Data Analytics Find their Power on the Mainframe

It’s no secret that companies are embracing analytics as one of the key drivers of future growth.

But new mainframe technologies are enabling organizations to harness increasingly meaningful results from data gathered from disparate sources, including a better understanding of clients and prospects, said Donna Dillenberger, IBM Watson research distinguished engineer, during the Global Technology Outlook at SHARE in Pittsburgh.

What we’re seeing now is a convergence of systems of record, systems of engagement and systems of insight—the analytics that find patterns in all the data being collected.

“The mainframe is a good platform for all three,” Dillenberger said. “It has the data; it has the computing power for all the analytics; and it also has the bandwidth.”

In financial services, systems of insight are being used to detect fraud, analyze financial transactions and mine social networks for data.

If you’re taking out a car loan soon, for example, you might want to watch what you post on social media. Some credit scoring agencies have begun determining credit ratings based in part on the types of places people frequent, as recorded by check-ins on Facebook or other social platforms. Regular visits to bars could ding your rating and make you a less attractive prospect to lenders.

Retailers are looking at customer behavior in brick-and-mortar stores: what aisles get the most traffic, where people linger and what items they pick up. Multimedia analytics like this run on the mainframe and help companies drill down to which aisles attract teenage girls, men over 40 or parents of infant children.

Healthcare is becoming more refined through analytics, as well, by analyzing how specific genomes will cause people to react to drugs differently.

“Different data sources connect a patient with (data from) other people like him,” Dillenberger said. From there, doctors can determine the probability of various risks and reactions.

System z makes a great platform for running these analytics not only because of its scalability for storing all that data but also because of its security. As Dillenberger said, it’s the least hacked platform.

“Computer-wise, you don’t want to extract, transform and load all that data in other systems,” she said. “It makes sense to bring analytics to the data.”

Want to learn more about data analytics and the mainframe? Check out the special report from IBM Systems Magazine and SHARE, “Big Data’s Competitive Advantage.”

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