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Guest blog by Jenny Richards.

Big Data space market leader IBM proved its position at the IBM Insight 2014 conference in Las Vegas by announcing a series of changes to its portfolio. Top within the list of analytical capabilities was the Watson Analytics, which was released just recently, the Cognos Business Intelligence and SPSS platform for predictive analytics. All of the above are now available from IBM’s Cloud Marketplace.

The Cloud Marketplace was created by IBM to act as an online destination which provides a gateway to cloud innovative technology. The marketplace merges IBM’s own capabilities-as-a-service with the solutions offered by third party vendors and partners according to the expectations of businesses, in regards to security and resilience.

Advantages of analytics tools to businesses and individuals

In a changing world where focus is shifting to measurement of data as the new competitive advantage determiner, cloud computing is emerging as a growth driver towards faster advancement and innovation.

Using cloud-based analytics, including IBM’s Watson Analytics, can enable individuals, experts and enterprises to fully leverage the powerful analytics tools towards the visualization of patterns, pursuance of ideas and improvement within decision making without necessarily having to rely on a data scientist.

The enterprise/individual can then apply the knowledge and insights gained from these tools to design and realize new and innovative products and/or services, enhance enterprise performance and effectively control direction, compliance and risk. Developers can also apply these same tools, including reporting capabilities, to drive their various goals within the enterprise.

In a statement, IBM’s general manager in charge of Business Analytics reiterated IBM’s commitment to make advanced analytics solutions accessible to all business users, and to change the services industry permanently and sustainably.

Solution accelerators for improved business performance

Apart from this announcement, IBM also revealed a series of five solution accelerators which are intended to assist data professionals to confront the most pervasive and substantial challenges businesses today are facing. These include data warehouse modernization schemes, customer insights, fraud and security insight, operation insight and risk and compliance insights.

Customer insight accelerators are aimed at enhancing sales and marketing and customer service and support, while also improving acquisition, retention and cross-selling with the customers. Operations insight accelerators provide an understanding of assets status and equipment performance in order to optimize all processes and drive efficiency.

The fraud and security insight accelerator enhances awareness of all situations to enable quickened responses to threats, improvement of intelligence and faster notification in the event of an anomaly that could affect the enterprise.

The risk and compliance insight accelerator is intended to enable an organization to manage their various risk factors better and make better decisions to lessen compliance costs, reduce losses and optimize use of capital for gain. Lastly, the data warehouse modernization schemes are useful for capturing and managing a wider set of data, with advanced analytics capability available for lesser costs, so that all information generated within the business is easily accessible.

According to IBM, these five data-driven accelerators implemented within any organization would assist in increasing business performance across a wide range of industries.

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