Hey, IBM, It's About Competing on Analytics!


Doug Henschen, Intelligent Enterprise Editor-in-Chief, in a recent blog post, provides his usual insightful analysis of the market as he cuts through the dizzying spin of IBM exec Ambuj Goyal. The general manager of IBM’s information management division questions the value of business analytics in an interview with Intelligent Enterprise. Goyal declares that advanced analytics are far too blunt an instrument for many business apps.

Doug suggests that such comments are more likely a matter of “sour grapes given that Cognos, IBM's core business intelligence platform, has not been competing on analytics."? I find it interesting that IBM invests heavily in analytics research -- perhaps they deride the value because they haven’t been able to monetize the analytics in their research labs even as others achieve significant returns.

When SAS says "analytics" we don't just mean our statistics (which, by the way, include Markov models), we mean data-driven insight for better decisions. Business Analytics include a range of techniques dealing with the collection, classification, analysis, and interpretation of data to gain insight, reveal patterns, anomalies, key variables and relationships.

To take it one step further, analytics should support continuous learning and improvement. That said, statistics (which is just one flavor of analytics we provide along with constraint-based programming and other operations research capabilities) is about more than prediction. It's all about delivering business value.


About Author

Anne Milley

Sr Director, Analytic Strategy, JMP

Anne oversees analytic strategy in JMP Product Marketing. She is a contributing faculty member for the International Institute of Analytics. She enjoys organic gardening and spending time with her family.


  1. It’s taken only 11 months for IBM/Cognos to contradict itself.
    After all it was in Feb of this year that the acquisition of Cognos by IBM was finalized and the big banner read "Big Blue Introduces Joint IBM-Cognos Products, Plans for Analytics." And then not even a month thereafter, the 'joint go-to-marketing' with SPSS was announced with a promise to deliver the 'Easy Button' or something to that effect for predictive analytics, proclaiming "Cognos fills gap in portfolio while SPSS gains another powerful ally and a leg up on SAS"
    Where are the legs now?

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