IBM's analytics center focuses on financial services

The latest center is part of a worldwide push by IBM into the business analytics market

IBM has opened a business analytics center in London to focus on services for the U.K.'s financial sector, which drives a major portion of the nation's economy.

IBM said the center's initial focus will be on tracking risk positions across markets and assets classes. The center, opened on Tuesday and located at IBM's South Bank offices, will employ 400, although IBM said that number could double as demand for analytics services increases.

The center will eventually provide services for energy and utility industries as they move into smart metering and grid technologies, IBM said. Other areas it will serve in the future include the public sector, for transportation and public safety programs, as well as pharmaceutical firms working on new drug development.

The center will work with IBM's Hursley software laboratory in Winchester, England. IBM said the center will also be using technology from IBM acquisitions such as the business intelligence company Cognos, iLog and SPSS.

The London center is one of several that IBM has opened this year. Since June, the company has opened analytics centers in Berlin, Tokyo, New York, Washington, D.C. and Bangalore. The company expects to hire or retrain employees for some 4,000 analytics consultant positions in those centers.

In April, IBM said it would restructure its Global Business Services and create a Business Analytics and Optimization services practice, using the company's mathematicians and analytics experts from its research division.

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