North Carolina State University Poole College of Management helps businesses uncover new opportunities with IBM big data

Published on 16 Sep 2014

What we found is that certain software platforms work better than others for extracting and analyzing large amounts of information. With InfoSphere BigInsights, we can take structured and unstructured data regardless of the source from machines, from the Internet, from internal databases put it together and start to extract information from it

Dr. Michael Kowolenko

Customer
North Carolina State University

Industry
Education

Deployment country
United States

Overview

North Carolina State University (NC State) is one of the largest technical universities in the Southeast United States. Located in Raleigh, NC State serves more than 34,000 students and is recognized for its leadership in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Poole College of Management at NC State focuses on delivering “management education for a technology driven, global marketplace.” The school integrates teaching, research and active engagement with businesses to give students real-world experience in uncovering new business opportunities.

Business need
The Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University (NC State) focuses on delivering management education for a technology driven, global marketplace. The school integrates teaching, research and active engagement with businesses to give students real-world experience in uncovering new business opportunities. Because of this, helping students understand how to leverage big data is an important component of the school’s curriculum. NC State business students are given class assignments that include working with local businesses to see how new technologies, such as big data analytics, can be applied. Students gain real-world experience, while the businesses benefit from the new insight these advanced technologies offer.

Solution
After evaluating several vendors’ offerings, the organization selected an IBM big data solution, including IBM InfoSphere BigInsights and IBM Content Analytics software. IBM InfoSphere BigInsights Enterprise Edition software makes it simpler for the organization to use Apache Hadoop and build big data applications. It incorporates the administrative, discovery, development, provisioning, and security features that businesses need, along with best-in-class analytical capabilities. IBM Content Analytics with Enterprise Search software uses sophisticated natural language processing (NLP) to understand the meaning and context of human language within textual information from documents, online content, emails and much more. The client uses the InfoSphere BigInsights Enterprise Edition and Content Analytics with Enterprise Search software for web crawls and NLP text analytics in a clustered environment. “What we found is that certain software platforms work better than others for extracting and analyzing large amounts of information,” says Dr. Kowolenko. “With InfoSphere BigInsights, we can take structured and unstructured data regardless of the source, from machines, from the Internet, from internal databases, put it together and start to extract information from it. We use IBM Content Analytics Studio for natural language processing and IBM Content Analytics with Enterprise Search software to visualize the results.” In addition to implementing IBM big data software, Dr. Kowolenko’s team also implemented 10 IBM PowerLinux 7R2 servers to create high-performance, energy efficient, and reliable cloud computing environment for delivering its new big data applications. “As we started working with larger data sets, we became acutely aware that we were using a lot of processing,” says Dr. Kowolenko. “We needed to consider the whole platform, both systems and software.” “The way the PowerLinux server’s internal storage is set up and the way it optimizes its core, works really well in this environment,” says Dr. Kowolenko. “It has also delivered very robust performance over the last few years.”

Benefits
-Helped identify new business opportunities more than 200 times faster and with fewer resources for a chemical company -Increased IT efficiency; enabled students to apply big data analytics to real-world business problems

Components

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software
Content Analytics with Enterprise Search, IBM BigInsights for Apache Hadoop

Hardware
PowerLinux 7R2

Solution
IBM Analytics, ECM - Unlocking Insight from Unstructured Information

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