IOD 2010: Social and risk are top trends for analytics

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Social and risk analytics are two key areas for the useful segmentation of data, according to Rob Ashe, general manager of business analytics at IBM.

On the social side, analytics can provide valuable information on consumer behaviour and attitudes, Ashe explained during a press conference at the IBM Information on Demand 2010 conference.

"Customers are online all day telling us what they like. The insight we can gain from that activity is invaluable," he said.

There is "overwhelming value" in risk analytics as well, Ashe claimed.

He gave a recent example of the Icelandic volcano that has caused chaos at a number of European airports, highlighting how unexpected circumstances arise. Risk analytics can help in such situations and businesses can better prepare themselves from both regulatory and operational standpoints with such software, Ashe added.

On a wider scale, the business analytics segment as a whole is growing at twice the speed of the rest of the IT industry, according to IBM.

It is a huge part of IBM's business as well. In the last five years, the firm has invested $11 billion (7.4 billion) in 18 acquisitions related to business analytics and recruited 6,000 extra consultants. In just the last year, it has constructed seven new analytics centres across the world.

The company also believes it will see $16 billion in revenue from IBM business analytics offerings by 2015.

Read on for more news from IBM's IOD 2010.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.