• June 24, 2011
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

New IBM Analytics Technology Helps Companies Unlock Big Data

IBM this week announced a new analytics appliance that allows organizations to analyze up to 10 petabytes of data in a matter of minutes.  The technology, which is based on systems IBM gained in its acquisition of Netezza, is designed to help industries uncover patterns and trends from large data sets while meeting compliance mandates.  

The new IBM Netezza High Capacity Appliance addresses a growing challenge where organizations are amassing huge amounts of data. Banks, insurance companies, healthcare providers, and communications services providers are required by industry regulators to retain massive amounts of data, in some cases for up to a decade.

"Companies need to keep years and years worth of data available, and in a majority of cases, it ends up in some cold storage where it is not easily accessible," says Razi Raziuddin, senior director of product management at IBM Netezza. "As a result of not being able to access that data, companies lose the insight and details it could hold."

Raziuddin notes that the High Capacity Appliance makes it possible for companies to archive, search, and mine all that data and "do some very complex analysis on it."

Using the new appliance, businesses can now sift through petabytes of data, including banking and mobile phone transactions, insurance claims, electronic medical records, and sales information. Companies can also analyze this information to reveal new trends in consumer sentiment, product safety, and sales and marketing effectiveness.   

The solution on average costs about $2,500 per terabyte (which is 1 trillion bytes or 100 million gigabytes). It can handle up to 10 petabytes (or 1 quadrillion bytes) of data.

The High Capacity Appliance, which is due out for general release in July, has already gained interest from a number of companies. Kelley Blue Book, the resource for prices, values, and expert and consumer reviews on new and used cars, is testing the new appliance to analyze click stream data created by users surfing its Web site. The company will be able to analyze this information to see what topics visitors cared most.

"Kelley Blue Book is testing the new appliance to unlock the value of archived data in search of new ways to grow our business," said Karen Simmons, senior director of data warehousing at Kelley Blue Book, in a statement. "This appliance allows organizations like ours to take a fresh look at our historical information and use the insights we gain for competitive advantage."

The High Capacity Appliance is the first product to emerge out of the Netezza line since IBM acquired it in November. "This shows that Netezza is alive and well under IBM and we will see innovation continue under IBM," Raziuddin says.

In fact, IBM is expanding its big data analytics portfolio with Netezza technology, which joins IBM’s Hadoop-based BigInsights software, as well as Streams software in its broad portfolio of workload optimized big data technologies.

IBM recently announced a $100 million investment for continued research on technologies and services that will enable clients to manage and capitalize on data as it continues to grow in diversity, speed, and volume.

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