November 26, 2014

How Big Data Is Fighting Crime, and Other BI News

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Recently, Automation World reported that “all (is mostly) quiet on the business intelligence front.” Interestingly enough, this could be due to the fact that big data is still unfamiliar territory. In a recent survey, 38 percent of organizations said they have “no clear sense of what big data is and why it matters.”

So we decided to help out. We rounded up some of the recent developments and BI news events taking place beneath the calm surface of the business intelligence industry and neatly summarized them below.

  1. The Q4 2014 Forrester Wave report for BI vendors is now available. The report details the crowded market and highlights the top 12 leading BI service providers. Though all 12 are strong choices, IBM leads the pack with a “a breadth and depth of expertise few providers can match.” Differentiating between top providers takes substantial effort – choosing a vendor is a complex task that could span months. Whether you use Forrester’s five step selection process, or use our product selection tool to pinpoint the best vendor, it’s important to evaluate your options and get unbiased advice on your project.


  2. The market may be overflowing with BI vendors but that’s not stopping Salesforce from trying to make a splash. Best known for their cloud-based CRM solution, Salesforce recently launched Wave, a new analytics service targeted towards business intelligence needs. Though competition is already high, Wave represents the sixth cloud platform the company has launched and bridges a huge gap in their product offerings.


  3. BI heavyweight IBM has teamed up with Veolia to create smart water services. The partnership could transform water, energy, and waste management systems by integrating data across municipal water management systems and applying advanced analytics to spot trends, patterns, make predictions and provide a systems-level view of operations. The new technology will help Veolia contribute to more efficient water management, improved reduction of waste, better cost controls for its clients, as well as improved accountability to city leaders.


  4. A new wearable in development can detect pollution and create air quality maps in real-time. Clarity is a keychain-sized gadget that allows you to track exposure to air pollution with an app. The goal is to pool data and feed pollution maps while eventually transitioning into a platform that collects and analyzes the data for governments or other researchers.


  5. Pre-crime becomes a reality as LAPD uses big data to target criminals. The Los Angeles Police Department is using software developed by the CIA to analyze data from 15 disparate sources. The technology shows where particularly violent crimes have occurred (or might occur), and also identifies and tracks people likely to commit them. Though concerns over legality and ethics persist, homicides in Los Angeles have decreased from 39 to 14 since the program began.


  6. Fitbit opens the door for data in the courtroom. A law firm in Calgary recently started working on the first known personal injury case to leverage biometric data from a fitness tracker. The data will help the firm show the effects of an accident on their client. Similar cases are sure to follow now that it’s possible to replace clinical interpretation with hard data.

Have you come across any interesting  BI developments lately? Share them in the comments, and make sure to check back for the latest market research, tech news, and more.