Jeff Jonas interview with Forbes: IBM’s business analytics strategy

Jeff Jonas, chief scientist at IBM’s Entity Analytics group, recently sat down with Forbes’ Kym McNicholas to explain IBM’s strategy in the growing business analytics space.

Here are some of the key themes Jeff discussed:

Enhanced customer service
Business analytics allows businesses to make smarter decisions at the point of interaction, whether that is an application for a credit card, or an order coming in to a call center. Another facet is the growth of geolocation services like Foursquare and Gowalla giving us much richer information on people’s movements. Using this data, when people search for information on the web, we can incorporate analytics into the results, making them more local, more relevant.  

HR and the hiring process
Tying together an applicant’s information across disparate systems can help detect issues, such as whether that person has previously shoplifted from the store to which they are applying (it happens!).

Data security
As companies have more and more information on their customer base, keeping this data secure is a growing problem. Analytics can help: for instance companies can see who accesses data to help uncover data thefts and violations. Analytics tools can also be used to add a further level of encryption, so even if data is stolen, records cannot be matched back to individuals.

Forbes were kind enough to create a video of the interview too:


If you don’t know Jeff, among his many achievements, led the development of facial recognition software used to thwart aggressive card count teams (such as the MIT team covered in the book ‘Bringing Down the House’) for the casino industry.

Read Jeff’s full bio

Read Jeff’s blog.