Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Making more intelligent choices

Here's a sobering statistic:  Digital information is growing every day at a rate 350 times the volume housed in all the U.S. university research libraries.

Having good data is becoming the baseline, the must-have for a successful business.  And being able to use that data to better run your current operations is a goal that every organization should strive for.

But being able to use that data to go further, to move beyond insight into what happened yesterday or even what's happening right this second, and looking at predicting what will happen in the next second (or day or week or year)....  That's where things really start to get interesting.  

IBM yesterday took out full page ads in a number of major publications as part of the Smarter Planet series.  Yesterday's ads focused on New Intelligence.  New Intelligence describes what I talked about above - how to process and extract insight from the massive amounts of data being generated on an ever-increasing (and likely never-ending) basis.  In other words, how to take all of this real-time information, across a multitude of sources, and make more intelligent choices.

From yesterday's advertisement:

Already, insurance companies are seeing the patterns in billions of claims, and can better identify the few that are fraudulent. Police departments are correlating street-level information from myriad observations and devices to identify crime patterns — helping prevent crime, rather than just punishing it. Retailers are optimizing inventory and transport systems by linking what’s in stock with weather forecasts — which are better than weather itself as an indicator of consumer behavior.
The technology exists to help capture and process all this data, and turn it into not just organized information, or even knowledge, but actual intelligence. We can spot patterns with unprecedented detail. We can capture and analyze changes in markets, trends and consumer preferences faster than ever before. And highly complex systems and large organizations can now be optimized in entirely new ways.

Jack Mason writes about New Intelligence in a lot more detail over on the Smarter Planet Blog, and you'll also hear me talking more about it in the coming months (but more on that in another post).

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