“A lot of what we’re doing is to push out further and further into organizations, down to the ground to sales people, people on phones with customers, service people,” said Rob Ashe, IBM’s general manager of business analytics, during a press conference.
Ashe described the new user interface as based on Web 2.0 concepts with capabilities for users to “talk and share and include analytics” in daily workplace conversations. Besides support for the iPad, the new release also supports iPhone and the BlackBerry.
The Armonk, New York-based company acquired analytics vendor SPSS Inc. in January 2010 and incorporated the portfolio into a new business analytics division along with technologies from Cognos Inc. acquired in 2007.
SPSS technology allows for capabilities such as key performance predictors directly in Cognos 10, said Ashe. “The SPSS capability doesn’t disappear in Cognos 10,” he said.
Cognos 10 also offers a software-as-a-service option which broadens the delivery options available for customers by letting them use that license to deploy it with customer data into Cognos’ compute cloud.
Product announcements also included its DB2 10 database with claims of 40 per cent performance improvements. IBM InfoSphere server was also released with capabilities to integrate diverse data sources.
Earlier that morning at the opening keynote, following a performance of female Japanese drumming band Kobe, Robert LeBlanc, IBM’s senior vice-president of middleware software, warned the audience that data is estimated to grow 44 times what it is today to 35 zettabytes in 2020.
For that reason, LeBlanc said organizations must see data as “a weapon” by first understanding how data aligns with business strategy. Then, ensure the data is accurate, relevant and governed. And, use business analytics to “anticipate what’s going to go on, look at trends, predict what’s going to happen,” he said.
During the keynote, audience participation was a clear component with attendee questions from Twitter and from pre-taped video. Further pushing audience interaction was a live poll designed to give attendees a say in how data is managed in their organizations. The poll revealed 56 per cent of audience members said integrating business data in their organization was a top priority. Sixty-two per cent said business analytics to improve competitiveness was a high priority.
IBM’s Information On Demand conference continues Tuesday.
Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau