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IBM updates its big data strategy

Company says its analytics software is now faster, easier to use, and better equipped to tackle both structured and unstructured data

IBM Corp. is pushing the pedal on big data analytics.

The company announced new acceleration technology for its portfolio of big data software at its Information on Demand conference in Las Vegas, including a new IBM Digital Analytics Accelerator aimed at chief marketing officers. Based on Netezza (analytics software) and Unica (marketing software) technology, the new offering can derive insight from web traffic, customer emails and social media to run more efficient marketing campaigns.

IBM also announced new features to its InfoSphere Streams software, designed to help communications providers analyze data moving across their networks faster. The tool can measure network performance, customer behaviour on social media and geospatial information.

IBM InfoSphere BigInsights, a platform based on Hadoop that can be used to analyze unstructured data, is also getting a speed boost with an improved ability to capture relevant information from social media, the company said in a press release. The software will also now include a data federation tool called Data Explorer that will provide visual representations of data relationships.

IBM speakers at the conference also touted what they said are the ultra-fast database queries now possible with DB2 Analytics Accelerator V3, launched a few weeks ago. Bolted onto IBM Z-series boxes, “what this gives you is the best of both worlds,” said Curt Cotner, an IBM fellow and its vice president and CTO for database servers.

Short-running queries can be run locally on DB2 for zOS, but when the data starts to grow to millions of rows, it will automatically be routed to a Netezza box, he said.The result, he said, is getting results “up to 2000 times faster than doing the same thing on zOS and of course, at a fraction of the cost.”