By Tony Mwai
Ten years ago, if workers in Kenya wanted to send money to relatives across the country, they had two options – either pay a courier to take their wages back to their village or travel themselves, often spending a hefty portion of the wages on bus fare and then losing a day’s pay.
Today, in a just under a second, over 14 million Kenyans can send and receive money to each other in whichever part of the country they are, all thanks to mobile money transfer solutions.
Over the last five years, more than $16 billion has moved between phones in this country, indicating the untapped demand for access to reliable and affordable financial services in the palm of Kenyans. Continue Reading »
Vice President, IBM Risk Analytics
Four years after the worldwide financial crisis began, the recent elections and their aftermaths in Greece and France are fresh reminders that the global financial system and the global economy itself are still fragile. They also teach a powerful lesson about the importance of managing risk.
For many years, investors and regulators viewed government bonds as practically risk-free investments. We now understand how wrong a lot of smart people can be.
Risk exists in all the domains of human endeavor, and, as the financial crisis illustrates, it’s vital for people and organizations to adopt strategies for either reducing risks or understanding them better. This goes for governments, banks, investors and other business leaders alike
In this world of ever-more-complex systems, what is needed is the ability to go beyond the known and explore the unknown. By using technology it’s possible to adopt a holistic view of systems, everything from banking to maritime shipping to retail supply chains, and from that information create realistic scenarios of possible future outcomes of the decisions we make individually and collectively. These scenarios, or models, are the language of risk.
Banks are practically drowning in data, but most haven’t figured out how to manage it and derive insights about their businesses and their customers. That was the primary takeaway from today’s Forbes magazine panel, The Power of Advanced Analytics for Smarter Banking. For quotes and context, visit #ForbesAnalytics on Twitter. IBMers Boxley Llewellyn and Duke Chang were on the panel. Here’s Boxley talking about the opportunity for banks:
Most companies have massive amounts of data at their disposal, yet fail to use it in the most meaningful ways.
But what if they could tap into this “big data” to uncover lucrative business opportunities? What if they had the “inside information” they needed to retain customers or improve research? What if they could inject certainty and predictability into the decision-making process?
Participants at this week’s Smarter Analytics Leadership Summit were asking these questions, and they were finding highly intelligent and profitable answers in clever analytics software and services that can process all the different kinds of data and make it more useful in key business decisions and processes — with impressive results.
Sometimes innovation comes from seeing how somebody does something in another business and then applying the same idea to what you do.
That’s how William Dibble, senior vice president of Infinity Property & Casualty Co., came up with the idea of “scoring” insurance claims from customers to look for signs of fraud. His model: the way lenders score credit applications. Infinity uses predictive analytics technology provided by IBM to spot potentially fraudulent claims and speed the payment of legitimate ones. Infinity’s experience illustrates the value of using data analytics to transform the way a company does business.
Editor’s note: Today, at an event in New York called the Smarter Analytics Leadership Summit, IBM is talking with 100 business leaders about the potential for harvesting insights from Big Data to create value for their businesses and for society. In addition, we want to open the conversation to many more people via this blog and Twitter, at #IBManalytics and #Big Data. For the video simulcast, click here.
By Manoj Saxena
IBM Watson Solutions
Imagine asking a computer, “How much money do I need to retire?” or “Should I reshuffle my investments given the volatility of the world markets?” And then imagine getting an expert, personalized response in just a few seconds time.
That scenario is not possible today, but it could be in the not-too-distant future.
It was just over one year ago that IBM’s Watson technology shocked the world by beating two all-time champions on the TV quiz show Jeopardy!. Since then, we have been busy refining and expanding the technology so it can work as well as play. A few months ago, we announced a version of Watson for healthcare. Today we entered the financial services sphere. IBM will help Citi explore how the Watson technology could help improve and simplify the banking experience.