Modern Analytics & AI – an answer looking for a question?

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Modern Analytics & AI – an answer looking for a question?
Wednesday, 7th November 2018

analytics and AII will put my hands up and admit to being a technical geek.

With an engineering background, I’m easily pleased by facts and stats for new technology. That’s why IBM’s PowerAI platform peaked my interest. The journey of the technology involved a collaboration between Nvidia and IBM (via OpenPOWER Foundation) to create a platform specifically designed for optimising analytics workloads.

Adding this to our cloud platform has been a no brainer. Not just for our use, but for our cloud clients. Working with them has shown that they are keen to explore artificial intelligence but want their data to remain within existing perimeters. That’s something we can deliver but what do they want to get from this?

Establishing analytics and AI for the sake of it is dangerous. Many projects start without a clear end in mind, consuming budget and while delivering insights, the investment can often find it hard to translate to financial gain. In many cases, they simply end up with a chat bot

Insights into data are fascinating and usually show an eye-opening array of revelations, but for business the results must be greater than the equation of effort, cost and time to produce and result in the ability to generate more revenue and profit.

We are using IBM PowerAI to drive this insight. It’s quicker than x86-based hardware to process and run analytical models and machine learning ensembles. This also gives us much stronger processing capabilities, which means customers can tackle unstructured data and look for answers using deep learning. It’s the fast track to make strategic changes to improve business.

However, you need the right data in the correct place first. Traditionally, data scientists would descend on this data and pick out the correct course to use this and the best algorithms. This takes time and costs money. Sometimes you just need to get to the answer fast to make a difference. No point in spending months with the data only for it to deliver insight but no benefit. Fail fast or succeed fast is possible with the right approach.

We partner with several analytics providers to deliver these solutions to our clients and utilise the PowerAI platform as a delivery vehicle.

The greatest success comes from client engagement. The clients that truly understand their own business and have a good idea on the insight that will give them an edge and where to find it, are the ones that have the best success. Utilising the best technology and algorithms to draw out the detail they are looking for.

I often relate this to one of my favourite books – ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy’ - the answer to life, the universe and everything is 42, we just need to find the question.

The answer to analytics is defining the question you want answered, along with using specific technology built for analytics workloads, such as IBM PowerAI.

If you are looking into AI and how it could improve your business or if you’re not sure where to start, Blue Chip can help you on your AI journey.

Get in touch now

Applying artificial intelligence to big data is fraught with risks. It's essential that businesses shouldn't just blindly delve into this area just because it's a hot topic. IBM PowerAI is certainly the best option for rapidly discovering insights, but there needs to be careful preparation beforehand.
analytics and AI for business
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This article was written by Peter Thomas.
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