Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Amtrak Writer’s Residencies - Social media done right

Via @austinkleon (Link to his post with more detail).  Excellent job, @Amtrak.

Amtrak writer’s residencies

Image:Amtrak Writer’s Residencies - Social media done right

Here’s what went down: in his PEN Ten interview@AlexanderChee was asked where he best liked to write:
I still like a train best for this kind of thing. I wish Amtrak had residencies for writers.

That’s it. Two sentences. And then this happened:

Image:Amtrak Writer’s Residencies - Social media done right

IBM Predictive Analytics to Detect Patients at Risk for Heart Failure

More great work coming out of our analytics group, working in partnership with leading healthcare providers and IBM Business Partners.

ARMONK, N.Y. - 19 Feb 2014: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Virginia health systemCarilion Clinic has indentified 8,500 patients at risk for developing heart failure in a pilot project that could lead to early intervention and better care for these patients. 
The pilot was completed in collaboration with IBM, Epic and Carilion Clinic. The results were achieved through predictive modeling of data in Carilion Clinic’s electronic medical record (EMRs), including “unstructured” data such as clinicians’ notes and discharge documents that are not often analyzed. Using IBM’s natural language processing technology to analyze and understand these notes in the context of the EMR, the inclusion of unstructured data provides a more complete and accurate understanding of each patient. The pilot applied content analytics and predictive modeling to identify at-risk patients with an 85 percent accuracy rate. The model identified an additional 3500 patients that would have been missed with traditional methods. Each of these patients might benefit from targeted preventive care.  
IBM’s natural language processing technology – also used in the IBM Watson cognitive system – can understand information posed in natural language and uncover insights from vast amounts of data. Coupled with advanced predictive modeling, the pilot at Carilion Clinic using IBM Advanced Care Insights marks another example of IBM’s leadership in advancing predictive care and prevention.  IBM Advanced Care Insights combines predictive modeling with healthcare-specific content analysis.  

Press Release:  IBM Predictive Analytics to Detect Patients at Risk for Heart Failure

Quantified Athletes: Reducing Injuries through Analytics

Those of you who attended the IOD conference back in 2011 were treated to an interview with author Michael Lewis and Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane, of Moneyball fame (amongst many other achievements).

One comment that's stuck with me was a question tossed in at the very end of the interview.  Billy Beane was asked how it's possible to still get a competitive advantage from the type of statistical advantages he discovered, now that everyone was on to the approach (and, as he commented, now that the Yankees have 21 statisticians on staff.)  He commented that an area he was going to be looking into was injury management.  Just like he discovered that the best way to make use of the precious few 3 outs a team gets each inning was to get as many players on base as possible, a team's players - and their health - is another limiting resource.  Making sure that your players spend as little time as possible on the disabled list can work out to be a big competitive advantage.

Now I will say up front that I have no idea whether Billy Beane is actually pursuing this avenue.  But I did come across an interesting post over on the Smarter Planet blog that highlights how IBM is helping the Australian Rugby NSW Waratahs team minimize their injuries.

Rugby is nothing if not a physically demanding sport, and as Haydn Masters, the Athletic Development Coach for the team notes, it's typical for 1 in 4 players to be injured at some point in the season.  The team is now collecting between 100-250 data variables per player and analyzing it to find patterns of preventable injuries.

This data comes from multiple sources.  A GPS tracker is fitted to each player to measure and monitor intensity levels, collisions, and fatigue during training and matches, and is combined with data from medical screenings, wellness reports and player stats.
Analyzing this data allows us to build a clear picture of what’s really going on; finding patterns of where preventable injuries occurred; identifying the early warning signs; and how we could prevent them. These predictive insights give us a critical opportunity to anticipate an injury and change the variables, including modifying the training regime, or resting a player, to make the chance of injury much less likely.


New SaaS study shows how "Pacesetters" distance themselves from the rest

There's no question that Software as a Service (SaaS) is here to stay as a model for quickly and cost-effectively deploying new IT capabilities inside of and outside an organization.  But, as in all aspects of business, some companies are finding greater advantage than others.  What's special about the organizations who exhibit the highest level of SaaS adoption and who are gaining competitive advantage through their efforts?  

A study by the IBM Center for Applied Insights released today at the Connect conference (pdf, no registration required) categorized the respondents according to their usage of SaaS.  It provides a deep look into the roughly 19% who they classified as "Pacesetters," uncovering some interesting details that underscore the transformative capabilities of SaaS solutions.

Here are just a few highlights from the study:
Pacesetters see IT and LOB collaboration as a benefit

In Pacesetter organizations, nearly 3/4 of IT respondents view LOB as a strategic partner for SaaS (3x more than in other enterprises) and LOB respondents have a similar view of IT. So while it may be tempting for employees to view SaaS as a way to skirt around the IT department, these rogue deployments are likely returning a far smaller return than had they collaborated with IT.

Pacesetters are those who use SaaS broadly and for competitive advantage

61% say that SaaS has increased both internal and external collaboration
68% use SaaS to improve the customer experience
71% of Pacesetters have reduced time to market of products/services by using SaaS

Learn more:

IBM Sametime: New Name, New Features

It's been many years since I've been involved with IBM Sametime in any capacity beyond that of an end user, but as it still has a close place in my heart, and since many of you who find your way here are still interested in Sametime, it didn't feel right not to at least acknowledge the new name that was announced at yesterday's Connect conference Opening General Session.

So, as the former Offering Manager for Lotus Sametime (and briefly, for Lotus Instant Messaging and Web Conferencing - don't ask), I bid a fond adieu to IBM Sametime, and say hello to IBM Connections Chat and Meetings.

Moving past the announcement of the new name, I just finished watching the LiveStream of the Sametime Roadmap session.  The team has brought a lot of exciting developments to the latest release of the product, along with a simplification of the packaging, and I'd highly recommend checking it out if you weren't able to watch it live.

Watch live streaming video from ibmsoftware at

The IBM Sametime Roadmap: Because Social isn't Social If You Can't Communicate (

Two more TV ads: Smarter Supply Chains and Smarter Energy

IBM debuted two more commercials during this past weekend's NFL playoffs.  They feature McKesson, who worked with IBM to ensure an efficient supply chain, and Vestas, who is using big data to optimize the placement of wind turbines.  (You can see more details on the approach Vestas is taking here.)

Smarter Supply Chains

Transcript:  IBM is helping hundreds of health care companies work smarter.  McKesson used analytics in the cloud to design a more efficient supply chain, helping save over a billion dollars in working capital.
Learn More

Smarter Energy

Transcript:  IBM is helping hundreds of energy companies work smarter.  Vestas can analyze 13 years of climate data to know a wind turbine here will perform better than one just a few feet away.
Learn More

Related:  New Smarter Planet TV ads -- Cyber Security and Automotive

New Smarter Planet TV ads -- Cyber Security and Automotive

IBM has been debuting some new advertisements during the NFL playoff games.  Here are the first two ads, which aired this past weekend.  The one on security seems particularly timely these days.

Learn more.

Transcripts of the ads:

Smarter Cyber Security:
"Thousands of companies are using IBM analytics to help manage billions of possible cyber security threats every day.  One company's network sees 23,000 events a second.  Now it can know which ones to investigate."

Smarter Automotive:
"IBM has helped hundreds of automotive companies work smarter.  Continental is embedding cars with sensors that will track factors like how hard you hit the brakes.  Cars can then share that info in the cloud. And see hazards before their drivers do."

IBM Invests $1B in new Watson Group

IBM announced today that it is establishing the IBM Watson Group, which will receive more than $1 Billion in investment to continue developing the capabilities of Watson and to make new cognitive applications and services available.

Included in the $1B figure is $100M available for venture investments in the ecosystem for cognitive applications powered by Watson.

The Watson Group, which will draw from over 2,000 professionals, will have a new Silicon Alley headquarters at 51 Astor Place in New York City.  The group will be led by IBM Senior Vice President Mike Rhodin.

Also announced today are three new services:
IBM Watson Discovery Advisor
aims to revolutionize how industries such as pharmaceutical and publishing conduct research.
IBM Watson Analytics
allows users to explore Big Data insights through visual representations, without the need for advanced analytics training.
IBM Watson Explorer
is designed to help users across the enterprise uncover and share data-driven insights more easily, while helping organizations launch big data initiatives more quickly.

You can learn more about today's announcements and the new Watson Group through the following links:

What happens when Big Data meets human resources

The Atlantic has a fascinating cover story (They're Watching You at Work) on the way companies are now applying analytics to the recruiting and hiring process.  Think of it like Moneyball meets talent management.  (And while not mentioned in the article, this is the type of work focused on by Kenexa.  You can learn more about the solutions they are offering here.)

Why is this going to be such a big deal?

The application of predictive analytics to people’s careers—an emerging field sometimes called “people analytics”—is enormously challenging, not to mention ethically fraught. And it can’t help but feel a little creepy. It requires the creation of a vastly larger box score of human performance than one would ever encounter in the sports pages, or that has ever been dreamed up before. To some degree, the endeavor touches on the deepest of human mysteries: how we grow, whether we flourish, what we become. Most companies are just beginning to explore the possibilities. But make no mistake: during the next five to 10 years, new models will be created, and new experiments run, on a very large scale. Will this be a good development or a bad one—for the economy, for the shapes of our careers, for our spirit and self-worth? Earlier this year, I decided to find out.

While I highly recommend reading through the whole article for the way video games can predict who will be successful at a company and for descriptions of businesses that are using this today to recruit and hire everything from call center staffers to coders, for those of you in the tl;dr camp, here's The Atlantic's Don Peck discussing his story on MSNBC's Morning Joe.

Full article:  They're Watching You at Work
Kenexa:  Solutions for a Smarter Workforce

Social Business in Action: Client Testimonials

A quick look at how two companies - AMD and Bosch - are putting social business into action.

Image:Social Business in Action:  Client Testimonials
An innovative technology company implements a new platform for sales enablement, providing training elements, content management and collaboration tools all in one platform.

Image:Social Business in Action:  Client Testimonials
Bosch improved business processes and reduced cycle time from 40 to 6 days and implemented IBM's Social Business Platform in four months.