Introduction: Mark Fieldhouse and Colin Shearer
The IBM “Business Analytics Live” event took place at IBM’s South Bank offices on 21st November. There was an introduction by Mark Fieldhouse, the head of IBM’s Analytics business. The thrust of his presentation was that the shift of power to the consumer, the acceleration of pressure to do more with less and the emergence of a new data era were three disruptive forces which had now made analytics a top priority issue for companies’ most senior executives. Mark cited a recent poll in which 58% of senior management in organisations now thought they got competitive edge from analytics, an increase of 70% since 2010.
Colin Shearer, formerly of ISL and then SPSS took the stage next and spoke about analytics in “growth initiatives” through an example based on customer information.
Later presentations and demonstrations including Leicester Tigers
A number of presentations from IBM analytics customers and IBM themselves followed. Andy Shelton, head of sports science for Leicester Tigers Football Club, presented. He showed how his club has used SPSS Modeler to analyse how to use positive factors such as psychological toughness, physical fitness and tactical ability to off-set negative factors such as psychological stressors, injury and fatigue and increase player and team effectiveness.
Much of the afternoon was used to show a “Day in the Life” demonstration covering IBM Analytics products from Cognos Metric Studio and dashboards through SPSS Modeler (Acorn / Mosaic codes, some nice web plots…) and decision trees to Cognos Insight based on TM1 OLAP cubes.
Overall I thought the day was well worth attending but I couldn’t help feeling that it was trying to cover too broad an audience under the heading “Analytics”. At some points in the afternoon various members of the audience seemed a little disengaged, depending on which part of the range was being covered.
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