Analytics: Because It’s the New Normal

Today the use of analytics is expected.  Predictive analytics, optimization mapping, social metrics, data visualization and analyzed streaming data are expected as the norm in today’s world.   With changing weather patterns, creation/shipments of products, developing sports teams, healthcare treatments, farm management, financial planning and transportation management, both as a consumer and industry professional, our expectations today are significantly higher than several years ago.

In 2003 when the book MoneyBall was released it was the must read book for this whole new way of building a winning team.  Today, the expectations are winning teams are identified, cultivated and managed this way on the court and off.    Let’s begin…

The Guardian:  Champions League Review and the Importance of Analytics – Football Weekly Extra

Presented by Max Rushden and produced by Melissa Rudd and Jonathan Fisher; with Barry Glendenning, Paul MacInnes and Ted Knutson Thursday 28 September 2017

Some highlights from the video:  “These are the ways we are going to play the game based on the data.”,  “You cannot force the analytics.”,  “We are trying to get them more information–it is not perfect.”,  “Some players want the data and some do not it and that’s fine.”,   “It is not perfect, just a better solutions to help incredibly smart people make better decisions.”   The discussion on Liverpool and Arsenal is interesting on showing how implementation influences the outcome.   The Fantasy Football discussion demonstrates how engagement by fans in this space in changing expectations around player and team performance.



Big Data Case Study: How UPS is using Analytics to Improve Performance

By Mark Samuels | September 28, 2017

As we approach the holiday season we are already seeing how UPS, based on last year’s data and this year’s forecast, is planning for the capacity and additional manpower needed for the upcoming holiday season. “As chief information and engineering officer for logistics giant UPS, Juan Perez is placing analytics and insight at the heart of business operations.   ‘Big data at UPS takes many forms because of all the types of information we collect,” he says. “We’re excited about the opportunity of using big data to solve practical business problems. We’ve already had some good experience of using data and analytics and we’re very keen to do more’.”  This is short read on what some of what has been done and insight into some areas target around analytics and big data for UPS going forward.


Analytics Case Study:   Speeding Investigations using Analytics

Tomáš Pokorný, Co-Founder, DATERA s.r.o.

Public safety is one of the most important services citizens count on around the globe.   Law enforcement agencies are only as good as the data they have access to in keeping us all safe.  Think about how critical the data is when someone places a 911 call.   When data and analytics can be used to deliver, correlate, analyze and enable law enforcement agencies, we all benefit.    As we watch CSI, NCIS, and Law and Order these types of shows have impacted how much analytics we expect to be use used in solving crime.    Forensic science has created a whole new following along with a very high level of expectation from the average citizen on how technology and analytics are being used to break the case.  While we are not at the level shown in those shows for entertainment we are seeing more analytics highlighted on the evening news or social news as key tools being used, even in small towns to solve crimes.


IBM Academic Initiative Data and Analytics

IBM makes available industry resources for free to faculty and students at accredited academic institutions to use the resources for teaching, learning and non-commercial research purposes (They cannot be used in production).  This site provides access for students and faculty to leverage the free resources IBM is making available from cloud, cognitive, IOT, security, data/analytics, systems and more.   Resources include:  cloud access, software, courseware, remote hardware access, studies, videos, e-books and additional assets.  Below is a snapshot of one of the frequently downloaded software resources:  SPSS Modeler Premium which includes the predictive analytics and text analytics software:



IBM Skills Academy Business Intelligence Analyst Career Path

The Skills Academy provides resources for building skills in cloud, big data/analytics, security intelligence and more including cognitive computing and blockchain which are in development.   This program focuses on 10 career paths with faculty face to face training, badges, labs, pre-tests and proctored tests as part of the training.  After a successful international deployment, we are offering the for fee program in the US with a few flagship academic leaders in each state to deploy the program US-wide.

One example of a Skills Academy Career Path is the below Business Intelligence Analyst path which prepares students to learn essential reporting software to create management reports. This will require skills in reporting applications such as Data Filters, Data Graphics, SQL, HTML, and structured and unstructured data. The Business Intelligence Analyst will use tools to create reports, analyze, and monitor events to meet an entity’s requirements.

This career path includes the following learning modules, badges, and skills:

Learning Modules

Module I – Analytics Overview

  • Business Analytics Overview, Trends, Case Studies
  • Understanding Business Intelligence and Analytics

Module II – Business Analytics Foundations

  • Business Intelligence Overview
  • Reports and Metadata models

Module III – Business Intelligence Analyst

  • Introduction of Reporting Application
  • List Reports and Crosstab Reports
  • Advanced data filter
  • Data graphics (charts, numerals, visualization)
  • Parameters and prompts
  • Query models and relationships (using SQL)
  • Advanced dynamic reports
  • Data sorting using effective prompts
  • Report distribution through Bursting
  • Data user interaction with HTML
  • Structures and unstructured data

IBM Open Badges

  • Business Intelligence Analyst: Explorer Award
  • Business Intelligence Analyst: Mastery Award


Associated Job Roles

  • Predictive Analytics Modeler
  • Big Data Developer

Skills Advanced Data Filter Bursting Reports Creating Reports Crosstab Reports Data Graphics Data Sorting Drill-through Reports Dynamic Reports Focusing Data In Reports Formatting Reports HTML Navigating Reports Prompted Report Parameters Query Modes Relationship Queries Report Distribution Report Values Reporting Reporting Application SQL Structured Data Unstructured Data


Redbook Zero to Cognitive

IBM Redbooks are resources available if you are new to technology or a long term technology professional.   They provide technical insight to covered by business professional on how to get the optimum solution from a set of resources around a specific technical or business goal.   This new IBM Redbooks video course by Bob Dill September 27, 2017 is an example of learning the foundations from an IBM Distinguished Engineer who has lead in the development of over 100 architects and developers.



New Global University Programs Experience

One of the recent major updates is the IBM Global University Programs site has been redesigned to improve the experience for students and faculty.  Below is a snapshot of the initial page which highlights the new way for quickly locating the hot technologies and the key resources around those technologies.

This website is the main entry point into IBM for the academic community to see what IBM is investing in to support educational development.   The executive blog is a good way to connect with Naguib Attia, the IBM Global University Programs Worldwide Vice President and to have insight into his areas of focus each month.   If you have not investigated the new site, now is a great time.



2018 IBM Two-Year Worldwide PhD Fellowship for the academic years of 2018-2019 and 2019-2020

IBM is pleased to announce the 2018 IBM Two-Year Worldwide PhD Fellowship for the academic years of 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.

Strong collaboration with faculty, students and universities is vital to IBM. The PhD Fellowship Program advances this collaboration by recognizing and supporting exceptional PhD students who want to make their mark in promising and disruptive technologies. In 2018, the Fellowship Program is focusing on: AI, blockchain, security, and quantum computing. IBM is well positioned to advance these technologies and exploit their ability to transform industries and societies.

Since the creation of the IBM PhD Fellowship Program in 1951, we have supported thousands of PhD Fellowship students — with more than 700 students supported over the past 10 years alone.

We have made important changes to the program.  The 2018 IBM PhD Fellowship includes:

In the US, fellowship recipients while in school will receive a stipend for living expenses, travel and to attend conferences ($35,000 for 2018-2019 and $35,000 for 2019-2020). US fellowship recipients will also receive $25,000 toward their education in 2018-2019.

Outside the US, fellowship recipients while in school will receive a competitive stipend for living expenses, travel and to attend conferences for the two academic years 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.  Fellowship stipends vary by country.

Students must be approximately two years from receiving their PhD degree.

All IBM PhD Fellows are matched with an IBM Mentor according to their technical interests, and are encouraged to participate in an internship at least once while completing their studies. Students receiving a comparable fellowship from another company or institution during the same academic period are not eligible for an IBM PhD Fellowship. Students in Europe and Russia may accept government scholarships and remain eligible for the IBM PhD Fellowship.

We have received many outstanding and exceptional candidates from universities all over the world in the past and encourage universities to submit nominations September 21 — October 26, 2017.  For more details go to

The IBM PhD Fellowship program also supports our long-standing commitment to workforce diversity and encourages nominations of women, minorities and all who contribute to that diversity.  We look forward to receiving your department’s nominations.  For further information, contact


With so much happening around the globe, we need analytics to pick the key news stories–which it does.  With so much going on with significant weather events we need forecasting analytics to save lives when bad weather is approaching–which it does.    With defensive mechanisms needed to protect countries, industries and homes from criminal activity we need analytics here–which we have.

Now as analytics is moving into being a core part of augmented intelligence, security and advanced business discussions, in many cases it is no longer being highlighted as analytics.  It is becoming seen more as the norm as analytics is a key foundation for AI, blockchain, security, quantum computing and gaining and keeping an edge on the competition whether on the football field (Liverpool) or the national alert systems.  We expect analytics is in some way part of decisions–to do otherwise now is considered living in the dark ages!



Valinda Kennedy

LinkedIn:  Valinda Kennedy

Twitter:  @vscarbro



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