Made in IBM Labs: New Data Discovery and Visualization Capabilities Help Business Users Uncover Hidden Patterns via the Cloud

LAS VEGAS - 05 Nov 2013: At the IBM Information On Demand conference (#IBMIOD), IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced three new data discovery and visualization software capabilities that are changing analytics for the masses. The new solutions will help line-of-business employees engage, experience and gain actionable insights from data in a matter of minutes. 

Infographic: Leaders Make More Decisions Based on Data and Analytics

Leaders Make More Decisions Based on Data and Analytics

According to market research firm Gartner, the “Visualization and Data Discovery” market segment is the fastest growing area of Business Intelligence and will increase 30 percent by 2015. In addition, a recent IBM Institute for Business Value study focused on analytics found that the largest skills gap is the ability to combine analytic skills with business knowledge. One-third of respondents cited the lack of skills to analyze and interpret data into meaningful business actions as the top business challenge impeding better use of analytics within their organizations. 

IBM is introducing new data discovery software that enables business users to visually interact with and apply advanced analytics to their data without specialized skills, so they can get deeper insights into their business. The new software will help close the analytics skills gap that makes current data discovery tools inaccessible for the everyday business user. It makes it possible to go from raw information to answers hidden deep within structured and unstructured information in minutes.  

Today's data discovery solutions can be challenging for everyday business users and don't provide deep, meaningful insights that are immediately actionable. Most solutions still require data modeling and do not have any built-in predictive analytics. In addition, current offerings on the market require deep technical skills to interpret visualization and uncover a single insight. 

IBM Labs created software dubbed "Project Neo" to help users better engage with their data. Rather than forcing business users to learn analytics, without any specialized skills or knowledge, they can apply the Project Neo software to raw data sets. The software uses a simple interface, interactive visualizations and advanced analytics to automatically surface hidden insights and patterns and guide the business users to answers deep with in their data, and can be hosted on the cloud. Project Neo will be available as a Beta program in early 2014.  

For example, a marketing manager can ask a question in plain English, input raw data into the software and immediately discover through visualizations and guided analytics what is causing sales to fall in a particular quarter. The manager can then quickly share the findings with other employees, asking for additional input from her team, who will immediately see the alert and contribute suggestions via their laptops or mobile devices. Additional technological advancements, such as IBM's Rapidly Adaptive Visualization Engine (RAVE) are driving highly flexible and interactive visualizations that empower users from human resources, marketing and sales departments to leverage analytical graphics on any of their devices to find answers in ever increasing amounts and varieties of data. 

Right-Time Decision Making

Another example of virtualization technology is IBM Concert on Cloud which offers business users who are inundated with information but often lack contextual insight the collaborative tools to make the best decisions. IBM Concert on Cloud is a mobile-ready, social analytics platform that helps organizations make better decisions through collaboration. The real-time cloud analytics platform enables users to easily view, understand and interact with specific performance insights and more easily determine when they need to take action. Remote employees can contribute and update data immediately via mobile devices, improving accuracy and providing real time planning and forecasting. 

IBM Concert on Cloud is one of the 100-plus IBM software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings that will infuse analytics into line of business supported by SoftLayer infrastructure in the near future. SoftLayer is fast becoming the foundation of IBM's cloud portfolio, adding more than 1,000 new clients since IBM acquired the company in July, 2013.  

Extensible Visualization: Always the Right Visualization

Beyond Project Neo, IBM continues to provide rich and innovative visualization capabilities to business analyst and line of business users across the Cognos Business Intelligence portfolio. New extensible visualization capabilities are being introduced to unleash report authors and business users from a static library of charts. No longer are users locked into only the in-product visualization options. Now they can easily augment reports, both general and active reports, with a growing collection of visualizations to meet data and insight requirements. With the new IBM Cognos Visualization Customizer, visualizations can be edited, including changing fonts, colors or even icons to meet the most specific requirements. 

Through the Visualization Marketplace on IBM Analytics Zone, users can chose from more than 30 visualization options, from radar charts to heatmaps and area charts. New visualization options will be consistently added to the Marketplace. 

About IBM Big Data & Analytics

Each day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data generated by a variety of sources -- from climate information, to posts on social media sites, and from purchase transaction records to healthcare medical images. At IBM we believe that data is emerging as the world’s newest resource for competitive advantage, and analytics is the key to make sense of it. IBM is helping clients harness Big Data & Analytics to provide insights needed to make better decisions, create value, and deliver that value to customers and society. IBM has the world's deepest and broadest portfolio of Big Data & Analytics technologies and solutions, spanning services, software, research and hardware.  

For more information about IBM Big Data & Analytics, visit  

Follow IBM Big Data & Analytics on Twitter @IBMbigdata and @IBMAnalytics.  

For more insights on Big Data & Analytics visit IBM’s Smarter Planet blog.

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