Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent
Archive for May, 2013

Bob Sutor

Bob Sutor, Vice President of Business Analytics and Mathematical Sciences, IBM Research

By Bob Sutor

Businesses are going social inside their firewalls. Whether buying a third party tool, or building their own, they’re sold on the idea that giving employees a way to share their knowledge will improve everything from morale to productivity.

The McKinsey Global Institute reported that these social tools can lead to a 25 percent increase in employee productivity. But what is the employer learning? How can it listen in and find ways to improve its processes and strategies?

All these social tools, including the return of the humble survey, create data that needs analysis. The volume of data might be more than the management staff can handle and make sense of by simply reading it. Continue Reading »

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Jeff Rhoda, General Manager, Global Government and Education, IBM

Jeffrey Rhoda, General Manager, Global Government and Education, IBM

By Jeffrey Rhoda

Governments have always been great at collecting data. From the smallest regional municipality to the largest country in the world, public sector organizations cull vast amounts of information to balance the needs of their residents and businesses and ensure ongoing economic growth.

With the global economic recession lingering, government leaders are under continued pressure to make better choices, deliver results and demonstrate greater accountability.

Take, for instance, the data collected and utilized by government taxation departments. The reputation and integrity of an entire government can be at risk if the public questions the credibility of the data produced or processed by this department.

The Finance & Local Taxation Bureau of Ningbo, a seaport city in the Zhejiang province in China, was drowning in data – data that was mostly unreliable and varied. To remedy the situation, the bureau leaders instituted a new system that structures and extracts data in real time. Continue Reading »

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Les Rechan, General Manager, IBM Business Analytics

Les Rechan, General Manager, IBM Business Analytics

By Les Rechan

Corporate finance is often thought of as the central support system of an organization. It is key to ensuring that the organization not only survives, but thrives. While the core function of the CFO has remained consistent, the responsibilities and approaches of the position are rapidly evolving.

Over the next five years, the role of the CFO will continue to transform under the influence of analytics. As the primary guardians of information across all lines of business, CFOs can and should foster an analytics culture to support fact-based decision making.

Some CFOs are already ahead of the pack, applying analytics to their data to uncover hidden pockets of profitability. As data continues to grow, those CFOs who uniquely capitalize on it can proactively set leading business strategies. In fact, Gartner predicts that the amount of data stored by enterprises will grow 650 percent by 2018. Continue Reading »

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Professor Glenn Omura, Michigan State University

Dr. Glenn Omura, Associate Professor, Michigan State University, Broad College of Business

By Dr. Glenn Omura

Earlier this year I spoke with Manoj Saxena, General Manager of Watson Solutions at IBM, about developing a scale-to-measure customer engagement. We agreed that as businesses look for ways to retain existing customers and attract new ones, the question of what resonates with consumers and makes them loyal customers is increasingly top of mind.

In my research and work as a marketing professor, I’ve seen how organizations have succeeded in marketing to various population segments, and also how they’ve fallen short of their customers’ expectations.

The traditional way of marketing is no longer sufficient, particularly when dealing with a younger, tech-savvy digital consumer – the Millennial. Research shows that Millennials are optimistic, confident and pragmatic, are seeking more personalized attention and engagement. Smart businesses need to make sure they’re meeting those needs. As companies increasingly apply technology to satisfy the daily consumer demand for greater individual productivity and immediacy, they may be giving up relationship-building for the sake of efficiency.  

Can companies have both?  Continue Reading »

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Teddy Goff

Teddy Goff

 Teddy Goff led a team of more than 200 people focused on digital media for President Obama’s re-election campaign. They generated more than 133 million video views, developed innovative tools to build grassroots communities, and raised more than $690 million. Recently, he and two colleagues formed a strategic marketing consultancy, Precision Strategies. Here, Goff talks about the importance of cultivating relationships and how President Obama’s re-election campaign ultimately relied on the effective use of predictive analytics.

What was the digital campaign’s key contribution  to President Obama’s re-election?

 It put supporters back into a primary role. We realized the most important thing we could do on the digital side was to cultivate relationships with the supporters on e-mail, Facebook, Twitter. We wanted to keep them inspired, engaged and informed. If we gave those people a reason to hit the retweet button every now and again, hit the share button, they could reach almost everyone in the United States more powerfully than we as a campaign operation ever could. President Obama on election day had about 34 million Facebook fans. Those people were friends with 98 percent of the U.S.-based Facebook population, which is more than the number of people who vote. Continue Reading »

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Troy Kanter, COO of Kenexa, an IBM company

Troy Kanter, COO of Kenexa, an IBM company

By Troy Kanter

Successful organizations typically recognize three critical facets of their workforce. For these companies, it’s all about capability (what the workforce already knows); capacity (what it has the ability to learn); and culture (what it can do collectively).

Understanding the three C’s is just the first step in the process of creating a Smarter Workforce. In my experience, it’s critical to answer five key questions regarding the design of the workforce to help ensure success, both for the employee and the organization.

1. What are the core components that are critical to the success of your organization?

Much like buying a car, what feature or capability denotes a successful purchase? Is it safety, gas mileage, speed or something else? It’s the same with business. For some companies, they need their workforce to deliver tailored solutions for customers. For others, it’s important to deliver top-of-line customer service, or expertise or creative ideas. Continue Reading »

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Michael Zerbs,Vice President, IBM Risk Analytics

Michael Zerbs,Vice President, IBM Risk Analytics

By Michael Zerbs

Sensitivity around risk management is no longer solely a concern for large financial services organizations. In an economy still freshly scarred by the global financial crisis, what we are seeing is a pervasive questioning of the fundamental assumptions that large organizations, and individual investors so easily took for granted pre-crisis.

Questions that are now top of mind include, do I fully understand risk exposures across my organization? Can I trust my governance processes to sufficiently ensure accurate risk reporting? Can I accurately quantify the riskiness of a transaction? And, is my point of reference for riskiness really reliable? Continue Reading »

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Werner Kruck, Chief Operating Officer, Security First Insurance Company

Werner Kruck, Chief Operating Officer, Security First Insurance Company

By Werner Kruck

You may think of Twitter and Facebook as a way to catch up on the latest gossip, but social media often becomes a critical lifeline and communications channel after a natural disaster. In addition to using it to locate loved one­s, friends and emergency resources, people affected by a natural disaster often turn to social media to contact their insurance company for information and to start the claims process. Homeowners insurance companies must prepare for the reality that today’s policyholders will use any means available to connect with them, including posting a question or comment on the company’s Facebook page or Twitter account. Continue Reading »

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William Fuessler, Financial Transformation Leader, IBM Global Business Services

William Fuessler, Financial Transformation Leader, IBM Global Business Services

By William Fuessler

I have always loved the finance profession, and thrived on the challenging nature of the business.

No two days, no two weeks, or two months are ever the same.

Change is virtually the only constant in today’s business. Within the past decade, the rising forces of digitization, globalization and Big Data have accelerated the pace of change and have made the landscape fiercely more competitive.

Having an intimate view of the business, finance leaders have access and insight over details large and small related to business unit performance, costs, trends in customer growth and paths to innovation. They know the peaks and valleys, the risks and rewards, and what’s working, and what’s not. Continue Reading »

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Kimberly A. Whitler, Contributor for the Forbes CMO Network and Professor at Indiana University

By Kimberly A. Whitler

What are the biggest challenges facing marketers across the globe? According to a hot-off-the-presses study conducted globally by IBM (500 marketing managers) across 15 different industries, creating growth (through the acquisition of new customers) and sustaining growth (through superior loyalty) is at the very top.  Forty-two percent of respondents suggested that acquiring new customers and 36 percent suggested driving loyalty and satisfaction were the biggest challenges facing their organizations.

While these results aren’t earth-shattering as it is likely that a survey a decade ago would have yielded a similar pattern, what is surprising is the items at the bottom. Continue Reading »

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