IBM is rolling out a new predictive analytics platform designed to deliver insights to workers “in a matter of seconds.” Issued as part of IBM’s broader Smarter Analytics initiative, the Analytical Decision Management platform is tailored more toward regular business workers who need to respond quickly to events. The platform also integrates social network analytics into its predictive models, because that’s a big thing these days: in recent months, tech giants ranging from Microsoft to Oracle and Salesforce have all snatched up startups specializing in social-networking analytics and marketing, with an eye toward giving their own products the ability to dissect social data in useful ways. But social isn’t the main point with IBM’s new offering; the focus here is on applying real-time analytics to all manner of operational data, using intuitive interfaces. Insights from said data can be automated, consumed via existing pre-packaged and custom applications, and shared among other workers. In terms of use cases, IBM sees the platform as capable of speeding up, for example, insurance companies’ fraud detection and claims settlements. Manufacturers such as automobile companies could also use a high-velocity analytics platform to identify root causes for parts failures, which in turn could reduce the number of service requests from customers. In order to accomplish all those aims, the Analytical Decision Management platform combines three products, all of which leverage predictive analytics. First up is IBM SPSS Decision Management, which automates and optimizes transactional decisions via a combination of predictive analytics, local rules, scoring and optimization. Next, there’s IBM SPSS Modeler, billed by the company as a “high-performance predictive and text analytics workbench” for analyzing internal data. The third product integrated with the platform, IBM SPSS Collaboration and Deployment Services, stores analytical assets in one location and notes any changes made to them; analysts can also use it to automate processes and publish information for others within their organization. “In today’s marketplace, when a customer says they’re not happy, companies must decide how to react—not later that day, or in an hour, but instantly,” Deepak Advani, vice president of business analytics products and solutions for IBM, wrote in a June 20 statement. The new platform, he added, will allow organizations to embed analytics into “under-served areas of their business,” which in turn will give employees the tools to react instantly to issues requiring some sort of Big Data insight. IBM has a strong interest in business analytics, which it predicts will produce revenues of $16 billion by 2015. In order to buttress its capabilities in that area, the company has engaged in something of a buying spree, acquiring companies that specialize in analytics and Big Data platforms.   Image: NAN728/