Developers expect the advanced data analytics of the Watson supercomputer to predict outcomes in health care and education, according to IBM's 2011 Tech Trends report.
released a 2011 Tech Trends report predicting that Watson supercomputer's
advanced data analytics capabilities could play a large role in health care,
education and government.
DeveloperWorks is Big Blue's
online community where IT professionals can develop tech skills in areas such
as open source, business analytics, cloud computing and mobility.
Business analytics software
will dominate the workflows of many industries, including health care,
education, government and financial services, according to the report's results,
which IBM announced Nov. 15.
The goal of the report was
to provide a guide to the skills needed in IT for the future, according to IBM.
IBM interviewed 4,000
IT professionals from 93 countries and 25 industries about IT trends. The most
responses came from Brazil, China, India, Russia and the United States.
Regarding opportunities for Watson
respondents believed education and health care were industries that Watson's
advanced data-analytics capabilities could serve best.
"Data analytics will
have a profound impact on health care moving forward as it represents an
important way to finally make sense of the volume of health care data,"
Mike Riegel, IBM's vice president of startups, independent software vendors
(ISVs) and academic programs, wrote in an email to eWEEK
Large amounts of data in
medical images and electronic health records will drive a need for advanced
data analytics, he noted.
"The best way to help
doctors is to provide powerful analytics tools that are part of their
decision-making processes," Riegel said.
The changing business model
being paid for health outcomes
rather than individual visits could make
data-analytic tools important for measuring performance, he added.
"When you look at the
overall ranking of industries, those that ranked in the top are all dealing
with massive volumes of data that could provide strategic insights,"
Business analytics, like
that found in Watson, will have a role in predicting outcomes, including
successful treatment of patients, Riegel noted.
On Oct. 25, IBM
introduced Content and Predictive Analytics for Healthcare
, an application
that provides content analytics to spot patient health patterns and improve
care. Business analytics will also be able to connect medical data to mobile
EHRs using natural-language processing and technology similar to Watson.
In education, analytics will
help teachers and administrators understand learning trends and lead to better
collaboration between students and teachers, according to Riegel.
Meanwhile, in government,
analytics can help predict criminal activity and spot crime trends in
populations, Riegel said.
Open source will play a huge
role in software development, according to 75 percent of respondents. In
particular, flexibility in designing cloud-computing infrastructure is
important to developers interviewed.
"Now, CIOs can develop,
deploy, manage and integrate both traditional and new Web-based cloud
applications in minutes rather than weeks with the flexibility and scalability
they need," Riegel said.
Mobility and social business
software were other top tech trends respondents highlighted.
"The results are clear:
Mobile computing, cloud computing, social business and business analytics have
gone beyond niche status and are now part of any modern organization's core IT
focus," Jim Corgel, IBM's general manager for ISV and developer relations,
said in a statement. "IT professionals who can develop the skills needed
to work across these technologies will be ready to meet growing business demand
in the coming years."