Once a year, the man in the red suit holds all the power. Anyone who has kids knows what I’m talking about. We’ve all used (or experienced) the power of Santa to change behaviour, at least for a short period of time. For decades, poor Santa has been operating with a static set of data, often referred to as “The List”. But in the era of analytical insight, it’s even more important to behave – Santa doesn’t just have data, he has insight!
And he’s been taking a few tips from the local energy industry on how to turn insight into action.
The IBM Information on Demand event kicked off this morning with inspiring stories in to what customers are achieving today and a taste of the technological innovations of tomorrow. We were encouraged to “Think BIG”, inspired by Conoco Philips’ use of satellite analytics to track and predict movement of icebergs, to Premier Inc. using healthcare analytics to better understand the cause of infections contracted in hospital in order to predict, prevent and save lives.
But there were three key notes that stood out from the keynote that I just had to share.
You may have seen me tweet this week about how unlikely it was for me to find inspiration for my blog at the supermarket. I was wrong!
With two sick kids and a husband away for the weekend, I was looking for a smarter way to do my grocery shopping. I decided to try out the new “Click & Collect” approach – that is to order my groceries online and pick them up in store the following day. Everything was going according to plan – the website knew who I was, and knew from their loyalty program the items that I purchase regularly and suggested I include them in my basket. It also made recommendations on products I might like based on items I had in my shopping basket. Feeling like the supermarket chain knew me and my shopping needs, I happily paid for my groceries and went to collect them the following day.
The problem was, even with all that analytics and insight, they forgot to act.
The title “Solution Architect” is one I’ve carried proudly for some time. After listening to a TED presentation on the way to work this morning, I’m thinking of changing it to “Outcome Architect”. I don’t design solutions, I design outcomes. And here’s why.
Energy companies and governments around the world are investing in technologies to enable smarter use of electrical grids. Monitoring devices are being introduced in all stages of the energy life cycle—from turbines in the plants, throughout network infrastructure and to individual households and appliances.
While significant investment is required to build an intelligent grid, the capturing of information in itself will not deliver value — it’s how we use this new information to generate efficiencies and identify areas for innovation that will determine the success of the smart grid.
At the end of an amazing week in Germany spent welcoming our new Business Analytics Solution Architects to the family, I couldn’t help but reminisce about the rich and successful history of IBMers before them. So when I found myself sitting in the club lounge at Frankfurt airport waiting for my flight, I opened up the IBM family album and took a trip down memory lane.
The centennial celebration last year produced a wealth of information about the innovations in IBM‘s 100 year history. But it was the old TV commercials that had me in hysterics – much to the amusement of my fellow loungers.