“DashDB is an analytics warehouse in the cloud to be able to give you fast analytics, fast insight,” Smith said. “It allows you to support your analytics from on-prem systems to cloud and back again. It’s about that fluid data layer piece.”
Meanwhile, the third new service also involves Cloudant. IBM is extending its portfolio with Cloudant Local, an on-premise edition of the cloud DBaaS that enables a fluid hybrid cloud data layer that spans private data centers, mobile devices and third-party cloud providers. This ensures customers can easily reconfigure their cloud data platforms over time to optimize the cost, security, reach and performance.
The power of these capabilities could enable, for example, a ride sharing service company to improve their customers’ experience by ensuring their drivers are in the right place at the right time. The company can take taxi trip information, captured in a mobile application running on Cloudant, directly into dashDB, and then use DataWorks to refine and load additional weather and traffic data to provide more insight, IBM said. With dashDB, Cloudant and DataWorks working together, new insights can be leveraged to improve customer experience and grow revenue, the company said.
“IBM's new cloud-based data services follow a different approach to a similar conclusion by making the company's considerable big data and analytics capabilities more widely available via the IBM Cloud Marketplace,” said Charles King, principal analyst with Pund-IT. “Though some of these offerings are relatively new, I believe they will pique the interest of both potential customers and developers looking for ways to heighten the value and relevancy of their data resources easily and affordably.”
Moreover, "The reason this fluid data layer is so important is so that things will flow and you have the portability of your analytics, you have the portability of your workloads, and you have the portability of your data all in a cloud environment," Smith said. "The toughest nut to crack in cloud is data. Virtualization and automation are the foundation of cloud, but now it’s about the data. You need your data to be trusted, secure and protected. And you need to be able to use enterprise data that may be from other systems. That’s always made it a challenge when it comes to data."
IBM also introduced the Watson Curator at Insight 2014. Watson Curator is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that increases confidence in the delivery of quality content collections and governance for IBM Watson Solutions. For example, an individual insurance risk analyst can quickly review and add context to documents so that many underwriters across the enterprise can get higher quality responses on risk assessments from Watson Engagement Advisor. IBM Watson Curator actively guides subject matter experts -- in this case the risk expert -- through the entire curation process in order to minimize the time and effort required. This capability improves the relevance and quality of the information used for analytics.
IBM DataWorks, dashDB and Cloudant are available on IBM Bluemix. IBM Cloudant Local is available on cloudant.com. IBM Watson Curator will be available later this year.
IBM also announced that its broad portfolio of analytics capabilities -- including Cognos business intelligence and SPSS predictive analytics platforms – will be available via the IBM Cloud marketplace.