IBM Cloud, Watson Help Guiding Eyes Breed Superior Guide Dogs
Guiding Eyes for the Blind is using IBM's Watson and the IBM Cloud to manage and analyze data for breeding and raising guide dogs.IBM today announced that Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a non-profit organization that breeds, trains and places service dogs with the blind and visually impaired, has adopted the IBM Cloud and is using the power of Watson to help produce dogs fit to serve as guide dogs. Guiding Eyes for the Blind, one of the United States' leading breeders and trainers of service dogs, has been collecting and analyzing vast amounts of information about its dogs for years. The organization has amassed half a million health records and more than 65,000 temperament records on its dogs since 1954. And it has continually worked to perfect its breeding and training processes to produce superior animals best suited for service. The organization has collected more than a dozen generations of breeding information. It has structured data such as medical records and genetic mapping, as well as unstructured data from scanned hard-copy questionnaires that trainers and host families fill out regarding their experiences with the dogs. However, the data was becoming difficult to manage on its aging systems. Guiding Eyes decided to move to the IBM Cloud, not only for the more simplified IT and data management it provided, but also for improved data accessibility and analysis capabilities accessible through Watson.
"People don't typically think about an organization like ours as a big data company, but we cannot succeed or grow without it," said Thomas Panek, president and CEO of Guiding Eyes, in a statement. "By collecting information about our dogs over the years, we can dig into the data to pull out meaningful insights about health, behavior, temperament and so much more. However, all of that was becoming increasingly difficult on our legacy systems. By putting it on the IBM Cloud, we will simplify our IT and make our data more accessible for more analysis."