis, that provide speed and agility with just the right mix of flexibility and security.  And making these capabilities and the data that powers them available through tools of choice across personas to make analytics a true team sport. 

IBM has a fresh vision and exciting direction we are driving to offer the capabilities and expertise our clients need. We can help your organization progress along an analytics "maturity curve" to becoming a more data-driven and insight-driven organization. Now organizations can take advantage of data to attract more customers, create greater value for existing customers and drive smarter business outcomes. 

Learn about the end-to-end capabilities of the IBM cloud data and analytics platform that provide data ingestion, persistence, advanced analytics and visualization tools accessible to the entire organization. Register for the upcoming webcast “End-to-End Analytics in the Cloud with IBM” with John Thomas, IBM Distinguished Engineer and Director of the IBM Competitive Project Office.