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IBM Goes Big on Data in the Cloud

At its Insight 2014 conference this week in Las Vegas, IBM Corp. announced a host of cloud-based, data-related products and services to put high-power analytics in the hands of more developers, business users and others who don't have advanced data science skills.

"Businesses, developers and individuals will have the ability to incorporate data-driven decision making into every business decision," IBM said in one of many news releases. "Access to cloud-based analytics services such as IBM Watson Analytics can put powerful analytics in the hands of individuals to help them see patterns, pursue ideas and improve all types of decisions without needing to tap into a data scientist."

Watson, the IBM supercomputer known for beating the best humans on the "Jeopardy!" TV game show and then moving on to more serious matters, will soon be available on the company's Cloud marketplace.

Also on tap to join the cloud services are the Cognos Business Intelligence -- now in beta, expected in Q1 2015 -- and SPSS predictive analytics platforms. The latter is expected to be available within 30 days. Also new are five "solution accelerators" for data professionals, combining pre-integrated software packages and services to help customer, operations, security and fraud, risk and compliance, and data warehouse modernization initiatives.

IBM also announced a new generation of cloud-based data services -- DataWorks, dashDB and Cloudant Local -- that the company said will enable organizations to:

  • Simplify and automate the ability to find, refine and prepare data.
  • Warehouse data in the cloud, making it instantly available for analytics.
  • Curate unstructured data services to increase the confidence in analytics.
  • Enhance mobile and Web applications with embedded analytics.

IBM DataWorks comprises data refinery services to shape, cleanse, match and secure data.

IBM dashDB uses in-memory technology to provide faster data warehousing and analytics from the cloud.

IBM Cloudant Local is an on-premises implementation of the managed cloud-based Database as a Service (DBaaS) "that enables a fluid hybrid cloud data layer that spans private datacenters, mobile devices and third-party cloud providers."

Those services will be available via the IBM Bluemix cloud platform.

Coming later this year will be IBM Watson Curator, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering that will provide governance of Watson Solutions and, for example, guide subject-matter experts through the data curation process to increase confident delivery of quality content collections.

"Unlike other offerings that address only one aspect of the data problem, the new services introduced by IBM today provide the key capabilities to help organizations shift from working on the data to putting data to work for their business," the company said in a statement. "These new innovations will help ensure that data flows seamlessly to applications and analytics, making them portable and accessible, no matter where the data resides."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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