Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

IOD 2013: Day 1 Announcements

Here's a collection of the announcements IBM today at the first day of the Information on Demand 2013 today.  There are a number of exciting releases, and I always enjoy reading about the ways our clients are able to put this technology to work in ways that range from improving customer satisfaction to reducing fraud to - literally - helping save lives.

Emory University Hospital Explores 'Intensive Care Unit of the Future'
Emory University Hospital is using software from IBM and Excel Medical Electronics (EME) for a pioneering research project to create advanced, predictive medical care for critical patients through real-time streaming analytics.

Emory is testing a new system that can identify patterns in physiological data and instantly alert clinicians to danger signs in patients. In a typical ICU, a dozen different streams of medical data light up the monitors at a patient’s bedside – including heart physiology, respiration, brain waves and blood pressure. This constant feed of vital signs is transmitted as waves and numbers and routinely displayed on computer screens at every bedside. Currently, it’s up to doctors and nurses to rapidly process and analyze all this information in order to make medical decisions.
The system being piloted at Emory uses EME’s BedMasterEX, IBM InfoSphere Streams and Emory’s analytics to collect and analyze physiological patient data in real time.

For example, patients with a common heart disorder called atrial fibrillation (A-fib) often show no symptoms, but it is a common and serious condition that can be associated with congestive heart failure and strokes. Using the new research system, Emory clinicians can view a real-time digital visualization of the patient's analyzed heart rhythm and spot A-fib in its earliest stages.

Memorial Healthcare System Taps IBM to Prevent Vendor Fraud, Reduce Operating Costs
IBM today announced that Memorial Healthcare System is using IBM Big Data analytics and Smarter Content management capabilities to prevent fraud and reduce costs across its extensive third party vendor network.

With its new vendor vetting system, the second largest public healthcare network in the U.S. not only minimizes the potential for fraud, but also reduces vendor invoice cycles by better understanding its vendor community and identifying potential conflicts of interest.
The vendor vetting system, known as VETTED, was built based on Memorial Healthcare System’s existing enterprise content management platform from IBM and business partnerInformation Management Consultants (IMC).  By adding IBM i2 analytics capabilities, Memorial Healthcare now has greater visibility into its vendor community and accounting staff can complete vetting activities within a few hours. The system’s analytics connect the dots among vendor companies and between individuals, vendor companies and physicians to help uncover potential fraudulent behavior.  

The ECM application automatically routes invoices through a verification process that uses a hierarchy of people responsible for ensuring that the hospitals deliver products and services according to contract. The system has an audit trail to indicate that the appropriate person signed each invoice. Memorial Healthcare can control when they pay specific vendors and the process is auditable. Faster invoice processing has led to vendor discounts of more than $2 million.  

IBM Expands Big Data Portfolio with New Predictive Intelligence Software
Today, at Information on Demand Forum (#IBMIOD), IBM (NYSE:IBM) announced a variety of new offerings that leverage cognitive computing and predictive analytics technologies to help companies more easily predict and respond to opportunities and challenges hidden in data. IBM is also helping clients to harness massive amounts of data with new high speed analytics software by expanding IBM's BLU Acceleration portfolio.
Organizations typically discard or archive IT operations data, preventing them from tapping a valuable business resource. Now with IBM SmartCloud Analytics - Predictive Insights, they can sift through terabytes of IT operations data in real time, spotting only the trends that are critical to IT network performance. The software’s cognitive computing capabilities learn, reason and sense an organization’s IT systems. As business and performance conditions change, the software adapts, updating settings and eliminating inadvertent but costly errors caused by poor system configuration. This new technology will run on the SoftLayer infrastructure, which will be the foundation of IBM's cloud portfolio.  
IBM is also applying machine learning and analytics to storage with a new version ofSmartCloud Virtual Storage Center. Now, organizations can save time and money by automating complex storage tiering decisions and moving to cloud storage. By analyzing data usage patterns, this intelligent software identifies the type of storage best suited for an organization’s data, and automatically makes the change without interruption to the user or applications. The software learns key usage patterns over time, adapting and shifting data as business needs change. IBM deployed this automated storage tiering capability at its own Boulder, Colorado data center and reduced per terabyte of storage costs by nearly 50 percent.  
Additional new technologies announced as part of the IBM Big Data portfolio include:

  • New Big Data exploration capabilities for InfoSphere Data Explorer, a search-based Big Data exploration tool that helps clients distinguish different forms of data through data exploration and discovery, and helps clients visualize structured and unstructured data from multiple diverse sources.
  • The first commercial search offering designed to keep pace with today’s Big Data and cloud-based systems, while still delivering information from traditional enterprise systems such as relational databases, enterprise content management and customer relationship management solutions. InfoSphere Data Explorer brings Big Data out of the lab and onto the desktops of front-line employees, allowing organizations to enhance the customer experience.
  • InfoSphere Data Privacy for Hadoop allows clients to anonymize data in Hadoop, NoSQL and relational systems. With data activity monitoring capabilities, the technology can also help organizations prevent unauthorized access of confidential information stored in Hadoop systems.
  • IBM PureData System for Hadoop simplifies deployment of Hadoop systems by allowing users to get up and running in hours, rather than days or weeks. Enhancements include built-in archiving tools, simplified administration and higher levels of security than open-source systems. In an audited benchmark conducted by STAC, the Securities Technology Analysis Center, InfoSphere BigInsights for Hadoop has been found to deliver an approximate 4X performance advantage on average over open source Hadoop. This is a critical milestone for clients in a variety of industries who are looking to visualize, access and analyze Big Data to stay competitive.
  • The release of an Information Governance Dashboard, which displays confidence levels in data sources in a business-friendly interface.  Decision-makers can see confidence levels in their data visualized in a user-friendly way, such as governance policies and data lineage, which fosters trust and greater usage of data and insights.
  • A new, smaller configuration for IBM PureData System for Transactions for continuously available transactional databases. The new model offers the same leading performance and appliance simplicity for a fully active, highly available and scalable database platform for the Big Data era.

IBM Big Data and Analytics Translates into Big Hotel Room Bookings for Denihan Hospitality Group
IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Denihan Hospitality Group, a nationally recognized owner and operator of boutique hotels across the U.S., today announced that they are collaborating on a Big Data project by applying advanced analytics technologies to enhance strategic planning.  This impacts multiple aspects of the business, from improving the guest experience, and personalizing marketing campaigns, to boosting productivity of the revenue management team across Denihan’s 14- hotel portfolio.
By applying IBM's analytics technology to Big Data, Denihan can now sift through massive amounts of information -- from customer feedback  to room price, length of stay and more --  to understand why customers choose their hotels and why they choose to return. By taking the pulse of guests' likes and dislikes, Denihan can also fine-tune its marketing campaigns to engage customers on an individual basis, reinforcing this notion of the "era of you" in the hospitality industry.