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March 16, 2018updated 25 Jun 2018 4:25pm

IBM launches new data science platform and AI consultancy team

Can IBM's new offerings enable businesses to take the plunge and map out an AI future?

By April Slattery

IBM has made two new announcements that aim to help companies embrace the use of artificial intelligence (AI) for a competitive advantage in the market.

The cloud company has revealed a new data science and machine learning platform, as well as an elite consulting team aiming to help accelerate businesses’ AI journeys. The consulting team is a free service that will advise companies on machine learning adopting, as well as assisting with AI roadmaps for the future.

Both announcements aim to assist businesses to better exploit data to users, which can then be used to tailor future AI decisions.

IBM’s new Cloud Private for Data is an integrated data science, data engineering and app building platform. It has been designed specifically to help companies reveal insights that have never been available before from their data, enabling users to build and exploit event-driven apps. These applications are capable of analysing data from IoT sensors, online commerce and mobile devices.

The platform absorbs and analyses large quantities of data, at a rate of one million events per second. Therefore it can inevitably help businesses to exploit new data sets and make better data-driven decisions in the future.

“Whether they are aware of it or not, every company is on a journey to AI as the ultimate driver of business transformation,” said Rob Thomas, General Manager, IBM Analytics. “But for them to get there, they need to put in place an information architecture for collecting, managing and analyzing their data. With today’s announcements, we are bringing the AI destination closer and giving access to powerful machine learning and data science technologies that turn data into game-changing insight.”

IBM launches new data science platform and AI consultancy team

The platform aims to help businesses handle data better to boost AI roadmaps.

Cloud Private for Data has been launched on the IBM Cloud Private platform and has been deployed on the Kubernetes open-source container software, which can be deployed in a matter of minutes. The application layer provides an integrated environment for data science and application development, which in the future aims to run on all clouds as well as be made available in industry-specific solutions. This will be available to various industries such a financial services, healthcare and manufacturing.

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“Two of the biggest challenges for Data scientists is cleansing and shaping data, and operationalizing their insights to deliver value to business. The direction IBM is headed with IBM Cloud Private for Data is aligned with Datameer’s strategy and will enable companies to more quickly prepare data for machine learning and AI projects and operationalize these across their organizations,” Christian Rodatus, CEO of IBM businesses partner Datameer, said.

The second of the two announcements from IBM was the formation of the Data Science Elite Team. This is a free consultancy, which is dedicated to fixing real-world data science problems that clients have and help with their journey to AI.

According to a new report 85% of respondents believe AI will enable a competitive advantage, but only a fifth have taken any actions towards embracing it. The problems businesses have faced include understanding, organising and manage data at the enterprise level.

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IBM’s new consultancy team is made up of data scientists, machine learning engineers and decision optimisation engineers. Together they help assist businesses to help them better understand and control their data, to begin to think about making machine learning an AI a key part of their business.

“More data is available now than has ever been available before and analytical tooling has undergone rapid evolution in order to keep up. Nedbank has embarked on a journey to start leveraging both internal and external data, creating new data driven business models and new sources of revenue,” Patricia Maqetuka, Chief Data Officer, Nedbank Ltd, said. “Thanks to the first IBM Analytics University Live we were exposed to the guidance and counsel of IBM’s Elite team. This team helped us to unlock new paradigms about how we think about our analytics and change the way we look at use cases to unlock business value.”

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