Focus and predict: insights from IBM Insight

Reprinted from


Today’s Post by: me (obviously), Market Segment Manager, IBM Enterprise Content Management

Yesterday at IBM Insight we focused on the idea of focus– the task of clearing through all of the distractions, the “dark data” and the endless content, in order to discern the business truth.

When focusing on data, most companies want to be able to make accurate predictions about what may happen next and how to respond. For example, in yesterday’s IBM Insight general session, representatives from airline engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney described the advantages of being able to predict aviation factors such as engine failure.

“Imagine, if we could know when an engine was about to fail, and fix it, before anything ever happened. That would be revolutionary. Larry Volz, VP and CIO, Pratt & Whitney

If we could gain insight into when asteroids are going to collide so that we could protect any part of earth that might be affected, that would be pretty handy, too. (Spoiler alert: we’re helping Pratt & Whitney and the meteorologists studying those asteroids make their predictions.)

The foundation for predictive insights is structured and unstructured data and the technology to help answer these critical questions:

  • What happened?
  • Why did it happen?
  • What will happen in the future?
  • What actions can we take?

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as feeding data into a machine, pressing a button and getting instant insight. This is where focus and IBM Enterprise Content Management (ECM) enter the picture. We need to filter through the data that we feed our “magic predictive machine.” Drawing conclusions from “dirty data” will only lead to bad predictions, and bad business decisions. That’s why we need to focus only on the data that is most important and useful to the business.

"Say No to Dirty Data" Big Data Picket at IBM Insight
“Say No to Dirty Data” Big Data Picket at IBM Insight

During the IBM Insight IBM ECM keynote yesterday, Doug Hunt, IBM ECM General Manager, introduced the concept of inner, other, and outer focus. Inner focus he defines as “corporate value”, other focus is “customer value” and outer focus is “market value.” A healthy, focused solution will balance all three and consist of data, cloud and engagement.

Supply chain management company CEVA Logistics is an excellent example of a company that leverages focus, data and cloud for better engagement. In a single line of business, CEVA can have more than 70 million associated unstructured data documents. As the number of documents grew, CEVA knew it needed an ECM solution to help it focus on the most critical information. It also wanted an ECM solution that would help it leverage the cloud. The company chose IBM Navigator, a solution that simplifies business file sync, collaboration and sharing. “It was a win for us and our customers,” said Deepak Dodani, Vice President, Global Supply Chain and Transport Solutions at CEVA Logistics.

IBM Enterprise Content Management client CEVA speaks at the IBM Insight general session
IBM Enterprise Content Management client CEVA Logistics speaks at the IBM Insight general session

The fact is that big data insight is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity. At one time, only the largest enterprises could benefit from this capability. But now, with the advent of cloud solutions and the growth of data and data processing tools, the ability to draw insights from data is available to everyone. And IBM is here to help you take advantage of that opportunity. From non-profits and children’s hospitals to well-known brands such as MetLife and Pratt & Whitney, we help organizations in every industry gain better, deeper insights from their data.


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