If you could amplify the power of your brain, would you? How many people would turn down the ability to read a book in a few minutes and be able to comprehend, retain, and recall the information in an instant? What if you could compile all of the information in your brain and turn all of that knowledge into actionable insight?

Sounds like something out of science fiction.

Now imagine that you could capture, analyze, and store the accumulated information from your business. What if you had data points on the people, processes, systems, and machines that power your organization? And what if that data could help you make important real-time decisions? IBM is helping to make this futuristic vision a reality.

Think about this for a second: 80% of the world’s data is invisible to today’s technology.

Getting Actionable Business Intelligence Faster

You might be able to ask complex questions of your business data today. But how many people take part, how much data do you have to track down, and how long does it take to get complex answers?

Most business analytics tasks that were advanced by the standards of even a few years ago are now akin to sending someone to a gigantic library to look up books in a card catalogue, track them down, read them, and submit back a report.

The businesses that are leading today’s economy are interactive and agile. When IBM talks about building Cognitive Businesses and a Smarter Planet they aren’t just talking about empowering people to get answers from machines. They’re talking about powerful machines that learn, that interpret language, that provide deeper insight.

They’re talking about the business as a thinking organism, where every bit of data can be measured.

Giving Meaning to Unstructured Data

In a prescient quote from a 1963 text “Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking,” William Bruce Cameron wrote:

It would be nice if all of the data which sociologists require could be enumerated because then we could run them through IBM machines and draw charts as the economists do. However, not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

We’ve reached an age where more than ever, everything can be counted. But to make it count, the data has to be given meaning and context. To give it meaning and context, it has to be arranged, sorted, and analyzed.

Large amounts of unstructured and dark data require high-performance technology to quickly provide meaning and insight.

Achieving Analytics Acceleration

So how do you tune your IT environment for the cognitive era? With the explosion of big data in the business world, you’re going to need technology that can understand, reason, and learn. This means:

  • Investing in applications and database that help capture and process data.
  • Servers, flash storage, and workload management designed for cognitive solutions.
  • IT infrastructure that reduces data analysis from hours to milliseconds.

The Principles of Cognitive Business

Over the coming weeks, you’ll hear us talk more about concepts like data-centric design, open technologies, IT optimization, security, and controlled iteration at scale. This helps to tell the story of how to become a cognitive business.

This isn’t a far-off future, we’re already starting to help clients accelerate their journey to cognitive business. We’ve started down this path by embracing the principles of 1. Design for Cognitive Business, 2. Build with Collaborative Innovation, and 3. Deliver through Cloud Platform.

Subscribe to our blog if you’re interested in finding out more about how your business could adopt these concepts, or reach out to us to start mapping out a plan to transform your business.