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IBM introduces Smart Analytics System

This is a big day for analytics.  In addition to the SPSS acquisition, IBM introduced today the Smart Analytics System, a packaged solution including analytics and warehousing software and IBM servers and storage that allows an organization to begin applying analytics to their business problems much faster - and requiring significantly less storage, floor space and energy - than constructing a similar solution on one's own.  As I mentioned in my previous post, the ability to apply analytics and business intelligence and use it as a driver for business optimization lies is central to the idea of discovering a new kind of intelligence, and it's great to see this solution announced.

From the press release on the announcement (emphasis mine):  

The Smart Analytics System can harness the power of analytics to solve complex business problems as much as three times faster than other systems, while requiring up to 50 percent less storage -- saving both floor space and energy. A powerful analytics system that would have required the time of half a dozen or more technical experts to set up can now be deployed by as few as one, or none at all for smaller configurations. For most configurations, the system can be "analytics ready" in as few as 12 days.

The systems, which are planned to be available on Sept. 29, will come in a number of starting sizes (depending on data and user capacity).  Companies will be able to add capacity over time and upgrade their hardware independently, keeping them from being locked in to the current generation. highlights the positive feedback being received from industry analysts:  
So far, the plan is receiving the thumbs-up from industry insiders.

"Will it help lower the costs or lower some of the complexity? I think the answer the answer is absolutely," Claudia Imhoff, president and founder of business intelligence consultancy Intelligent Solutions, told "Anything you can do to pre-configure, pre-optimize, pre-build ... is going to make it simpler to install and maintain and so forth."

"They took all of the system sizing and querying of the componentry and installation... and all that stuff and kind of done it for you and put it into their smart analysis system. A lot of the hard, upfront work has already been done. That is certainly going to result in a faster time of deployment. "

The press release also highlights the type of insight and value that many IBM customers are already seeing through their use of this type of technology:
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), a national federation of 39 independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance companies, is analyzing claim records of tens of millions of members to detect demographic trends. The resulting insights will be used to help employers improve workforce health while better managing costs for the members.  "This has the potential to revolutionize the way we deliver healthcare," said Shirley Lady, Vice President, Business Informatics/BHI for Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
  • Using analytics, fashion apparel and home furnishings retailer Dillard's is able to obtain valuable insights into inventory management, vendor relationship management and customer spending patterns, which has resulted in increased efficiencies for the company.
  • Furniture retailer Rooms to Go is using analytics to also detect buying patterns of customers, such as which furniture pieces and categories are the best sellers, by state and customer type, and is using these insights to better predict which products repeat customers might want to buy next.
  • Sterling Savings Bank, a leading community bank in the Pacific Northwest, uses business analytics to provide a better banking experience for its clients by anticipating their needs at different stages of their lives.

You can learn more about the Smart Analytic System on, and can also follow IBM Business Analytics on Twitter:  


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