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Why data is key to uncovering new business trends

by LLB Editor
3rd Nov 15 9:37 am

This is an excerpt from our e-guide, GET SET & GET SMART – 5 powerful tools you need for business, produced in partnership with IBM

Data is the next natural resource. We are surrounded by it from a variety of devices, sensors and sources – in fact, 90% of the data in the world was created in the last two years and continues to grow at an astonishing rate. For businesses, it’s key to uncovering trends and gathering new insights to deliver, for example, better new services to customers, protect against cyber attack, and create new products.

All industries are able to benefit, so much so that IBM has invested $24bn in building next-generation solutions, services and analytical capability to help organisations of all sizes make sense of data in the context of their business.


Your organisation is now able to rapidly uncover new insights from all types of data – even Big Data – on multiple platforms and devices. In addition, increasing levels of user-friendly, intuitive, self-service data accessibility means that you have the freedom and confidence to make smarter decisions, to better address your fundamental and transformational business needs.

Our customers are able to harness Big Data from a wide range of sources and analyse it in many different ways, to uncover insights that can have a profound effect on their business. In the UK and Ireland, IBM has helped organisations in every industry realise the value of big data and analytics.


If you are unsure where to start, consider the perspective of UK IBM customer, Mears Group PLC, who are gaining significant benefit from using IBM Watson Analytics. Mears Group, who employ 20,000 people, perform social housing repairs and maintenance throughout the UK. Mears has grown from a company without an IT department to one with 75 people.

The nature of their business means that they are highly focused on performance. Naturally, Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s), service level agreements, appointments made and kept, and jobs done on time, generate an incredible amount of transactional and event data; more than 600 million records.

With Watson Analytics, a smart data 3 discovery service in the cloud, Mears Group is able to explore data, automate predictive analytics, and easily create dashboards. The new insights uncovered have resulted in new levels of innovation within the company and as John Brett, IT Business Systems Director for Mears, says, “Anybody can use it. It’s not an IT solution, it’s a business solution”.


Finally, IBM makes it easier for you, whatever your role and function. IBM are actively supporting open source technology, such as Apache Hadoop, which helps to dramatically lower IT costs as it’s designed to be able to scale up from one single server to thousands of machines, providing a flexible, cost- effective and accessible approach to Big Data analytics.



Despite turbulent times for the retail sector in recent years, DFS has maintained its position as the UK’s leading sofa retailer. A key part of its strategy is to gain a better understanding of its sales, finances and operations, identify areas where it can make improvements or seize new opportunities, and encourage faster, more evidence-driven decision- making. To achieve these goals, DFS realised that

it needed a better way to manage and analyse its data.

DFS realised that the insights it provides to
its sales, operations and finance teams need to be of the same high quality as the sofas it sells to customers. Working with IBM Business Partner, Assimil8, DFS built an enterprise analytics platform based on IBM® Cognos® Business Intelligence, deployed in

the cloud with SoftLayer®. The solution unlocked the value of vast quantities of transactional data from DFS’s legacy core retail systems.

Cloud-based analytics accelerated DFS’ reporting from hours to minutes; store-level comparisons and historical trends can now be analysed in seconds.



Click the cover below to get our free e-guide, or click here if you’re viewing on mobile:

Get set&get smart: 5 powerful tools you need for business

This e-guide has been produced in partnership with IBM

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