IBM pitches analysis software for select industry verticals

Expertise drawn from 50,000 user engagements went into the new IBM software

IBM can help banks better understand their customers through a new customized package.

IBM can help banks better understand their customers through a new customized package.

Extending the reach of its analysis software and services, IBM plans to release 20 analytics packages customized to the needs of specific industries.

Available by the end of June, the packages will target businesses in retail, banking, telecommunications, insurance and other fields. Additional packages will be released in the future.

The packages augment off-the-shelf analytics software, from IBM or other parties, that organizations may already be running.

The software is intended to "speed up the process of applying complex analytics," said Alistair Rennie, IBM general manager of analytics solutions. "They will deliver insight that business people can use very quickly."

IBM built the packages using the experience and software patterns it generated from 50,000 engagements with clients, including with companies such as clothing retailer Urban Outfitters, utility company National Grid, consulting company Deloitte, and Chilean stock exchange Bolsa de Santiago.

The packages will offer predictive analytics capabilities, which are techniques that help pinpoint emerging trends and patterns within large sets of data. They will offer modeling patterns and interfaces that reflect typical operations in each industry, relieving businesses from developing these resource in-house, which could take more time and be more expensive.

Retailers could use the software to refine inventory and marketing processes, allowing them to make better decisions about which products to carry. Banks could use an IBM package to detect when individual customers are going through major life events, which would allow them to customize more appropriate marketing material for these individuals. The oil and gas industry can use an IBM package to better predict when equipment might stop working correctly.

The new packages can be useful to business in that they address "the scarcity of data science skills, which has been a significant challenge for all organizations," note analysts Anne Moxie and Rebecca Wettemann of the enterprise IT analysis firm Nucleus Research, in a report released Thursday.

"Traditionally, analytics solutions have been designed for trained users who spend a large amount of their time in analytics applications," they noted.

Financial information provider Interactive Data Corporation and Australian financial institution Bendigo and Adelaide Bank both plan to use IBM software to improve interactions with their customers.

IBM has identified data analysis as one of the growth areas for the company. It expects data and analysis work and products to generate $17 billion in revenue by 2018.

IBM did not detail pricing for the new sets of software.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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