Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Want a Job? Analytics is the Thing, Says IBM

Both BusinessWeek and Fortune have posted recent pieces related to analytics, including one highlighting last week's announcement with Fordham University, which focused on the need for more graduates skilled in analytics.

The BusinessWeek piece takes The Graduate ("Plastics") as a jumping off point:

Well, if The Graduate were remade today, the new buzzword for the young could be “analytics.” Thanks to the Internet, the world has become a swelling ocean full of data. One grand challenge of our age is to find a way to harness that data. And that’s where the burgeoning field of analytics comes in. Companies as large as IBM and as small as Twitter are looking to hiring people who can boil down this ocean of data into knowledge and insights that can help improve the performance of their businesses.

But the field is so new and growing so fast that there just aren’t enough qualified workers who can do these jobs. IBM currently has over 2,500 job postings for analytics-related jobs, and 60% of its new hires come from universities.

In a piece published on the Fortune web site (titled, coincidentally: One Word, Analytics), Rob Ashe, general manager for analytics and performance management at IBM, discusses the deluge of data under which we're all living with, and the way that analytics can help us bring order and insight to it all.  

He highlights some of the benefits organizations have found in applying analytics:
For example, DHL Worldwide, a global air and ground express industry leader, is now able to analyze more than 30 million customer records in just seconds vs. hours while reducing system maintenance costs and improving operations and customer profitability.

The Marine Institute of Ireland is now able to better understand fragile marine ecosystems. Developing large volumes of acoustic signal data from hydrophones mounted on buoys in the ocean, the platform is analyzing echolocation sounds of sea life, which can be used for location, range and object identification. This data is then correlated into useful information such as species identification, population count and location.

Using streaming analytics and the latest supercomputer, scientists at IBM (IBM) Research collaborated on a project with TD Securities to achieve a 21 times performance improvement on the volume of data consumed by financial trading systems.