IBM unveils new data science platform to accelerate AI adoption
IBM CEO Virginia Rometty

IBM unveils new data science platform to accelerate AI adoption

American tech giant IBM has unveiled a new data science and machine learning app-building platform to help companies tap into the benefits of artificial intelligence.

The system, called Cloud Private for Data, uses an in-memory database that can ingest and analyse a million data points a second, and offers companies access to a range of data science and app-building tools.

With the new platform, organisations can gain previously unobtainable insights from their data, and build and exploit “event-driven applications” that take data from IoT sensors and mobile devices, said the company in an announcement.

The service is part of IBM’s new Cloud Private offering, which the vendor describes as a “transformative private cloud platform that provides the benefits of the public cloud from the safety of your firewall-protected data centre”.

The fully integrated system is built on Kubernetes-based container architecture. Dedicated versions of the platform will be available for sectors such as financial services, healthcare, and manufacturing, said IBM.

Tapping into AI

Rob Thomas, general Manager of IBM Analytics, said the new system will make it easier for companies to make use of AI technologies. “Whether they are aware of it or not, every company is on a journey to AI as the ultimate driver of business transformation.

“But for them to get there, they need to put in place an information architecture for collecting, managing, and analysing their data.

“With today’s announcements, we are planning to bring the AI destination closer and give access to powerful machine learning and data science technologies that can turn data into game-changing insight,” he said.

Other components

The Cloud Private Data solution works with other IBM applications, such as Data Science Experience, Information Analyser, Information Governance Catalogue, Data Stage, DB2 and DB2 Warehouse.

IBM said companies can use these capabilities to “quickly discover insights from their core business data, while keeping that data in a protected, controlled environment”.

To coincide with the platform’s launch, the company has established a dedicated Data Science Elite team to help companies get the most out of big data analytics.

Some of the members of IBM’s new Data Science Elite Team: (L-R) Annamaria Balazs, Umit Cakmak, Seth Dobrin, Susara van den Heever, Wendy Won, and Siva Anne. (Photo: Mike Webb Photography)

Driving ROI

Patricia Maqetuka, chief data officer of Nedbank Ltd, said her company is able to make sense of growing data streams via the platform.

“Nedbank has a long tradition of using analytics on internal, structured data. More data is available now than has ever been available before, and analytical tooling has undergone rapid evolution in order to keep up,” she said.

“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.”

She added: “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.”

Internet of Business says

“Every company is on a journey to AI as the ultimate driver of business transformation” could be a description of IBM itself in the 21st Century. Under Virginia Rometty’s leadership, ‘Big Blue’ has reoriented itself around cognitive services, with offerings such as its Watson AI and natural language processing system available in the cloud, along with quantum computing. 

As is the case with similar moves by Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and Salesforce, the aim is to help organisations apply greater intelligence and analysis to their reams of data.