Data Gets Smarter to Help Business Grow

smarter data helps businessYou have so many apps and programs in sales, and more data than you could ever consume. So why are you not able to use it to predict more helpful business trends, share common memes throughout your organization or really add more value to your customers?

Tons of data with little understanding – that’s what many small and mid-sized businesses are dealing with.

Many data firms are madly scrambling with new ideas, but it’s IBM who is stepping up with a billion dollar new division focused on Watson. That’s Billion with a B.

This is the Watson techno brain popularized by Jeopardy fame – IBM’s massive computer think-tank that is now positioned to help solve really big issues in medicine, health care, and also in business.

As someone running a business or focusing on selling products and services there, can you imagine the power of a mega mind to sort through your data and determine things, like:

  • Obscure buying trends of your customers
  • Buyers similar to your customers who the sales team should be talking with
  • How visits to your company website tie in with contact from anyone at your company or your competitors
  • Take data and create great visual representations so that you don’t need a scientist to explain them

Michael Rhodin, Senior VP of the new IBM Watson Group said recently:

IBM has transformed Watson from a quiz-show winner into a commercial cognitive computing breakthrough that is helping businesses engage customers, healthcare organizations personalize patient care, and entrepreneurs build businesses.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the world’s largest provider of technology services navigates the Watson team toward solving the millions of data puzzles in the business world to support small and mid-market business growth through understanding customer and prospective customer data. Moving forward there is less emphasis on hardware and much more toward the cloud (computing that is). After 30 years of seeing this company tackle ups and downs, it seems that Watson technology and the data it will help extract and explain to lay people will do amazing things - things we can't even imagine yet.

For a company that received over 6,800 patents just in 2013 – the future in analyzing and interpreting data has all the growth potential ahead. What will be interesting will be the results that come from it all. From a personal standpoint:

Will customer service get better at companies, restaurants, and retail? (I sure hope so)

Will I have an app to tell me that my favorite store just received more of my favorite products?

Will I get reminders about things I haven’t even thought to keep track up yet but will be important?

To learn more about what the Watson team is up to, check these out:

Watson Explores E-Commerce with the North Face (AdAge Article)

I love the idea that a retailer actually wants to run their business "that conforms to the way people naturally process information". Wow - that would be fantastic.

IBM Discusses the Watson Ecosystem - Cognitive computing with community of partners

From a sales and revenue standpoint, there are mountains of data to mine to help businesses.

Will my sales team learn insights about markets we could not have pulled together before?

How about building an app with help from Watson?

Is there no end for the possibilities?

There is a lot of talk about the amazing medical breakthroughs that can come from mega analysis like Watson has the capabilities for. But just looking at business applications, what would YOU like to see be able to be forecast or predicted for your market, your team, or your clients?

IBMThis post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I've been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Lori Richardson - Score More SalesLori Richardson is recognized as one of the "Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2013" and one of "20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management for 2013". Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.

Topics: B2B

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