IBM IOD: The key note from the keynote

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.


Leverage analytics as a game changer

Even when applied to business-as-usual operations, analytics is not business as usual.  Analytics is not about helping the business do what they do today, it’s about providing the insight and recommendations needed to do it better.  Whether you’re selling to customers or providing services, the knowledge and understanding that can be gleamed from analytics is capable of completely changing the game – uncovering new markets, attracting/retaining more customers, or identifying people at risk.

Premier Inc. shared with us some serious statistics about the state of healthcare in the US.  Thirty cents in every dollar spent in healthcare is considered “waste”, spent on inefficient administrative tasks and fraudulent claims.  One in ten Americans contract infections while being treated in hospital – contributing to hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths each year.  Using analytics to prevent even a fraction of that fraud will provide significant financial savings that could be reinvested into infection-prevention programs, targeted specifically at patients that are identified through analytical techniques as having a high risk of contracting an infection.


Embrace big data to maximize business outcomes

Big Data is not a platform solution.  It’s a business solution.  By incorporating Big Data into analytical solutions – through real-time data feeds, unstructured text, and social media – you can enrich the value of information and improve business decisions.  Conoco Philips currently generates over one terabyte of satellite images every day, coupled with real-time computational technology to provide information about icebergs that can be used to predict where they are headed and whether they present a risk to nearby rigs and personnel. This system allows them to extend the annual drilling period by one month – delivering significant value to the business.

This sentiment was echoed in the Big Data and Analytics panel session where companies such as Telerx shared their experience enriching what was otherwise a minimal data set with the valuable insight volunteered by customers through social media channels.


Get inspired to take action

This point is both personal, and professional.

Professionally, get inspired to take action with customers.  As discussed in a recent post, the most important step in the realm of analytics is taking action.  Understanding your customer is just the first step – using that insight to make the right offer to the right customer at the right time is when you deliver real business value.

Personally, get inspired to take action with analytics.  Companies today are already seeing significant outcomes from the use of analytical technology – use their stories and experiences to foster ideas on how analytics applies to you and can help transform your business.